primary & secondary education

Delivering Outstanding Science Teaching

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Central London

This Forum provides an opportunity to examine how to raise attainment and deliver outstanding science teaching. Attendees will have the chance to examine the current landscape and hear from leading policy experts on the impact that assessment reforms have had on teaching and learning. In addition, a range of best practice case studies will demonstrate success in increasing engagement in science, designing and delivering innovative science curricula through creative teaching methods, promoting extracurricular science activities and promoting professional development to raise attainment across the field of science.


This Forum is designed for secondary schools, academies and sixth forms. Typical job titles will include:

  • Directors of Science
  • Heads of Science
  • Headteachers
  • Deputy and Assistant Headteachers
  • Science Teachers
  • Curriculum Managers
  • Subject Coordinators

This event is also open to the Further Education to encourage networking and discussion.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Shaun Reason, CEO, The Association for Science Education (ASE)
  • Chris Carr, STEM Learning Network Education Lead, STEM Learning
  • Ann Wolstenholme, Science Subject Advisor, OCR
  • Emily Yeomans, Head of Programmes – Strategy, Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) 
View the agenda and additional speakers

UK STEM businesses are warning that the current skills shortage in the STEM sector is costing these businesses £1.5 billion a year and this is set to increase. Employers are warning that the UK will fall behind other countries in terms of technological advancements if this skills shortage isn’t tackled soon. Therefore, it is vital that schools are providing the best STEM teaching possible and inspiring the next generation to continue with scientific studies.

According to a report published in January 2018 by the National Audit Office (NAO), there is a serious gender participation gap with STEM subjects. Women only made up only 21.2% of physics A-Level entries between 2016/2017. It is becoming vitally important to encourage women to engage with STEM subjects in order to combat the rising levels of skills shortages in the current labour market.

Many regard the shortage of specialised science teachers as one of the biggest issues affecting the teaching of science. More teachers are being pushed to teach outside of their specialism which can lead to teachers not being as confident and prepared to experiment. Therefore, schools should be encouraging teachers to broaden their specialism through professional development in order to ensure optimum quality teaching and learning, and to better ensure that the pupils are able to fill the current STEM skills shortage.

The Education Endowment Foundation released guidance on improving secondary science which focuses on using evidence-informed teaching to help teachers to use their current resources and time more efficiently to provide outstanding teaching. In January the government announced £2.4million of funding for 11 schools which will lead trails of the new curriculum fund programme. These trials aim to find the best ways to reduce teacher workload and improve results and include schools which have a knowledge rich curriculum in science.

It is therefore vital that schools across the UK ensure they are improving science teaching through strengthening teacher knowledge and cultivating specialist skills. Failure to do so could mean that the future workforce is not adequately equipped to deal with the growing demand for science skills in the labour market.


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Katherine Aston, Lecturer in Science Education, Kings College London (CONFIRMED)


Morning Keynote: Supporting Excellence and Professional Development in Teaching Science

  • Ensuring curriculum content is taught in an engaging manner to instil enthusiasm among pupils and increase attainment
  • Assessing the effect that the new KS4 and KS5 curriculum and grading system has had on science teaching: Challenges and solutions
  • Understanding how to ensure that learning in schools is relatable to the real world and will help close the skills shortage in the STEM
  • Encouraging students to continue with science into Further & Higher Education to ensure the UK is providing skilled workers in to the STEM sector
  • Developing a senior leadership framework to facilitate enhanced teaching practice

Shaun Reason, CEO, The Association for Science Education (ASE) (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Tackling the Attainment Gap in Science Teaching

  • Outlining the key themes in the EEF Improving Secondary Science Guidance Report
  • Using limited time and resources as smartly as possible to deliver evidence informed and engaging science teaching for KS3 and KS4
  • Working with teachers from Maths and English departments to support the development of pupils and their understanding of science
  • Enhancing science teaching through seven areas of recommendation linked by an overarching theme of teaching for engagement
  • Making the most of lab time in teaching through clear sequencing with other learning activities

