An experiment that failed

6th June 2003 at 01:00
IT was interesting to read the comments (TES, May 23) about key stage 2 English and maths Sats. As a KS2 science specialist I feel that the 2003 papers are also worthy of comment.

The widely accepted definition of science is that it is a broad body of knowledge as well as a way of working and thinking. In previous years the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority focused on the first half of this definition, realising the difficulty in assessing the practical element of science using pencil and paper. This year it focused almost exclusively on the second half. Simple scientific concepts were wrapped up in elaborately described investigations.

Did the QCA's efforts result in a science paper more suitable to the maths curriculum? The children I teach described the experience as "boring", with more boxes to tick than ever before. Hopefully the experience has not turned this entire cohort of young people off science forever.

Nancy C Bilderbeck

83 Warrington Crescent, London W9

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