Why it is never, ever, a good idea to teach common sense in school

A quick look in the sky reveals that the sun, like the moon, goes around the Earth.  That’s common sense.  We can see it.  Every day.  It’s obvious.

It is also common sense that the world is flat.  If it were curved we’d see it and feel it, and all those people and kangaroos in Australia would fall off because they would be upside down.

Of course, at this point one might appeal to the notion of gravity.   But where’s the common sense in that?  I can’t see gravity, I can’t feel it, I can’t touch it.  So why should I ever believe in it, just so that I can believe that the world is round?  Which it clearly isn’t.

It’s all a bit like believing that putting a load of gas in a sealed container, opening a tiny gap at one end and setting fire to the gas, will then send the container in the opposite direction.  That’s hardly common sense.

In fact, that’s so simple one might say that’s “not rocket science”, but unfortunately it is.  Exactly that.  Rocket science.  It turns out to be just about the simplest form of science that there is, which is all rather confusing.

Perhaps therefore, the best thing to do at this point is abandon common sense totally and head full speed for some scientific investigations.  And thus, we have produced 100+ Fun Ideas for Science Investigations.

Common sense will tell you that when you are offered a book called “100+ Fun Ideas for Science Investigations” it will include over 100 ideas for some rather interesting and entertaining science investigations that children can undertake in the classroom.

And at this point, at last, common sense holds sway, because that is exactly what it does contain.  For more information or to order 100+ Fun Ideas for Science Investigations for £13.99 as a printed paperback book, £9.99 as an e-book, or both for £16.99 please visit:


Alternatively, you can place an order:

  • over the phone on 01449 766629
  • by email to orders@tradecounter.co.uk
  • by fax on 01449 767122
  • by post to Brilliant Publications, Mendlesham Industrial Estate, Norwich Road, Mendlesham, Suffolk, IP14 5ND.

We are the publishers so we supply it.  That’s not rocket science.

Bridging the attainment gap in science at KS3

One of the most effective ways of helping your struggling pupils, be they dyslexic or slower processors, is to teach via topics and for them to develop an understanding of each topic using active learning techniques such as activities or games alongside the text that has to be read. This will also help your EAL pupils.

At the same time, there needs to be encouragement to write. This is not just writing for the sake of it but using notes to reinforce what is being learned.

In this way, the reading, activities and note taking combine to reinforce key words and concepts while making the learning relevant and accessible.

Oaka KS3 science topic packs contain full colour illustrations and use short words and simple sentence constructions that the students are likely to understand. Key points for each topic are covered in a clear, straightforward manner so any reading difficulty does not get in the way of understanding.

Last year, over 4,000 pupils accessed Oaka Digital, our online KS3 SEN resource library complete with 3D science images. Oaka Digital contains online science topic booklets for biology, chemistry and physics as well as revision quizzes (with recordable results), 3D images and activities to reinforce classroom learning.

To see more about how why Oaka’s multisensory approach works click here, and to review our KS3 science resources, please click here.

To view our brand new KS3 science revision games, click here.

After that, if you feel this could be right for your students, your school can trial Oaka Digital (KS3) without obligation and without any cost for 30 days – just click here. For all our products, we have a ‘no quibble’ 14 day returns guarantee so you can order with total confidence.

Best wishes

Bambi Gardiner
Founder, Oaka Books