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Resources boost for maths and science

Science and maths teachers should make more use of multi-media material and a wider variety of classroom methods to bring their lessons alive, according to the Government's standards unit.

It is sending CD-Roms and other resources to post-16 science providers next month. Similar material for maths is to be piloted.

Speaking at the standards unit's teaching and learning conference in London last week, Kim Howells, further education minister, said: "Qualified professional teachers are now making effective use of our new teaching and learning resources which have been developed by specialist practitioners and thoroughly tested with support from the sector."

Roadshows are being held around the country to give teachers masterclasses in how to use these new techniques and technologies. Other subjects to receive similar support from the Department for Education and Skills are business education, construction and entry to employment.

Science teachers are being urged to film themselves carrying out experiments, with a digital video camera. The recordings can then be viewed more than once by pupils so they can make sure they understand what is going on.

Group work using small whiteboards could allow teachers to monitor progress, without students feeling threatened by "getting it wrong" in front of the class.

Discussion sessions were useful to see what pupils knew and to show their misconceptions, said Mike Kalvis, a biology teacher from the unit's science group.

In maths, more needed to be done to break the mould of a teacher setting out how something is done, followed by a student practising it, delegates were told.

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