How to make lessons click;News

24th December 1999 at 00:00
Teachers should focus on specific scientific knowledge and skills, using whole-class teaching to consolidate work and group teaching to stretch abler pupils and support those who struggle.

Primary heads should monitor the teaching of science more closely to ensure it is systematic, adequately resourced and consistent with early secondary work; they should also organise staffing so science is taught either by specialists or more experienced and confident teachers through co-operative teaching or exchanging classes.

Secondary science departments need to reduce considerably their use of individualised or resource-based learning in S1-2 and move to more structured lessons, set more demanding work, including more homework, check any misconceptions at the start of each new topic, adopt broad band setting and agree ground to be covered with primary schools.

Senior secondary managements should make clear that the 5-14 environmental studies guidelines must be implemented and monitor the quality of teaching in science departments. Management should also "find innovative ways of supporting their primary colleagues so that the quality of pupils' learning and attainment in science can be enhanced."

Nationally, schools will be given simplified attainment targets and clearer examples of learning and teaching in science. Assessment of science is to be made more manageable and assessment materials produced to support teachers' judgments, staff development will be introduced and examples of good quality 5-14 science courses will be provided, including practical kits for primary schools.

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