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Exemplary science

THE reality of teaching the revised science curriculum is now with us. The curriculum handbooks and schemes of work will be key reference documents for teachers, but the test of the new curriculum will be how the statutory content is translated into pupils' work. Judging the standard of that work will be crucial for raising levels of achievement.

QCA is now collecting examples of pupils' work to help teachers make those judgments.

By illustrating the intentions of the revised curriculum in detail and establishing benchmarks to show what the demands of the national curriculum levels mean in practice, it is hoped to encourage high quality learning and teaching. This new exemplification material will, therefore, help to raise standards.

Exemplification material will support the Department for Education and Employment's developing science strategy for key stage 3, which also focuses on these areas. Work of pupils in Years 5 to 9 will be used so that the guidance can make a significant contribution to the strategy. The materials produced will also be closely linked to the QCA scheme of work for KS2 and 3.

The guidance will focus on :

* Scientific enquiry, includin work on surveys, investigative techniques, models, and the use of secondary data, with an emphasis on contemporary science.

* Progression and differentiation in expectations, including work on a range of topics exemplifying progression and continuity across years and differentiation across a range of level-related expectations.

* Literacy and numeracy through science. A range of scientific topics will exemplify aspects of the literacy and numeracy strategies, for example, the use of literacy objectives, extended writing, use of mental maths strategies and graphs.

* Assessment strategies. There will be an emphasis on formative assessment methods showing the role of the teacher and the response of learner.

Teachers are invited to contact the science team at QCA (020 7509 5583) to offer contributions and to obtain further details of what is being collected.

The first materials will be published in the spring term of 2001 and will be revised and added to during the year.

Martin Hollins is principal subject officer for Science at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, 83 Piccadilly, London W1J 8QA. Tel: 020 7509 5555. Website:

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