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This content is taken from the National STEM Learning Centre's online course, Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 13 seconds Welcome to Introduction to Curriculum design professional development for secondary science teachers, from STEM Learning My name is Mark Langley and I am the Science CPD Lead at the National STEM Learning Centre in York, UK. As a former Head of Science, I know work with teachers, technicians and others involved in STEM Education, to support raising standards and achievement in schools within the UK and beyond. This course will give you the key underpinnings of successful curricula in science. This will support you to identify good practice in your existing science curriculum, while enabling you to be able to consider changes which could well lead to improved outcomes for students and teachers.

Skip to 0 minutes and 55 seconds It must be pointed out that a perfect “one size fits all” curriculum is almost impossible to achieve, though people have tried. Different schools, different areas of a country, urban or rural settings, socio-economic factors and even teacher attitudes can affect how a curriculum works. All schools should be able to tweak curriculum to their needs, within the bounds set by local and national governments and awarding bodies or examination boards, working to set specifications. Over the three weeks of the course, we are going to look at the key features of an effective science curriculum. Type of science curriculum approaches that can be used, identifying and supporting effective progress for students, embedding assessment, practical skills, mathematical demands and extended writing across the curriculum.

Skip to 1 minute and 44 seconds This week we start by identifying the key features of an effective science curriculum and what it is actually for. We will discuss in particular the everyday document of a scheme of work- or perhaps better, a scheme of learning that teachers use to plan how to implement their curriculum. We will support you to consider what works well for you and your colleagues and we will explore some of the different ways that curriculums are brought together. I do look forward to seeing the comments and engagement you make with the activities in the course and also for all participants to share their experiences, ideas and questions with each other.

Shape how you teach the science curriculum

Welcome to Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science. This is a professional development course from the National STEM Learning Centre for teachers leading or involved in curriculum planning for students aged 11-19 years.

Often the core content of the science curriculum is set, or at least partly prescribed, by external organisations, such as education departments and awarding bodies. However, how that curriculum is transformed into what is delivered within a school is the responsibility of each science department. By designing an effective scheme of work, you will shape how you and your colleagues teach this set curriculum.

In this course, you will explore the choices and ideas for curriculum design to bring back to your team, so that your curriculum meets the needs of you, your colleagues and, most importantly, your learners.

Course support

To get the most out of this course, you’ll collaborate with other teachers, both in your workplace and with others online, to take the ideas from this course into practice.

Download our Quick Guide to Effective Online CPD, which includes a useful reflection grid to use throughout the course. You can download the reflection grid template or copy a Google Doc version to complete each week.

All courses from the National STEM Learning Centre are supported by expert educators and mentors. We’ll be supporting your professional development between 1 June - 26 June 2020 in the discussions throughout the course. There is also a question and answer opportunity with Mark Langley and Louise Herbert post your questions before 19 June 2020.

Self-audit of your understanding of curriculum design

This self-audit task is for teachers and educators, to help you review your current practice and thinking on curriculum design. Setting a development goal and being able to assess your own development is a crucial part of professional practice, so we will be revisiting your responses to the self-audit later. It does not affect completion of the course on FutureLearn.

When completing the self-audit, there are no right or wrong answers. Answer honestly about where you are now, not where you want to be. Your answers will help you to identify what areas of practice you need to focus on the most as you progress through the course.

Self-audit task

  1. Access the self-audit task and complete it.
  2. At the end of the self-audit, click My responses.
  3. Click Download as PDF.
  4. Save the PDF where you will be able to retrieve it to review at the end of the course and acts as a record of your professional development

GDPR: Further details on the opening page of the self-audit task.

Introductions and goals

After completing the self-audit task, in the comments below:

  • Introduce yourself to the rest of the group, saying your role and where you teach.
  • Share your professional development goal from the self-audit.

You may find other teachers have similar goals, and you can discuss the ideas in the course with them over the next few weeks.

Tip: Click Mark as Complete at the bottom right of each step you complete on this course to help you keep track of your progress. Mark over 90% of the course steps complete and you’ll be eligible for a Certificate of Achievement and a STEM Certificate digital badge when you Upgrade. See step 3.15 for more details.

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This video is from the free online course:

Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join: