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The ASE Green Tick - Evaluation of Resources

As a professional association, we support our members by creating useful expert evaluations of some of the latest resources, publications and products on the market. 

Our evaluations, carried out on behalf of ASE by experts in particular fields, identify areas of both strength and weakness in these published resources from major educational publishers, to help you make an informed purchasing decision. Our evaluations act as a benchmark of whether these products are suitable for you in your role or fit with your school's overall teaching and learning strategy. 

The full evaluations will be published here (see below) and summaries will appear in Education in Science.

As part of this service from  ASE, we grant publishers and companies the right to use the ASE 'green tick' if the specific resource has met the ASE criteria for quality. 

ASE Evaluated

The Virtual Physics Laboratory (VPL) 

Resource type: interactive physics simulation software
Supplier: Virtual Science Ltd

Expert's view:

This suite of 27 interactive physics simulations allows the user to take ranges of measurements over a wide variety of simulated practicals, from Rutherford’s alpha scattering to measurements of Plank’s constant using LEDs. These are mostly at Advanced level for England and Wales (ages 16-18). Each simulation is set in a ‘laboratory’ that, through excellent graphics and attention to detail, makes the simulation more engaging.

Read the fill expert evaluation

Green tick - virtual physics laboratory

Pasco wireless sensors and Smart Cart

Resource type: Wireless senses
SUpplier: Available from Scientific & Chemical Ltd

Pasco has introduced a range of white wireless sensors to provide a mobile and cable-free solution, particularly useful for schools making use of mobile technology such as tablets, smartphones and Chromebooks. The sensors link to SMARTvue software, which can be installed at no cost on iOS, Android and Google devices. Existing Pasco blue-cabled sensors can also be linked to this system using an ‘AirLink’ interface. 

Read the full expert evaluation

IntoScience

Publishers: 3P (2016)
Resource type: A web-based digital learning resource for KS3 with relevance to KS2 and KS4 

Expert's view:

In summary, it is probably correct to think of this resource as a really useful and engaging tool for reinforcing and extending. For schools that want to be as narrow as possible in just covering the programme of study, there is content beyond what is needed. Others will see the potential for engaging and extending students to take a broader interest in science. There are some idiosyncrasies, but this resource is something that students should look forward to using. Variety is one of the watchwords and students can have a rich experience using this worthwhile support for their learning.

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AQA GCSE (9-1) Biology for Combined Science

Resource type: Student Books
Publisher: Collins

Expert's view:

We all will have our own opinions on the best order of topics for teaching, but the approach here is sensible and useable. Decisions have been made for the reader about where key concepts appear. For example, diffusion appears as a key concept in Chapter 2 “Photosynthesis.” This provides a suitable context rather than dealing with it in an isolated way. Opportunities are taken to revisit and build on the key concepts.

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AQA GCSE (9-1)  Chemistry for Combined Science

Resource type: Student Books
Publisher: Collins

Expert's view:

The textbook has much to offer students of all abilities.  The most able students are well catered for as might be expected, but the differentiation of content and assessment tasks will work well for lower ability students.   It consists of a good balance of information and assessment, and nicely supports key ideas in chemistry and in the mathematics that supports it. 

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AQA GCSE (9-1) Physics for Combined Science

Resource type: Student Books
Publisher: Collins

Expert's view:

The book is divided into seven chapters, which match the seven sections and the order of the AQA physics specification. This feature is helpful for planning learning routes through the course, making the process a little easier to develop and audit. 

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AQA GCSE (9-1) Biology

Publisher: Collins (2016)
Resource type: Student books

Expert's view:

The new GCSE science courses for first examination in 2018 represent a significant shift in emphasis. Well-written textbooks can provide fantastic support for students and teachers alike. They supplement great teaching; provide an accessible and practical resource for students; give a wide range of opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge and understanding of the subject and, last but not least, provide interest and inspiration for the reader. This article explores the new AQA GCSE Biology Student Book from Collins, to see how it measures up.

Read the full expert evaluation

AQA GCSE (9-1) Chemistry

Publisher: Collins (2016)
Resource type: Student books

Expert's view:

Following the major overhaul of the science GCSE specifications, it is refreshing to see that Collins has responded appropriately by completely rewriting its textbooks. This evaluation of the AQA GCSE Chemistry takes a fairly detailed look at how the textbook meets the needs of the new specification with its higher demand. 

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AQA GCSE (9-1) Physics 

Resource type: Student Books
Publisher: Collins (2016)

Expert's view:

To match the new GCSE specifications, Collins has worked in close partnership with AQA to produce its new series of textbooks. Dedicated and bespoke pupil books have major advantages over generic textbooks, and this becomes apparent as one works through the Collins-AQA physics textbook

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EasySense Vu Pack

Resource type: Data logger
Company: Data Harvest

Expert's view:

The EasySense Vu is a data logger that has features specifically aimed at primary age pupils. It comes in a kit comprising a data logger, a plug-in temperature sensor, a mini USB lead, the EasySense 3 software and a site license, as well as a one-year guarantee. The data logger itself has integrated sensors for temperature, light and sound, reducing the need for additional wired sensors.

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Science Bug

Publisher: Pearson
Series Editor:  Anne Goldsworthy
Authors:  Debbie Eccles, Deborah Herridge, Tanya Shields

Expert's view:

This scheme of work for primary science, written by nationally renowned and respected experts in primary science, is designed to cover the curriculum from Years 1-6 (P2-7).  The scheme aims to help teachers to spark children’s imagination and fuel their curiosity through a hands-on approach...

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Science Bug Review ASE Green Tick

SnapScience

Publisher: Harper Collins (2014)
Resource type: Aimed at Year 3 teachers in England. Provides a detailed sequences of lessons to support children to Work Scientifically.

Expert's view:

Whilst many of the activities are not new ideas (which is quite comforting too!), the clear, complete and principled way this resource is presented brings enquiry, context and children’s questions to the fore so that we can be confident we are supporting children to be active in their learning.

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Switched on Science

Publisher: Rising Stars (2014)
Resource type: A scheme of work to support the primary science curriculum. Each year group from Y1 – Y6 is comprised of a set of resources: a teacher’s guide, a CD-ROM and a resource book of photocopy masters to support classroom activities.

Expert's view:

As a new resource, ‘Switched on Science’ will no doubt help teachers ‘get to grips’ with the new curriculum and certainly provides plenty of ideas to ensure the full coverage...There are some very good elements to this scheme, such as the cross-curricular links in Key Stage 1 coupled with the rich questions and a brave attempt to link multimedia formats into a full scheme.

Read the full expert evaluation

Disclaimer: As with all practical work, always follow your employer’s risk assessment (which normally follows CLEAPSS or SSERC guidance). Check that the safety advice, where given, is in accordance with your employer’s safety advice.