Science in Primary Initial Teacher Training

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This report from Ofsted focused on the initial teacher training (ITT) in science for primary teachers. The inspection survey took place during the academic year 2000/01. At the time recent inspections of primary initial teacher training (ITT) had focused on training to teach either english or mathematics and also training in the trainees’ specialist subject.

In order to be awarded qualified teacher status (QTS), all primary trainees must also demonstrate the required knowledge, understanding and skills to teach science successfully (the detailed requirements are set out in Circular 4/98).

This survey was designed to establish the extent to which these requirements were being met.

This report is based on the inspection of primary science training at 20 providers of ITT. Fifteen of these were partnerships based on higher education institutions and the remaining five were school-centred ITT (SCITT) consortia. A mixture of twelve undergraduate and eight postgraduate training programmes was inspected. Although the courses inspected reflect the range of provision across the sector, the sample was not chosen to be wholly representative. The findings, therefore, need to be interpreted with some caution.

Inspectors visited schools, colleges and universities to observe elements of the science training; scrutinised relevant documentation; held discussions with tutors, school mentors and trainees; trainees completed a questionnaire in which they were asked to assess various aspects of the training; and inspectors visited 77 trainees during their final teaching experience. Around a quarter of these trainees were science specialists. Information from the questionnaires was used to corroborate the inspection findings.

Report contents:

- Introduction
- Findings
- Quality of Training (T1)
- Assessment of Trainees against the Standards for QTS (T2)
- Trainees’ Subject Knowledge and Understanding (ST1)
- Trainees’ Planning, Teaching and Class Management (ST2)
- Annex 1: List of Providers inspected

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