Just in… Estyn have shared their information giving recommendations on what Science lessons should look like and the responsibilities of the appropriate parties. All good information which confirms that those who have English as their second language should also be challenged and given scientific experiences.
The report has a context in the Welsh Government’s vision for scientific research, science teaching and the commercialisation of research set out in the Welsh Government document ‘Science for Wales – A strategic agenda for science and innovation in Wales’.
This report also provides evidence for the Welsh Government in relation to a recommendation from the Enterprise and Learning Committee’s report on science, technology, engineering and mathematics: ‘We recommend that the Welsh Assembly Government should carry out a study of why science in primary schools may be experiencing a decline and should explore with Estyn how best to assess science performance in the future.’
Primary and secondary schools should:
provide challenging science opportunities to stretch all pupils, particularly the more able, and eliminate tasks that are too easy;
provide more opportunities for pupils to pursue their own scientific interests;
ensure that assessment and marking practices provide pupils with meaningful advice on how to improve their scientific understanding and skills; and
work with other schools to share effective approaches to teaching and assessing science.
In addition, primary schools should:
make sure that pupils are taught science for at least two hours a week; and
provide training for teachers with weak science subject knowledge.
In addition, secondary schools should:
plan to use a wider range of numeracy skills in science lessons.
Local authorities should:
provide more professional development, support and advice to schools on science teaching and learning; and
support schools to share best practice in science education.
The Welsh Government should:
improve the reliability and validity of teacher assessment by reviewing assessment criteria and introducing an element of external moderation; and
review the National Curriculum subject orders for science to include essential content.
Best practice case studies
You can read the following examples of best practice in the main body of the report:
Cefn Saeson Comprehensive School, Neath Port Talbot
Pontarddulais Primary School, Swansea
Ysgol Gynradd Gymraeg Gartholwg, Rhondda Cynon Taff
Darland High School, Wrexham