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Narrowing the Gaps in Science: a Practical Guide for Science Staff and Leaders

The purpose of this National Strategies guide is to support science teachers and subject leaders to establish how well students are doing in science at all stages of their secondary education and to give ideas as to how any emerging issues can be addressed as part of a development programme.

The guide has a particular focus on narrowing the gaps for vulnerable or disadvantaged students and addressing concerns about underperformance by other groups of students, including those who are gifted and talented. The aim is to even out inequalities, ensure that the 'playing field' is level and help teachers to focus on students who are not making the expected amount of progress in science.

1. Overview
2. Introduction: how this guide supports gap narrowing
3. How to use this guide
* The Narrowing the Gaps approach
* Strategies and outcomes
4. Know the gaps
* Identifying and using data
* Using data to set targets
* Using pupil voice to build up a picture of attitudes
* Using lesson observation to review the effectiveness of learning activities
* Department discussion scenarios
5. Narrowing the Gaps: agreeing department actions
* Curriculum provision and planning
* Quality First teaching including literacy in science
* Science pedagogy/How science works (HSW)
* Intervention
* Work with parents and families
* Effective STEM enhancement and enrichment
6. Minding the gaps
* Assessment for learning with Assessing Pupil Progress
* Tracking pupil progress
* Relentless focus on narrowing the gaps
7. Celebrating gap busting
8. Case studies
9. Resources
1. Guidance on running interviews to support the articulation of pupil voice
2. Interview questions
3. Ranking exercise and Diamond Nine – ‘How do I learn best in science?’
4. Lesson observation form
5. The things teachers say
6. Progression in developing How Science Works (HSW)

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