National Strategies: Science

In 2002 the UK Government launched the Key Stage Three National Strategy for science – a school support programme involving locally employed consultants to work with science teachers and departments to raise standards in Key Stage Three science across England (students aged 11-14).

From the introduction to Framework for Teaching Science: Years Seven, Eight and Nine: "The National Strategy for Key Stage 3 is part of the Government’s support for schools as they strive to reach their targets. It began in schools in September 2001 with the introduction of two strands: English and mathematics. Three other strands – science, information and communication technology (ICT), and teaching and learning in the foundation subjects (TLF) – will be introduced in 2002–03.”

The initial approach taken was based around the acronym EPET, that is, to try and raise Expectations about students' learning; focus on Progression through the keystages; to use teaching methods that Engage students more readily; and on Transformation of the teaching profession at Key Stage Three – to build the capacity of teachers. This was all underpinned by ‘frameworks’ which were produced in two versions (2002 and 2008) as the demands of the National Curriculum and the remit of the programme changed.

Education consultants were employed by Local Authorities and trained in the delivery of centrally produced classroom and teacher training materials – central development being undertaken under contract by CfBT and (later) Capita consultants. These materials were then interpreted by the Local Authorities consultants for the local secondary school setting, and used for training and coaching purposes. Materials were often also distributed electronically via the internet.

The Key Stage Three Strategy for science became part of the Secondary National Strategies, with a broader remit than just 11-14 year old students.

The whole National Strategies programme ended in 2011.



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Access and Engagement in Science - Teaching Pupils for Whom English Is an Additional Language

Produced in 2002, this document from the Key Stage Three National Strategy focuses on how the principles of the National Strategy apply to the teaching and learning of science for students for whom English is an additional language (known as ‘pupils learning EAL’)....

Introducing Curricular Targets and Reviewing Action Points Training Materials

Key Stage Three National Strategy training materials produced in 2002 written to help subject leaders to have a clear understanding of numerical targets including aspirational targets, translate this into specific curricular or teaching targets that will improve...

Strengthening Teaching and Learning in Science Through Using Different Pedagogies

This resource from the Department of Education consists of five teacher self-study units which were produced to offer practical suggestions for classroom use on: using group talk and argument; active questioning; improving the learning climate; using models and...

Framework for Teaching Science - Years Seven, Eight and Nine (2002)

This Framework was produced in 2002 by the Key Stage Three National Strategy to provide advice on meeting the National Curriculum requirements for science, and to be used alongside the exemplar publication, Science: a scheme of work for Key Stage Three (for students...


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