University boost for experienced staff

5th October 2007 at 01:00

CHEMISTRY TEACHERS are being sent to work in universities for a year as part of a project to ease transition for A-level students and boost the popularity of the subject in schools.

Seven experienced "teacher fellows" have been placed in universities under the Teacher and Academic Fellowship scheme, which began this autumn.

Under the project, run by the Royal Society of Chemistry, teachers will find out how the subject is taught in universities by attending lectures and practical classes.

They will then advise lecturers on changes to the first year curriculum and develop ways for universities to help schools. These could include developing training for non-specialist chemistry teachers or building a team of undergraduate school ambassadors.

University academics will also spend time visiting local schools to increase their understanding of school teaching practices, pupils' ability levels, and the content of GCSE and A-level science courses.

Will Davey, head of chemistry at King Edward VII School in Sheffield, will be based at Sheffield University from this term. His school will receive funding to pay for a replacement teacher while he is away, but he plans to maintain frequent contact.

"Lots of people on both sides think they know what the other side wants, but I'm hoping this project can actually bridge that gap," he said.

The pound;300,000 scheme is part of the society's pound;3.6 million Chemistry for our Future project.

Other universities involved include Warwick, Birmingham, Nottingham, Reading, Coventry and Leeds.

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