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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Leading in Learning: Science

Produced in 2005, this Key Stage Three National Strategy resource is a programme for teaching thinking skills at Key Stage Three which takes a cross-curricular approach to teaching thinking skills, rather than separately timetabled lessons or programmes confined to a...

Developing Critical and Creative Thinking: in Science

This National Strategies study guide offers tried and tested practical suggestions for teachers to use in the classroom when considering the teaching of How Science Works. A variety of tasks help teachers to focus on developing their own creativity and critical thinking, transferable skills which they can pass on...

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Pupil Tracking Systems in Science

This list of key questions, from the National Strategies, helps teachers to focus on and evaluate their science department's systems of tracking students' progress. Using these questions, the science department considers the effectiveness of their strategies, impact on students' progress and identify those who need...

Interactive Practicals: Science Study Guide

This study guide, from the National Strategies, offers tried and tested practical suggestions for you to use in the classroom when considering purposeful practical work in science. The suggestions draw upon the academic research given in...


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