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TSEC Strategies for Teachers of 5-14 Science -
Improving Science Education CPD through Practical Activities
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Quality Assurance         Based in SCHOOL, CLUSTER or AUTHORITY

Ensuring Impact in Angus Council 5 – 14 Science Development

School Based

  • Class Teachers' forward plans are scrutinised by the School Management Team every forward planning period (approx. 6 weeks) to ensure that there is appropriate breadth and balance. This takes account of the science component and is set against the schools agreed science curriculum.

  • Classroom Observation – Schools have established a programme of classroom observation to monitor learning and teaching. This may not always cover learning and teaching in science although some schools have made arrangements each year to ensure that there is a particular focus on science.

  • Each year all schools undertake an evaluation of their work measured against the criteria in ‘How Good is Our School’. Quality Indicators in "Curriculum" and "Learning and Teaching" are taken into account. Science may therefore not necessarily be evaluated on an annual basis although schools will have set in place systemic procedures to ensure that all curricular areas receive attention over a set period.

Cluster Based

  • Science coordinators have been appointed and given training and support in every school, Primary and Secondary. The specific role of the science coordinator is to support the delivery of a quality science course taking account of the school and authority policies.

  • Cluster science groups composed of science coordinators are required to meet at least twice in any school session to share good practice, identify development needs and seek to address them.

  • The group, informed by cluster needs and development, sets the agenda of these meetings. Agenda items are added by the authority science team.

Authority Based

  • Science Staff Tutor Team supports the improvement in science education by providing centre, school and classroom based CPD activities.

  • Advice on planning, resourcing and use of materials is provided to schools and teachers directly and through cluster science meetings and centre-based INSET.

  • Cluster science meetings are used by the science team to disseminate up to date information on science development, provide informal and formal staff development, demonstrate use of equipment, support cluster bids for small grants, organise science festivals and to listen to classroom teachers.

  • Science coordinators are a point of contact within schools and in some cases have been very effective in organising and supporting science development within their schools.

  • The personal contact with cluster science groups, schools and individual coordinators is a useful mechanism for assessing the impact of an initiative and identifying the need for further support.

  • Quality Improvement Officers' (QIOs') Visits

QIOs undertake two formal visits to each school on an annual basis. These visits cover progress in the School Development Plan and a range of current Scottish Executive Authority priorities. As School Development Plans have included the development of 5-14 science as an important target over recent sessions, there has been a range of information gathered on this work in individual schools. In session 2002-2003 science was the focus of classroom observation by QIOs in all schools and a generally high standard of lessons was observed. In 2003-2004 progress on science was identified as an area in which QIOs were asked to evaluate progress towards meeting 5-14 guidelines through discussion with Head Teachers.

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