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Departmental Evaluation and Forward Planning for Key Stage Three Science Training Materials

The Key Stage Three National Strategy training materials produced in 2003 by the Department for Education was written to help subject leaders focus on the processes of monitoring and departmental evaluation, increase confidence in ways to prioritise developments and develop a systematic approach to the action-planning process.

The materials consist of:
*Tutors notes – includes Overview of the unit, Unit objectives, Outline programme, Synopsis, Preparing for the unit, Resources needed for each session, and Evaluation forms.
*Training slides for the session
*Participants resource pack – copies of the slides and handouts used in the training.

The sessions are structured as follows:
*Session 1 - Forward planning for monitoring and departmental evaluation:
Participants are reminded of some of the key messages from the launch unit and from ‘Introducing curricular targets and reviewing action points’. They then use and review their current departmental action points to identify the progress that has been made since they were written and agreed.

*Session 2- Making monitoring useful and manageable:
Emphasises that to be effective in producing data for evaluation, monitoring needs to be well managed and involve as many of the departmental team members as possible. Participants identify possible sources of monitoring data and consider the sorts of question to be asked.

*Session 3 - Understanding the departmental evaluation process:
Develops the focus on departmental evaluation by giving participants an opportunity to evaluate progress in one of their own department’s agreed action points. This involves a focused discussion with a colleague to help participants to develop greater awareness of the need to ensure that judgements are reliable and valid, based on the success criteria and supported by evidence.

*Session 4 - Forward planning:
The final session includes a number of alternative tasks to meet the needs of participants at different stages of professional experience and development. All the tasks are related to the process of action planning based upon a rigorous departmental audit, set within a context that emphasises the importance of good leadership.

Participants are invited to think about the characteristics of successful departments and the significant role of the subject leaders within those departments. Finally, one way in which the auditing and action-planning process can be managed within an annual cycle is demonstrated. Participants are prepared to follow up the work of the unit by leading their department on to the next stage in the cycle of self-improvement.

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