Developed by the Secondary National Strategy, this project and materials started after a trial in 2007 under the name of the ‘Progressing to Level 6 and beyond in science’ project, commonly abbreviated to the Level 6+ project. It was intended to enable teachers to raise understanding to higher levels at Key Stages Three and Four. It was renamed the Maximising Pupil Progress project in 2010 and ran until the Secondary National Strategy ended in 2011.

Context and development
Local Authority consultants supported teachers in the planning and execution of the project in schools, and through meetings between schools. However, not all Local Authorities ran the project and those that did only focussed on a subset of their schools. Materials were produced by consultants and teachers and extra themes and materials were added as the project progressed.

The focus of the project work was chosen by science teachers, depending on their needs and those of their learners. A four stage approach was encouraged:
* Stage 1 – Baseline - Teachers identify students and priorities and baseline their levels of understanding.
* Stage 2 – Familiarisation - Teachers choose, develop and integrate resources into lessons, and start to involve other staff if possible.
* Stage 3 – Implementation - Teachers develop teaching and run lessons with the identified groups of students.
* Stage 4 – Evaluation - Teachers re-assess their students to look for evidence of impact.

Initially, teachers chose the theme (or ‘strand’) on which they would like to focus, from:
* Aspects of ‘How science works’
* Scientific writing
* Research skills
* Effective group talk
* Understanding misconceptions
* Using models

Additional materials were added later:
* Developing writing in science
* Understanding ‘How science works’ – which includes the processes and philosophy of science and scientists, and a ‘How science works’ road map

Alongside specific resources for use and adaptation in lessons, general guidance was also produced for science subject leaders and school senior leaders to support the work of colleagues in school.

Each strand includes a ‘steps’ table which has descriptors of student skills and understanding moving up in four steps from relatively simple understanding towards more complex. Teachers were asked to assess their students against the descriptors to identify which step best describes their current position; then teach so as to try and move them up to the next step. Finally it was intended that they reassess against the steps table to see if the process has been effective. Documents and questionnaires were provided to help teachers do this, and also to help the students assess their own progress using ‘pupil speak’ versions of the steps tables.

Resources

Senior Leader Guidance

The materials in this resource are from the Secondary National Strategy ‘Progressing to Level 6 and beyond in science’ project. They were intended as guidance for senior school leaders in a school undertaking the Level 6+ project.

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Aspects of How Science Works

The materials in this resource are from the Secondary National Strategy ‘Progressing to Level 6 and beyond in science’ project. They were intended for science teachers who are focusing on helping their students in developing skills in aspects of ‘How science works’ –...

Scientific Writing

The materials in this resource are from the Secondary National Strategy ‘Progressing to Level 6 and beyond in science’ project. They were intended for science teachers who are focusing on helping their students in developing general skills in scientific writing. For a more specific focus on explanations, arguments...

Research Skills

The materials in this resource are from the Secondary National Strategy ‘Progressing to Level 6 and beyond in science’ project. They were intended for science teachers who are focusing on helping their students in developing skills in researching scientific issues....

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