Deliver exciting, relevant, integrated science course

6th February 2009 at 00:00

I agree wholeheartedly with most of the comments by Jack Jackson on the teaching of science in his TESS series. I particularly liked his concept of funding for the secondary science teacher who gives support to primary colleagues.

But, as far as science in S1-2 is concerned, I believe it is best taught as part of an integrated course. Science in the real world is a holistic endeavour. If we are to engage pupils in relevant and exciting learning experiences, surely the contexts should bridge the three science disciplines. Secondaries should be searching for ways to build cross-curricular experiences, not breaking the curriculum into discrete sections.

Pupil needs are best met with one teacher who knows them well and is best placed to ensure progression in their learning. This is particularly true for skills development in science. I can see why schools would want to offer biology, chemistry and physics in S3, where many pupils will be experiencing level 4 outcomes under the new curriculum.

It could be argued that teachers need the in-depth training in their particular subject to deliver real insight for pupils into key concepts. But why give our hard-pressed secondary school timetablers another headache by asking for discrete science teaching in S1 or S2?

Let us share good practice in the craft of teaching the new science curriculum and deliver an exciting, relevant, integrated science course to all S1 and S2 pupils.

James More, Kirkcaldy.

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