Build a 5-year plan for Science
The results of AQA’s Year 10 mock showed that many students cannot use knowledge in unfamiliar situations. Does your science curriculum fall short in preparing students for the 60% of GCSE that’s now Apply and Extend?
Many curricula were designed around covering content - the Programme of Study and the GCSE specification. This can result in what Ofsted chief Amanda Spielman calls “leaving a pupil with a hollowed out and flimsy understanding”. She also acknowledged there was no need to teach for coverage: ‘a good curriculum’ is just as likely to get good results.
What does a good curriculum look like? Science educators worldwide agree that it’s about building big ideas over 5 years. Taking a longer perspective and avoid repetition means there is time for learning in depth, and more practice solving challenging problems.
In this highly practical workshop, we will help you kick-start your 5-year curriculum. Tony Sherborne, who designed the KS3 Science Syllabus, and is creating a 5-year plan with AQA, will take you through three stages.
1. Design the curriculum: Define the vital accomplishments students will have by age 16, for the exam and long-term. Make the big ideas and scientific enquiry practices tangible and integrated with mastery outcomes for each unit.
2. Design the assessment: Track students’ progress in the vital accomplishments. Use the Know, Apply and Extend framework and embed assessment using problem-solving tasks to minimise extra workload.
3. Plan teaching for Mastery: Make more students capable by teaching strategies ‘transferring’ knowledge to unfamiliar situations, and organise units around problems to solve, so students get more practice.
In each stage, you will learn the principles and how to implement them. You will evaluate your provision and prioritise short and long-term actions.
What will the course enable me to do?
- Understand curriculum weaknesses and how to improve them
- Move towards a Y7-11 progression in big ideas & scientific enquiry
- Teach students to excel at applying knowledge - AO2 and AO3
- Track student progress towards big ideas understanding
- Plan coherent topics so lessons connect and build understanding.
This highly practical course is for:
- Teachers of Science at KS3/4
- Heads of Science and curriculum leaders.
Tony Sherborne is a Principal Lecturer for the Sheffield Institute of Education. Since joining the Centre for Science Education, he has created over 800 curriculum resources. Tony founded ‘science upd8', whose innovative topical science materials were used by almost every school in the UK, and created ‘Wikid’, the inquiry-based Key Stage 3 curriculum used in 20% of UK secondary schools. He leads the ENGAGE project, to help teachers across 14 European countries prepare students for dealing with science issues in everyday life.
Feedback from teachers on Tony’s course
An inspiring day with so many ideas. I definitely plan to make a start and make changes.
I really enjoyed this philosophy on education; really made me think. I will be changing the way I do things.
Great concept ideas: I will be suggesting these to my HoD and using Big Ideas. Thanks for a very good learning experience.
A really helpful course and lots of great ideas to start implementing.
Very useful and relevant. Likely to make an immediate impact on planning for lessons.
Fabulous day – I’ve got a lot from it. Lots of good ideas and discussions.
Great to have topic/syllabus drawn up as I’ve been battling this in my own rewrite from scratch.