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Mixed messages

Early reaction to the first sight of A Curriculum for Excellence science outcomes for "Planet Earth" has been mixed.

Stuart Farmer, leading member of the Association of Science Education in Scotland and head of physics at Robert Gordon's College in Aberdeen, describes the outcomes as "a good attempt at providing coherence and progression of knowledge and skills development, at least in each line".

However, he feels the statements are "relatively vague" while being "quite prescriptive of content knowledge and skills and even almost of pedagogy".

He added: "For teachers to get a better understanding of the statements, it will be important that a good level of further exemplification is provided and that plenty of good quality CPD is available, especially for areas such as 'topical science', which is not well covered by the current curriculum and in which many teachers may lack confidence.

"I am still concerned that subjects may be developed in 'silos' and insufficient attention may be paid to cross-curricular themes and to basic skills such as numeracy and the use of ICT."

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