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Discussion in 'Science' started by peternickson, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. I'm using it at Mount Grace School - students love it and the technicians hate it (lots of practicals). Teachers are divided, but it's more because they are opposed to the new PoS/framework with it's emphasis on HSW. I still think most school haven't implemented the new changes correctly. I'm happy that wikid science does this well. The context driven approach is brilliant and highly enthusiastic teachers will LOVE it.
  2. I'm using it at Mount Grace School - students love it and the technicians hate it (lots of practicals). Teachers are divided, but it's more because they are opposed to the new PoS/framework with it's emphasis on HSW. I still think most school haven't implemented the new changes correctly. I'm happy that wikid science does this well. The context driven approach is brilliant and highly enthusiastic, open to new ideas teachers will LOVE it.
  3. We use it at our school and some of the modules are great but some of the lessons can be a nightmare to coordinate and arrange. The kids like it but it takes a lot more time to plan - this may decrease once we get used to taching it though. I also found some of the lessons i was finding it difficult to find out what the LOs were. We aren't getting the year 8 scheme next year either - mainly due to the delays with the year 7 scheme.
  4. I am a PGCE student and wikid has been the scheme of choiceat both my placement schools. I really liked it to start with because it was all planned for me and I just needed to be sure of what I was doing in the lesson. However, as my planning time has now drastically decreased, the year 7 lessons take up a huge amount of my planning time as some of them can be so complex and getting my head around the logistics of the lesson can take an age! I'm sure if I am teaching it next year it will be much easier as I will hopefully have remembered what I am doing.
    The content is mainly great and most of the activities are fab. The kids sometimes struggle with the activities where they have to use their own initiative but I have found this in non-wikid lessons too. Also I'm not sure if the content is covered in enough detail to give the the good foundations for KS4 so we sometimes revert to a non-wikid revision lesson to go over the science.
    The teachers at my school have voted to keep it for next year so most must like it. Not sure if the technicians got a say in that though!
  5. I have two friends who did their first placements at schools that taught the wikid scheme, and both have sworn never to apply for a job in a school which teaches that scheme.
    I have no experience of it myself, but my first placement school had just gotten rid of it and written their own schemes of work because they found the pupils' learning centred around the characters and 'who did what' but retention of actual scientific content was very low even in the brightest kids because all the science was hidden beneath storylines.
  6. naggin the nag

    naggin the nag New commenter

    I'm at a grammar school and we use it. I don't teach it myself but have had to write lesson plans with learning objectives for some of the Y7 and Y8 biology lessons. There is a vast amount ofmaterial to get through in one lesson, so we have to spread it. Our students are sensible and quite well organised but practicals with large classes can be logistacally difficult. It must be very hard in a 'normal' school! There are forest loads of worksheets and laminated sheets to prepare and it's very heavy on the technicians. The students do engage with it - the problem seems to be when it comes to assessment, it's all on content where the scheme is much more focussed on skills. I have to say that I was staggered at the confidence of my Year 9 students in their approach to investigations, having done WIKID in Y8. I wasn't the only teacher who had that experience.
    We are using Building Learning Habits (Claxton) throughout the school and WIKID develops these areas very well.
    Hope this is helpful

  7. We did it in yr 7, but abandoned it & went back to book based scheme of work for the whole of key stage 3. Wikid was really good when taught by good teachers who related the work to 'proper' science, however the weaker teachers just couldn't deliver it & the less able pupils didn't get it at all. Also not got on with as there are no books to set work from, so the teacher has to be involved in active teaching all the time (no good for some of our lazyer teachers!).
  8. They do seem to have cover work lessons on the webiste and the books are called "get science". Probably just out now. I am wondering how to get the staff to engage with the philosophy behind key stage 3. We don't have much in subject INSET time :-(
  9. SueFlewitt

    SueFlewitt New commenter

    Hampshire has an inspector(y??) advisory service to help you help your students to progress. They advised me not to take on wikid as a scheme of work but to use elements from it as some of it is very good, so that's what I do. Hope this helps. Some Portsmouth schools use it but in Hampshire I think they're a minority.
  10. Mathsteach2

    Mathsteach2 Established commenter

    Very interesting reading, lauravitty, and I have referenced this post in the thread by Gail on how to make science more glamorous.

