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What’s the purpose of a scheme of learning?

Teachers discuss what they think the purpose of a scheme of learning is.
TEACHER 1: It’s a guidance. It’s a guideline of what we want our kids to learn. And it’s a direction for us of where we’re going to take our kids. It’s not a black and white document that you just teach from that. So we’re supposed to use it as a baseline and then develop our teaching around that.
TEACHER 2: And it turns the specification into a workable document that whether you’re an experienced teacher or new to teaching, you can access that– takes you through the whole examinable course.
TEACHER 3: Something that’s specific to the children you teach and the teachers who teach your children.
TEACHER 4: Yeah, It’s a good scaffold, a good framework to start building around and to start forming something a bit more substantial. But it’s something that individuals can guide– they can use as a guide to build what they want it to be, that suits everything you want it to but also allows them to use their own unique spin on things.

The curriculum planned for a science department will be turned into a scheme of work, which enables teachers to plan their lessons to ensure full coverage of the content.

While many schools follow the same content, for example in England the National Curriculum or GCSE specification, the modes of designing the delivery locally are wide and varied. So perhaps as a starting point, we should consider having a scheme of learning, rather than a scheme of work. This shifts the emphasis to what is being learnt, rather than what is being taught.

Whether you are in charge of, or contributing to, designing how the science curriculum is implemented in your school, you will need to consider how it will affect all of the teachers, technicians and others. It is worthwhile consulting with other members of the science department to engage their opinions rather than just impose a particular model.

Later in the week we will look at what should be in a scheme of work, and what shouldn’t. But first, what is the point of a scheme of work? Is it a useful for document for teachers? Or is it a document that is designed to appease someone else, such as a management team?

In the video above, teachers from our New and Aspiring Heads of Science residential course share their views of why we have schemes of learning.


What do you believe is the main purpose of a scheme of learning?
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Curriculum Design for Secondary School Science

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