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PGCE student needing help with progression in science

Discussion in 'Science' started by PeggyDee, Dec 22, 2011.

  1. PeggyDee

    PeggyDee New commenter

    Please could any science teachers give me some help? I am a PCGE student for secondary science. Part of my course involved some experience in primary school for observation. I attended a lovely primary school where the staff were very friendly and helpful but my time there was only three days (as required by my course) and I did not get an opportunity to specifically observe and science lessons or discuss the subject with any science teachers. (Not the fault of the school but unfortunately the time I was there they were focusing on certain themes which prioritised other subjects for the days I was there.)
    My primary school observation did cover literacy, numeracy, citizenship, mathematics, EAL and several discussions with the teachers of these subjects. I need to know a bit more specifically about progession in <u>science</u> from KS2 to KS3.
    Could teachers of Key stage 2 SCIENCE please advise me of concerns they have in teaching the subject at KS2 level and concerns about progression to KS3? Or point me in the direction of relevant research or literature or even outstanding lesson plans showing progression? Thank you so much for your help.
     
  2. PeggyDee

    PeggyDee New commenter

    Please could any science teachers give me some help? I am a PCGE student for secondary science. Part of my course involved some experience in primary school for observation. I attended a lovely primary school where the staff were very friendly and helpful but my time there was only three days (as required by my course) and I did not get an opportunity to specifically observe and science lessons or discuss the subject with any science teachers. (Not the fault of the school but unfortunately the time I was there they were focusing on certain themes which prioritised other subjects for the days I was there.)
    My primary school observation did cover literacy, numeracy, citizenship, mathematics, EAL and several discussions with the teachers of these subjects. I need to know a bit more specifically about progession in <u>science</u> from KS2 to KS3.
    Could teachers of Key stage 2 SCIENCE please advise me of concerns they have in teaching the subject at KS2 level and concerns about progression to KS3? Or point me in the direction of relevant research or literature or even outstanding lesson plans showing progression? Thank you so much for your help.
     
  3. Not really my speciality but am taking pity on you - I remember being a PGCE student. Two ideas here:
    1) Firstly write a lovely thank you letter (or letters) the the lovely helpful people at your Primary school for the help they gave you, with specific mentions of whatever was really helpful. Then after 2 or 3 weeks, contact them again (or the person that would be able to help the most) and ask if you can come in and have a chat, or take them out for a coffee, and ask them what you need to know - if they are willing to spend the time with you.
    2) Additionally, to prepare yourself for this chat, and in case it does not happen. Read the KS2 & KS3 science curricula carefully and try to spot the links between the two -specifically areas where it looks to you as if there may be problems getting the pupils to progress. Then you can ask specific questions and be well informed when you have your chat. If no chat is available, then you may just have to report on areas where you think there may be problems - but at least you will have a decent knowledge of the syllabuses, having looked at and compared the two.
    Happy Christmas!
     
  4. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    I teach in a middle school so have taught both KS2 and 3 Science. This year I only teach Year 6 though. I would say that the main problem having taught both is that the assessment is completely different. Current adivise in my LA is to use the old NC level descriptors i.e Sc1-4 (from the Curriculum 2000 document) for KS2 and the new level descritpors for KS3 i.e AF1-5. This means they are being assessed differently from the outset. (even when KS3 were using SC1-4 the levels were different.) It is harder to get a L5 from the KS3 levels than KS2. Children historically dip between the two Key Stages because of this. (although I would say this is more like 1 sub level/2 points dip in middle) I know in secondaries the dip can be a lot more. I may get shot down in flames here too, but I find that when I have been to county science meetings secondary school teachers have much lower expectations of there Year 7s than we do in middle, although granted we already know them and get to start KS3 curriculum with Year 6 in the summer term.
     
  5. paulie86

    paulie86 New commenter

    Another point I have thought of from KS3 perspective is that: the curriculum is very repetative. They do electricity, adaptation and interdependence and forces in Year 6, which allcome up in Year 7, with many similar objectives. The repetition of topics, seemed to get even wrse with the introduction of the new KS3 curriculum. Maybe this switches children off and makes them become disseffected? I also think that particularly with science in primary some staff are nervous to teach it and this means that when children get to secondary they have very patchy understanding, this means that if they are in mixed ability in Year 7 some of them will be being taught to suck eggs and others will have a lot of catching up to do.
     
  6. PeggyDee

    PeggyDee New commenter

    Thank you all for your comments and advice. I think this will certainly help me both with the assignment I need to do and with understanding what I am facing next year. I will definitely be writing to my primary school and trying to set up a meeting with the science teachers there.
    Thank you all, and have a lovely Christmas.
     

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