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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Middle Leaders' Self-evaluation Guide

This guidance, from the National Strategies, is aimed at middle leaders in secondary schools: subject and year leaders, SENCOs and other coordinators of aspects of school improvement.

The resource provides guidance for middle leaders in evaluating the performance of their teams and the teams’ impact on...

Narrowing the Gap: the Gender Agenda - Making a Difference in Science

This guide, from the National Strategies, considers the differences in educational outcomes of girls and boys with the the clear trend of girls outperforming boys at all levels and more women than men graduating from universities and with 'better' degrees. The purpose...

Enhancement and Enrichment: Science Study Guide

This study guide, from the National Strategies, defines enhancement and enrichment in the science classroom, looks at current practice and issues, and provides planning and evaluation guides for activities. Case studies are included, as well as activity plans and...

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...


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