Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsWelcome to the last week of the Introduction to Curriculum Design in Secondary Science. We hope you are finding the activities and discussions useful so far, giving you food for thought on how you might tweak or change your curriculum. This week we are going to look at the implications of assessment within science curricula. A lot of time and effort is taken assessing young people. This is often done with summative tests, however there are other formative methods that allow you to adapt and tailor your teaching according to where your students are.

Skip to 0 minutes and 39 secondsWe also need to consider how we develop the mathematical skills of students in science, as well as providing them with opportunities for being more comfortable with extended pieces of writing, including making balanced arguments. Developing confidence with maths in science, and being able to give more detailed, longer responses is key for students to be successful in final examinations and in future careers. As a final thought, there is an old joke-

Skip to 1 minute and 5 secondsa conversation between two people and it goes like this: “Hello- what are you doing?” “I have taught my dog to whistle.” “That’s good but I don’t hear your dog whistling.” “I said I taught it to him, I didn’t say he’d learnt it.” Good assessment is key to finding out if students really have learnt the topic well and should be embedded in the curriculum from the outset.

Revealing evidence of learning

One of the most powerful interventions in teaching is using activities that reveal evidence of learning within lessons, and then adjusting teaching in light of the results. This is formative assessment and responsive teaching.

We start this week by looking at some useful resources which will help to incorporate meaningful assessment opportunities throughout a scheme of learning, not just at the end of a unit.

Discuss

What if students haven’t understood a topic or there are major misunderstandings at the end of a topic - do you still move on to the next topic?

What level of flexibility is built into your scheme of learning for dealing with this?

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Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science

National STEM Learning Centre

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