How do I obtain a British school text book?

Off an on for several years, I’ve tried to get my hands on what would be the equivalent of a 7th grade history book, but one from England. I know that school text books are uniquely difficult to obtain, and buying one new from a publisher might be impossible - being an individual and not a school district - or prohibitively expensive. I am now past the point that the research project that I had intended to use the books for could easily be done. However, I am still interested in finding one, perhaps a used one. It’s not as easy to find as it would seem. (To verify this, just try to find one copy of an American public school 7th grade social studies book.) In any case, does anyone have an idea of how I still might obtain such an item? Thanks. xo, C.

Before I start searching my kids book shelves - what age is 7th Grade :confused:

This might be a place to start (in 7th grade, British kids are now in Keystage3).

English Year 7 is ages 11-12, and I presume matches 7th grade. Try searching for ‘ks3 history’, ‘“year 7” history’ and so on. You’ll find more revision guides than text books, but there’s some of the latter.

Here is a general explanation of the National Curriculum for England (bear in mind that Scotland has a completely separate system, and Wales and N Ireland aren’t entirely the same either). This is the government’s list of electronic resources for KS3 History.

How extraordinary. And puzzling. You can buy any school text book you like here. What on earth is the rationale for not making them available to the general public?

Should have thought to check earlier: eBay UK has a KS3 History subsection, albeit hardly bursting at the seams. Might be worth keeping an eye on, though.

Aha, CUP seem to sell direct in America: (and I remember using a couple of these myself :slight_smile: )

I wouldn’t have thought there’d be a big market for them. In the UK the school provides pretty much every tool the child needs right down to pencils if required.

I also can’t imagine too many people buying school textbooks for home use when there are so many other good reference sources.

The Anglo-Welsh school system begins numbering years at what in the States would be “kindergarden” thus American 7th grade would be year 8 in England & Wales.

There’s a big market for school textbooks here. In NSW the government provides them free only to pupils at state schools. Those who attend private schools (and that’s about one third of the total pupils) have to buy their own textbooks.

I appreciate the links here. Some may be of use to me. I’ve been particularly interested in how the whole issue of the Puritans, the Pilgrims, the “exodus” from England, the search for religious freedom, and the move toward independence in the New World are treated in English texts for young people, say, 12 years of age or so. I’ll check out a couple of these sources more carefully, thanks.
As to why it’s so difficult to obtain an American textbook, I have no idea, but it’s mighty hard to find one for sale on, say, Amazon. There is an enormous underlying set of politics to the textbook publishing industry here, which may be absent in the UK - I don’t know - but there could be some connection to that issue. The inclusion of certain material in textbooks is directly related to who purchases the books and for what population. In some states, e.g. California and Texas, there is statewide adoption, meaning that someone has the responsibility for selecting one book from one publisher that will be used in every school in the state. That’s a shitload of books (the technical term) and it’s high-stakes publishing for sure. And what’s included in any particular text is related to their sales and marketing plans for those books. Does that connect to who can buy one and who can’t? I don’t know, but it is a factor in that industry. Just sayin’ xo, C.

If you know the name or enough descriptive details for what you’re after you could try

Enormous database of second hand books for sale online. I used the ‘advanced’ search tab (upper right) and found a heap of stuff just with the keywords ‘british school textbook history’.

Yep, what you describe isn’t the case here. Schools are free to choose and buy their own materials.

Hardly. For most schools, supplying enough books is a financial burden, and they certainly don’t supply stationery!

There’s plenty of parents who will go out and buy anything which might give their child any advantage whatsoever. Also, don’t forget about the private sector, where parents sometimes will simply be given a list of books to obtain.

True enough but I suspect it is mostly revision guides rather than text books. My kids are well passed Key Stage 3 now (ages 11-14) but my memory was that the school (“bog-standard Comprehensive”) provided the text books - certainly true for GCSE (ages 15-16) - while we bought all the Revision Guides. For additional information they used online resources.

Although, as GorillaMan says, schools are free to choose their own textbooks all State schools have to follow the National Curriculum and there is only limited scope for individuality. On the actual topics CC is looking for I am not sure how much will be in any KS3 text book on the Pilgrims but the Puritans would be covered as part of the discussion of the Civil Wars of the 17th Century and the American Revolution is an optional topic for Year 8.

casting my mind back to the 1970s, I can’t recall we had any coverage of the various expeditions to the Americas, or the American War of Independence. The textbook (published some time in the '50s, I think) had long accounts of the American revolution, but we never looked at them.

The schools still have the textbooks. Children might have to share but that’s not really a hardship. And yes, they will provide notebooks and papers to pupils and also loan out equipment such as pencils and rulers etc to kids who don’t have them.

Certainly there are plenty of parents who will do this. I’ve also known parents spend £16 on a navy fleece when the one in the school shop is £4. But that doesn’t mean that they are *obliged * to purchase school equipment.

From my own recollection of school books and current checks with young family members I don’t think much of this is covered in UK textbooks. After all, from our point of view it’s just a bunch of people leaving the country to go somewhere else - that’s happened a lot through history. There’s plenty of coverage of the discovery of the Americas but not much about the *Mayflower * etc.

Interesting, as was **MK VII’s ** post. But, you see, that business that is so common - people leaving to go somewhere else - is NOT the American experience, and so IS somewhat interesting to read about. And also, obviously, that particular group is of interest to us. It’s also interesting to see that teachers everywhere determine what parts of the book to “cover,” and what can be left out. That’s instructive in itself, as was that particular decision.

Sure. Naturally it’s interesting from your point of view because ‘you’ are the people who left Britain and other countries. But it’s really not considered much here, not in schools at least. Actually I don’t think much of the history of the Americas is covered at all.

Ditto. It’s like the (IMO shocking) coverage of Oliver Cromwell, who was a revolutionary who helped ensure the power of parliament wouldn’t be destroyed, and religious freedom & stuff, and oh yeah, he killed a few people in Ireland.