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This is a review of the Galore Park curriculum and textbooks for use in the homeschool. We’ve been using Galore Park Textbooks for a few years now and really love it for its thorough subject coverage and the progressive way it develops and deepens essential subject skills and knowledge.
Two of my kids are currently beyond using the Galore Park KS2 and KS3 books. They didn’t even need to finish the KS3 textbooks as they were more than ready to start their GCSEs in these subjects. We actually ended up doing one year out of the three years of KS3 then they started on their GCSEs.
The curriculum covers a wide range of subjects, although we have mainly used it for science, and have also dipped in and out of them for English, French and maths.
The Galore Park are such quality textbooks. Really there is too much to cover in a year, so don’t worry if your child doesn’t get to do every exercise.
Make sure to check that the level is appropriate to your child. I would check the year your child is in, but also check the level of the books one year down as they’re quite rigorous. The textbooks alone would provide a strong academic foundation. Plus they’re not restricted to the confines of the national curriculum, which is a huge bonus in my eyes.
Galore Park also places a strong emphasis on independent learning, providing clear instructions and guidance for both children and parents. They are open-and-go resources; it is easy to use across all books. The content is well-structured and carefully sequenced, giving a gradual progression of skills and knowledge.
One aspect that sets Galore Park apart from other textbooks that I’ve seen, is its emphasis on critical thinking. The curriculum encourages kids to think analytically. This can also make the curriculum challenging, which is why I recommend checking the levels and not going by the year of your child.
The only downside, I would say, is that you do have to buy the answers separately so it can get more expensive than alternative textbook options. However, depending on how confident you are, you might be able to get away without the answers. Despite the cost, I do think this range of books is completely worth it as the books are so thorough.
I actually have all of the books for science, maths and English for all of the years from Year 3 – Year 9!
I have the newer versions for the primary years, which I will link below.
I have the older Galore Park “So You Really Want To Learn” series for KS3 Maths, English and Science. I haven’t used the newer versions for KS3, so I’m not going to link to them, but there should be sample pages on Amazon that you can see.
The English textbooks have good reading suggestions, interesting subject matter and covers grammar in a comprehensive way.
Each chapter is centred around a theme. Each chapter also focuses on a specific comprehension skill, for example retrieval or inference, which is nice as it explicitly breaks down the different elements of comprehension and allows the child to concentrate on one element at a time. The English textbooks also have speaking and listening activities, but as the book is written to be used in a class setting, some of these may not be practical in a homeschool setting.
Embedded throughout the pages are questions and tasks that get kids to practice comprehension skills, using grammar correctly, practise using punctuation and spelling, develop their vocabulary, and practise creative writing skills.
Like I said, its an all-in-one, open-and-go resource requiring no preparation time at all. Even if, like me, you end up using books that you use as read-alouds as your main resource, having the level appropriate Galore Park English textbook is a time and sanity saver. I have written a post in which I’ve detailed how I teach English in the primary years. I just refer to the Galore Park textbook, choose what I want to focus on with my kids, and then use our read aloud to teach that element.
When my kids are older or when I’m busy, however, it’s as simple as telling my kids to “do an exercise from the textbook”, and I know that they would have practiced a key skill.
As I have mentioned before, I have all of the Galore Park English textbooks in KS2 and KS3. Linked below are the English textbooks for Years 3 to 6:
For Maths I use the amazing MEP programme (which is just fantastic and is available for free, online -I believe kids will become wizzes at maths thanks to this programme!)
However, MEP does rely on parent/ teacher involvement for it to be truly beneficial. It does also need some maths knowledge in order to use it confidently. Because of these reasons, Galore Park is my next best recommendation for maths.
One of the best things about Galore Park Maths textbooks is that it has written explanations and modelled working out that the kids can read independently or with you before starting the exercise. There are plenty of questions for each skill. In my opinion there are more than what should be done in one sitting, so you could always leave a few questions every exercise and come back to them as a review. The pages are also not busy with irrelevant pictures and characters like some of the Maths textbooks that I’ve seen. It does use colour which enhances its visual appeal and off course there are diagrams when needed.
At the end of each chapter there is a summary exercise which has a selection of questions from the skills taught in that chapter. This can serve as a really useful guide as to how well concepts have been understood before moving on to the next topic. Like the English textbooks, the Galore Park maths textbooks are an open-and-go resource requiring no preparation, and it completely covers everything that is needed.
Linked below are the maths textbooks that I have bought and used for maths for Years 3 to 6.
For science, the Galore Park textbooks cover a variety of topics in a clear way. There are plenty of opportunities for children to show what they have learnt with questions and experiments. I have mentioned that these books do not contain answers, but the answers are in the text.
For Years 3 to 6, we wouldn’t always bother with writing out the answers to the exercises. We would often just discuss the questions, and I might get my children to write three things they remember, or copy and label a diagram. For the primary years, the book also has lots of investigations and experiments, so some extra items are required for experiments, but most things are easily available.
In short, the Galore Park textbooks have been brilliant to use as a textbook to work through and as a reference to refer back to. Even if you used just the Galore Park textbooks and nothing else, you know you are getting more than the National Curriculum done.
My son used the Galore Park French 13+ revision guide as a precursor to French GCSE. Again the vocabulary and grammar in the book helped really prepare him to start his French GCSE with ease.
And the same for my daughter. She chose Geography as one of her GCSE options, and I believe it was the interest sparked by the Geography textbook I bought. We started the first chapter. Although it was so interesting, we never actually got round to studying it- too many things to do at the time. My daughter did however read it cover to cover. It covers the whole of KS3 Geography. Now that she has started Geography GCSE, we can see how great this textbook is as so many of the topics overlap. I really wish that we had made time to study this book.
If you have any questions on the products I have mentioned, please ask in the comments. I would also love to hear about what textbooks/ resources you have used in your homeschool.