    I notice UPD8 is only directed at 11-14 year olds. My contention is that if we only have motivated teenagers in our GCSE examination courses, because they are only offered to them as options and they can therefore be counselled or dismissed from them if they are failing, then again we can make our science "glamorous"! What do you think?
  11. Mr Andy

    Mr Andy New commenter

    I can see exactly what Wikid is trying to achieve and disagree with the view that it is assessed on content rather than the skills. I find that some of the analysis and skills is on a par with GCSE courses and I have even adapted the precision/accuracy lessons to improve sixth form applied scientists when evaluating experimental results.
    The biggest problem I find is in some of the contrived character lead story lines. These can be cut but to turn the plans into a good or better lesson a massive amount of time must be spent to get the lesson focus right.
    I would like to see Wikid keep contextualised learning but reduce the character narratives. Continue to integrate skills but leave out the misleading and incorrect vocabulary (e.g. Electromancer!)
    Much of the Enquiry Based Learning is vague and difficult to plan. My final thought is the inconsistency of levels in assessments has lead us to using Badger level ladders and SATS questions which in effect means that Wikid is not quite good enough as a reliable, differentiated scheme of work but it does as mentioned have a lot of valuable resources and ideas.
  12. I taught Wikid during my PGCE. The chemical and physical changes module based on cooking was pretty good and the kids (and me) really enjoyed that. I hated the electricity module and used very little of the SoW for it. It confused me a lot by calling things stupid names and I am a confident physicist! Most of the stories were awful (to the point they were nearly funny), although there were a few neat ideas and like most of the teachers I worked with at the school I resorted to dipping into the Wikid now and again.
    I like to think, if I had the time, I could make better resources myself. The powerpoints are made up from pictures and videos that I could have pulled myself from the internet. Often the links no longer worked. It had a few merits, but as a SoW it was not one that could be simply and effectively taught without a serious amount of planning (teachers and techs). I also found that although the pupils often enjoyed the lessons and remembered the story, they really struggled to take what they had learnt out of the context and apply it in test or to new contexts.
    Overall I would hate to teach it again. There were a few interesting ideas/lessons/practicals etc, but not enough to make up for the issues. I still shudder thinking about calling current "spark stream".
  13. Just to address the points about vague 'enquiry based learning' inconsistency of levels to make sure that there's an information backed balanced of views here.

    The inquiries are guided rather than open-ended, and the amount students have to find out is carefully controlled, and supported by student sheets, pre-information, and explanatory follow ups, as well as quite detailed teachers notes. I'm wondering what's vague about it?

    Inconsistency of levels. Have you seen all the Wikid outcomes (published in the Missions booklets?) For every big idea we have fleshed out the APP descriptors at every level. The problem is really the weaknesses in an across the board National Curriculum levelling system, which dictates that some kind of explanation has to be e.g. Level, and inconistency with APP, which when you unpack the descriptors are at least 1 level above the NC levels. We did this, unlike any other course I know of, and hence our assessments are more challenging. Your students will probably get better results on SATs (which test lower level outcomes), and the highly cued Badger tasks which again miss many of the outcomes that are assessed in Wikid.
  14. I agree... It's not the scheme of work applied it's the teacher and the way of teaching.
    Wikid upd8 is a good scheme for year 7 and onwards however i feel the assessments that we give at the end of each unit are perhaps to difficult. Students should understand it however the scheme doen't cover it properly!
    I don't believe that wikid is a great way of teahing... personally it isn't as wikid as it looks but there you go...
  15. Yes i agree.... Wikid should keep contextualised learning but reduce the character narratives. Also leave out the misleading and incorrect vocabulary e.g. electromancer, who dunnit, what dunnit. (as Mr. Andy said.)
    I think it is a good fun activity however maybe just to do once in a while... my students don't particularly get good grades after following this scheme.
  16. I'm an NQT and my school started doing the Year 7 WIKID at the same time I started and to be honest I've struggled with it. I've spent many late nights trying to put my finger on why I've not got on with it; I've taught a middle and a bottom set. For the low ability it's a disgrace - it needs a lot of padding out with material from exploring science etc. They get too engrossed in the size of Dr Sherl's collar. I've found it very difficult to modify it too because if you take a slide out or change it then it's like missing an episode of Eastenders - Dr Sherl has solved 62 cases and starred in Murder She Wrote!

    I think in an ideal world, WIKID is a great idea. In practice, I think it has its issues. My impressions of the scheme is that it's made for a class of 20-odd top set children who all work well together, can cope with open discussion and have come from a primary school that still do SATS so they can cope with a 66 mark quiz.

    We've just bought in the Year 9 Segue stuff to run from Sept until Easter. It looks a bit more promising; it appears they have made a few wrongs right. Fingers crossed anyway.

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