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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Booster Lessons, Guidance and Training Materials

Key Stage Three National Strategy training materials produced in 2002 written to help subject leaders prepare their staff and students for Key Stage Three national tests in science (SATs). National Key Stage Three testing for all students aged 14 years old ended in 2009...

Making Good Progress in Key Stage Three Science

Produced in 2007-2008, this Secondary National Strategy guidance was written to help teachers support students in making progress in their learning during Key Stage Three.

Through the use of evidence from interviews...

Science Teaching Units (Key Stages Three to Four)

Produced in 2008, these Secondary National Strategy lesson plan sequences were written to help teachers in planning for and teaching specific ideas important to their learning from Key Stage Three to Key Stage Four.


Literacy and Learning in Science

Produced in 2004, this Key Stage Three National Strategy guidance was produced for science subject leaders to help them implement literacy and learning in science as part of a whole-school initiative designed to improve teaching and learning and raise standards. It was...


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