Good practice

27th November 2009 at 00:00

Talk about science

Whitburn Academy in West Lothian has been praised by HMIE for developing S1s' knowledge of topical science issues. Each week, a pupil presents a science item from the news to the rest of the class. A "Press Pack", produced by teachers, helps them work independently on their presentation, giving advice on how to reference sources of information, develop knowledge and understanding of scientific vocabulary, and improve note- making. After a pilot in February-March, teachers introduced "Science Reporter of the Week" in August. The young people's interest in the subject has increased. They enjoy presenting ideas, and knowledge of topical science is better. They can use terms more accurately and discuss difficult concepts with confidence.

Additional support

Dunoon Grammar has been working on primary-secondary transition for children with additional needs. The principal teacher of support for learning and the area network support team identify those who require extra help. They then hold meetings with colleagues from P6 onwards, and involve the children and their parents in planning. The pupils set themselves targets, such as "I want to get better at typing on the computer", taking responsibility for planning and achieving them. Parents are reassured their children's strengths and support needs are identified and met. Early links with the secondary are established, as each pupil is allocated a teacher who acts as contact for parents and agencies, ensures resources are in place, and arranges staff training.

Historical experiences

Teachers at Turriff Academy in Aberdeenshire have created partnerships with heritage groups, and organised speakers and visits to develop pupils' understanding of their local, national and international heritage. First- hand experiences have enriched their views and had a positive impact on understanding the past, increasing the challenge and enjoyment of the subject.

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