Staff’s confidence crisis hits science grades

TES  reports on the findings from Ofsted’s ‘Successful Science’ review of science teaching in schools from 2007-2010 which found that science teaching in primary schools has deteriorated over the last three years due to teachers’ “lack of confidence”, Ofsted has warned, however standards have improved in secondary schools.

Areas of particular concern included primary teachers’ limited knowledge of science, the low take-up of continuing professional development and reduced levels of local authority support.

The review found that in weaker primaries, pupils had “fewer opportunities to plan and carry out investigative activities”, and many repeated their learning when they moved between key stages due to “weak communication and poor continuity”. However the abolition of science testing at KS2 had allowed more “varied”, “engaging” and “enjoyable” lessons.

Source: TES and Ofsted ‘Successful Science’  ndp dbda

Examples of engaging and stimulating science resources:
National Grid Education – School Power
Syngenta Periodic Table


ndp dbda

Clipbank (4 Learning and part of Espresso)

Clipbank (4 Learning and part of Espresso)

 • Cross-curricular digital video learning service for secondary schools

 • Subscription based and includes video clips to introduce concepts and reinforce learning, topical ‘News Bites’ to generate discussion, interactive activities to engage interest, teachers’ resources for planning and professional development. Includes activities and worksheets.

• Software installed in schools

• Welcome pack including Get Started guide

• INSET sessions to help teachers embed clips into lessons

• Weekly email newsletter and regular subject updates

• Blog and discussion forum to post and share ideas with others

• Technical and curriculum support

• Free home access for teachers and students

• Files (worksheets that can be tailored), teacher notes, transcripts and vocab text can be cut and pasted into Word for personalisation.

• Subject areas: Art & design, Business, D&T, English, French, Geography, German, History, ICT, Maths, Music, PE, PSHE & Citizenship, RE, Science, Spanish.

Source: BETT Show 2011

Jaguar ‘The Jaguar Cars Maths in Motion Challenge for Schools’

Jaguar ‘The Jaguar Cars Maths in Motion Challenge for Schools’
• About: using PC-based simulation linked directly with practical mathematics, students work together in small teams, over a period of time, trying to win a series of aces against their classmates. They use basic mathematics and more.
• Challenge aim: to win races in school, get through the regional heats and reach the National final; to raise achievement levels and the perception of maths in schools.
• Who’s eligible: All UK primary and secondary schools for three ages: any primary age Years 7-9 and Years 10-11.
• Maths topics covered: percentages, multiplication, division, calculators, decimals, rounding, rations, chance, risk, measuring angles, measurement, scale, speed, distance, time, mean, modelling, graphs, stats, engine tuning, aerodynamics, suspension and gears.
• Subjects: Maths, Science, Technology, Engineering, D&T and English. Students are eligible to apply for bronze CREST award.
• How it works: work through practical maths, measuring and scaling real race tracks, determine characteristics of the circuit. This info entered into software and merged with decisions made about fuel carriage, tyre types, car set-up and driver temperament. All cars are then raced and if answers are wrong they will crash. Lead Centres and individual schools can purchase software package.
• Timeline: In-school Champions (Feb/March 11); LA (Local Authority boundary) winners announced (Mar 11); Semi Finals (May 11); Finalists announced (May 11); National Final (June 11).

Source: BETT Show 2011

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