Comparing different schemes of learning

Once you have decided on the purpose of a scheme of learning, as well as some of the key things it could contain, it’s a good time to think about how it will be presented. Designing a template can be useful, at least to act as a starting point for developing the scheme.

We have provided some schemes of learning used by different schools as exemplars for you to start to consider what kind of format would be useful in your setting:

It is worth remembering that these templates have been produced to fit the needs of a particular school. They are not perfect, but will provide a useful starting point for you to decide how you might want to present your own scheme of learning, and what level of detail you think is appropriate.

Getting the balance right

You will need to consider how your own science department works. Do all teachers work together, following exactly the same lesson notes? Or are teachers allowed the freedom to cover the content in any way they want, as long as it gets covered?

Most likely it is somewhere in-between. If a scheme of learning is too tightly prescriptive, it might not allow for discussions, differentiation and the professionalism of the teacher.

At the other extreme, if the scheme of learning is too vague, then teachers might not cover everything that is required. A Head of Department may not be able to ensure quality of content delivery, and it may become more challenging to assess across different teaching groups.

Evaluate an exemplar

Choose one of the exemplars, and share in the comments below:

  • Which template you have reviewed.
  • What are the strengths of the template?
  • What are its weaknesses?

Were there any ideas you might use in your own scheme of learning? If not, why?

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Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre

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