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School textbooks- help

(29 Posts)
statisticianintraining Thu 23-Jul-20 09:46:59

My son is about to start Secondary school in Wales. I just can't get my head around the school system. They went through primary in Wales (and I had the same quesiont then) but where are the books? I've been on amazon and google and the WJEC and I can't figure out what textbooks they will be using. Loads and loads of revisions cards, workbooks etc but no straightforward books. Any suggestions, recommendations? Science and maths in particular

OP’s posts: |
HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Thu 23-Jul-20 09:50:09

In England schools will use different text books perhaps it's the same in Wales. You could contact the school and ask, someone will be manning the emails or just wait until he starts.

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Thu 23-Jul-20 09:51:05

As for recommendations we use the Activate series but again I'm in England.

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Thu 23-Jul-20 09:51:39

Ugh posted too soon. Activate are a series of science text books.

user1471530109 Thu 23-Jul-20 09:55:33

OP, I wouldn't buy textbooks personally. I'd get the revision guides etc. Is he 11? I don't think I'd be getting GCSE books yet either. Courses change all the bloody time hmm.

BadlydoneHelen Thu 23-Jul-20 09:57:31

School may have online versions of the textbooks they use available to students-our certainly did for sciences and geography

statisticianintraining Thu 23-Jul-20 10:23:10

Seems bizarre to me. All my family are in Ireladn and I have a Dn about to start secodary there. They have a long list of books to buy and each subject has a textbook alongside workbooks etc. I know he is only 11 and I don't want to but GCSE books yet especially as you say everything is changing but how will he do homework?

OP’s posts: |
solidaritea Thu 23-Jul-20 10:31:19


Seems bizarre to me. All my family are in Ireladn and I have a Dn about to start secodary there. They have a long list of books to buy and each subject has a textbook alongside workbooks etc. I know he is only 11 and I don't want to but GCSE books yet especially as you say everything is changing but how will he do homework?

The Irish system is much more prescriptive. England and Wales don't have. Textbook system in the same way. Which does make it harder to know what they're learning and when. On the flip side, school will provide all text books and resources, so you don't need to buy any textbooks at all. The books will quite likely not be sent home though. Some schools might send books home for homework, while others will set homework not from the textbooks. (I'm a teacher and it all seems mad now I've written it out like that!)

HPandTheNeverEndingBedtime Thu 23-Jul-20 10:33:41

The content is taught in the lesson then they go home and complete the homework task. Homework could be worksheets or completed online. Ours get a homework booklet at the beginning of each half term with a selection of tasks to complete for each subject. They hand their work in the week before the end of the half term so it can be marked etc.

solidaritea Thu 23-Jul-20 10:34:03

In terms of advice for what to buy, you could buy revision type books eg. CGP, if you wanted. Or wait until September and ask the school if they have recommended supplementary books, though it's likely they won't.

PatriciaHolm Thu 23-Jul-20 11:36:50

Homework will probably be online! Much of my kids work was already pre Covid, and of course Lockdown has accelerated that.

Don't buy anything until school ask.

clary Thu 23-Jul-20 11:36:54

Op do you know what MFL he will study? If so there are CGP guides for KS3 which have all the info you'll need.

Many schools don't follow a textbook, or use several, or use one alongside many other resources. Generally they are kept in school for reasons of cost. I taughtMFL (hence my query above) and used four different books for ks3 French, alongside resources from lots of other places, and of course things I created. There wasn't one text book that did exactly what we wanted to teach.

At GCSE it's a different story, but buying textbooks for every GCSE course would be ££££ (French GCSE book is about £25).

clary Thu 23-Jul-20 11:37:49

For GCSE actually I would recommend revision guides plus workbook ahead of the textbook.

unfortunateevents Thu 23-Jul-20 11:41:49

Ireland is very different to the UK. All my nieces and nephews have textbooks in Ireland and list which is provided at the beginning of the year. Our boys have been through school here and most stuff is worksheets or online, very few textbooks. School will advise which ones are needed but it's really not like Ireland where there is a big rush to all the educational publishers in Aug to stock up. Don't buy anything until he starts as there also different exam boards here (unlike Ireland) so you need to know which exam board book to buy, not all boards cover the same material.

tiredanddangerous Thu 23-Jul-20 11:53:07

My dd is in secondary in England and only has a textbook for science. The school will tell you if you need to buy anything.

bookmum08 Thu 23-Jul-20 11:53:29

You don't need to buy textbooks. They aren't really a thing in English and Welsh schools.
For the summer I would maybe find a recommend reading list of novels for Year 7 (although don't insist they HAVE to read them - that can put some children off).

statisticianintraining Thu 23-Jul-20 12:22:38

@clary MFL will be Spanish. No other choice, which is very sad.

OP’s posts: |
statisticianintraining Thu 23-Jul-20 12:24:35

@solidaritea I can't wrap my head round it at all. When we went to the open evening they showed us these scarppy little booklets and advised we will need to buy a lot of pritt stick. Crazy with 11 year olds who will lose stuff.

OP’s posts: |
clary Thu 23-Jul-20 12:52:17

Spanish is great and lots of DC like it bc they can speak it on holiday!

Also more and more resources available. This is the Ks3 guide:
js3 spanish very colourful. There is also a workbook if that's helpful.

LynetteScavo Thu 23-Jul-20 14:34:14

Oh yes, you will need to buy lots of Pritt sticks! Mostly for sticking work sheets in to books at school though.

In England we didn't need to buy any books until GCSE year. In fact I've seen hardly any text or except use books. In Y7 homework was mostly half term projects and Maths was online. You might be better off making sure he has access to a laptop for homework rather than worrying about books.

gooseberrycake Thu 23-Jul-20 15:14:52

Independent secondary in England here. Only a few subjects use textbooks, and the school provides those. Most use a combination of worksheets and online resources. I think the basic philosophy is that the subjects are taught in lessons while homework is consolidation, so books aren't generally necessary. Maybe it will change in a couple of years once they have exams to revise for?

Witchend Thu 23-Jul-20 17:22:34

Mine have just been through secondary. Almost all test books are online. Those that weren't were supplied by the school.

Lougle Thu 23-Jul-20 17:29:44

No textbooks here, either. If a teacher wants them to do something from a textbook, they send a PDF out of the relevant pages. But mostly it's just work set online.

Pritt Stick is very useful.

My best buy for starting secondary school was this expanding organiser folder. One pocket for each subject, so any scraps of paper make it home in one piece.

netflixismysidehustle Thu 23-Jul-20 17:57:25

In England/Wales you buy textbooks when they teach exam years. Ireland is a totally different system.

Do you have colouring pencils and printer ink as well as the Pritt Stick?

netflixismysidehustle Thu 23-Jul-20 17:58:22

Instead of textbooks they use photocopies, share the school textbooks or online resources.

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