Emily Yeomans, Head of Programmes – Strategy, Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Enhancing the Quality of Teaching and Learning Through Extended Projects

  • Developing interesting and innovative teaching and learning methods to increase pupil engagement
  • What do these look like and how do they work in practice?
  • Discussing how extended investigative projects help students develop practical science skills and keep engagement high
  • Understanding how an extended study project can effectively prepare students for A-Level science: Focusing on retaining information and putting knowledge in to a tangible context
  • Maximising the use of existing resources and facilities in a short- time frame to encourage accelerated learning over an intensive period
  • Assessing the effectiveness of providing an extended study project and measuring the impact on pupil understanding and science skills

Lisa Niven, Assistant Subject Leader, Chemistry, All Saints RC School (CONFIRMED)  


Case Study: Increasing Engagement Through Offering Outstanding Extracurricular Science Activities

  • Analysing the most effective methods for promoting the benefits of extracurricular science clubs to pupils and parents
  • Incorporating exciting science experiments, assisting with academic research projects and working with the wider STEM community
  • Assessing the importance of providing hands-on science activities for pupils and how this can ensure students are enjoying science
  • How extracurricular science activities lead to more students continuing with STEM subjects and enter STEM careers
  • Sharing guidance on how to successfully run extracurricular science activities: Fitting them into existing financial and time frameworks

Lynn Nickerson , STEM Coordinator, Didcot Girls School (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Lunch and Networking


Afternoon Keynote: Evaluating the Impact of Assessment Reforms on Teaching and Learning

  • Examining the recent GCSE science reforms and the impact that this has had on attainment
  • Sharing lessons from the 2018 GCSE combined science results, how can teachers better prepare their students for the new examinations, including using classroom activities to create a deeper understanding of scientific theories
  • Exploring how pupils should present their scientific understanding to examiners in the most clear and precise way
  • Discussing how examiners will approach question marking and how to emulate this for internal marking to best prepare pupils

Ann Wolstenholme, Subject Specialist, OCR (CONFIRMED)


Special Keynote: Ensuring Outstanding Science Teaching Through Continuous Improvement

  • Discussing STEM Learning’s vision to create world-leading education for all pupils across the UK by encouraging professional development through free and easily accessible content
  • Understanding how to engage lower performing pupils in STEM subjects and help them to progress into STEM-related careers through encouraging professional development for teaching staff
  • Exploring the importance of STEM ambassadors and how they can effectively inspire and engage pupils through activities, presentations and career talks
  • Providing effective resources to support and encourage the CPD of teaching staff and technicians to ensure pedagogies and technical support are in line with curriculum changes

Chris Carr, STEM Learning Network Education Lead, STEM Learning (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study:Discussing What Excellent Knowledge-Rich Science Teaching Looks Like

  • Outlining how to design a knowledge-rich science curriculum with a focus on core academic science knowledge
  • Discussing strategies for maintaining a high level of science teaching whilst supporting the development and sharing of curriculum materials through teacher-led instruction and whole-class teaching
  • Sharing how Oasis Academy South Bank will use the Curriculum Fund Programme to improve results and reduce teacher workload

Hannah-Beth Clark, Head of Department, Science and AAP, Oasis Academy South Bank (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Improving Science Results Through Staff Training Opportunities

  • Exploring how professional development helped support teachers at Bury St Edmunds County Upper school and motivate staff resulting in virtually no staff turnover
  • Understanding how high quality Continuing Professional Development for teachers contributes to excellent student outcomes, with 92% of students gaining A*-C in A Level science
  • Discussing how the science department was able to offer high levels of support for newly qualified teachers, helping them to develop and settle into their new roles
  • Highlighting how to set out clear expectation for professional development to ensure tangible results can be measured

Nadine Payne, STEM Coordinator, County Upper – The Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust (CONFIRMED)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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