Review – Oxford Smart Activate

Oxford University Press
At a glance
  • A comprehensive science resource for teachers and students
  • Part of the Oxford Smart Curriculum Service
  • Student books and other materials accessible online or via hardcopies
  • Integrated literacy and maths aspects for cross-curricular support

Oxford University Press has created something special here that’s going to have science teachers rejoicing.

Oxford Smart Activate, part of the Oxford Smart Curriculum Service, blends curriculum, planning, learning and training into one well-rounded bundle, providing schools with a comprehensive resource science departments can use to refine their existing KS3 practice, or redevelop it from scratch.

OUP’s brand new curriculum for KS3 science, based on Oxford Smart pillars, is at the heart of all the resources, assessment and CPD.

Oxford Smart Activate is available online through the Kerboodle online learning platform, enabling teachers and students to access hundreds of science lessons, resources and materials from anywhere, at any time.

The user-friendly interface lets students and teachers easily navigate through different topics and drill down for more depth when needed.

One of Oxford Smart Activate’s most notable features is its Kerboodle-powered adaptation and individualisation capabilities – a brand-new feature for the Oxford Smart Curriculum Service.

“What Oxford University Press now has on its hands is a product that carries some real clout”

A background algorithm monitors the resources learners are assigned, based on the results of automated assessments. Get it right, and there’s further challenge; get it wrong, and they’ll receive some supporting materials to help them try again.

OUP worked closely with teachers at 29 trial schools, and it really shows. Not only is there an extensive library of CPD material for Activateteachers on how to best approach each topic, but also the option for departmental teams to attend three live CPD sessions per term, with said sessions featuring content and speakers that are of a very high standard indeed.

The sessions are available within the platform itself and can thus be used straight away, complete with accompanying PowerPoint slides that staff can edit and adapt based on their specific needs.

Also worth noting are the assessment tools teachers can set and use to track learners’ progress.

Oxford Smart Activate provides users with a handy score converter, which outputs standardised levels and projections based on completed tasks.

This allows for detailed, lesson-level planning, underpinned by curriculum mapping and seriously impressive levels of clarity.

In short, it’s a teacher’s dream. OUP’s traditionally paper-based resources remain readily available, of course – Oxford Smart Activate has reminded me how convenient it is to have course materials and assorted books within easy reach at all times via Kerboodle’s e-reader functionality.

Learners can even change the background page colour of their books to make them easier to read.

Oxford Smart Activate has been designed with users in mind from the very start, and all resources and assessment have been developed in tandem with the curriculum.

What Oxford University Press now has on its hands is a product that carries some real clout.

For more information visit

Verdict Reviewed by Adam Riches
  • Features an exceptionally intuitive interface
  • The resources are all well-designed, and evidently informed by up-to-date research
  • The presence of additional CPD resources is a real bonus
  • The integrated e-book functionality is extremely well-designed

Upgrade if...

You’re looking to build upon or completely redesign your KS3 science offer. Also worth considering for departments that are keen to develop their collective subject knowledge.
Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press

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