primary & secondary education

Delivering Outstanding Science Teaching

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 30 April 2019

Central London

This Forum provides participants with an excellent opportunity to examine how to deliver outstanding science teaching. Attendees will have the chance to examine the current landscape of Science curricula in the UK and hear from leading policy experts on the impact that assessment reforms will have on teaching and learning . In addition, best practice case studies will share innovative science teaching methods, promoting extracurricular science activities and empowering teachers to provide excellent teaching through personal development.


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
  • Heads of Department
  • School Improvement Officers
  • Science Advisers

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

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive, STEM Learning
  • Shaun Reason, CEO, The Association for Science Education (ASE)
  • Ann Wolstenholme, Science Subject Advisor, OCR
View the agenda and additional speakers


Registration, Refreshments and Networking


Chair’s Welcome Address

Dr Melissa Glackin, Lecturer in Science Education, Kings College London (Invited)


Morning Keynote: Outlining the Government's Vision for Outstanding Science Teaching

  • Evaluating recent changes to KS4 and KS5 science curricula and assessments, and the impact this has had on teaching and learning
  • Assessing the impact of the change in grading system for GCSE combined science students
  • Discussing how the new GCSE combined science qualification will impact attainment
  • Assessing the importance of, and sharing strategies for, encouraging school leavers to continue studying science, and retaining more girls in STEM subject
  • Exploring the next steps in science teaching, including what to expect from future reforms

Senior Representative, Department for Education (invited)


Special Keynote: Supporting Excellence in Teaching Science

  • Discussing how to ensure curriculum content is taught in an engaging manner in order to instil enthusiasm among pupils and increase attainment
  • Understanding how to ensure that learning in schools is relatable to the real world and will help close the skills shortage in the STEM labour market
  • Assessing the effect that the new KS4 and KS5 curriculum and grading system has had on science teaching
  • Encouraging students to continue with science into higher education to ensure the UK is providing skilled workers in to the STEM sector

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


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Enhancing Pupils' Specialist Skills Through Extended Projects

  • Exploring the importance of creating interesting and innovative teaching and learning methods, and the impact this can have on increasing pupil engagement
  • Discussing how extended investigative projects can help students develop practical science skills and keep engagement high
  • Understanding how an extended study project can effectively prepare students for A-Level science by teaching them how to better retain information and put this knowledge in to a tangible context
  • Outlining how to maximise 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 how this will affect pupils understanding and science skills

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


Case Study: Offering Outstanding Extracurricular Science Activities to Increase Engagement

  • Analysing the most effective methods for promoting the benefits of joining extracurricular science clubs to pupils and parents, including 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
  • Hearing from Didcot Girls’ School on how extracurricular science activities can lead to more students continuing with STEM subjects and enter STEM careers
  • Sharing guidance on how to successfully run extracurricular science activities and increasing pupil learning and understanding, including creating inclusive activities for all age groups

Adam Naylor, Head of Science, 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 teachers can better prepare their students for the new examinations, including using classroom activities to create a deeper understanding of scientific theories
  • Understanding how science assessments have changed under the Progress 8 grading system and how this will affect pupils and teachers
  • Maximising transferrable skills through pupils’ understanding of scientific ideas and practices
  • 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 World-Class Science Teaching to Prepare Pupils for Science Careers

  • Discussing STEM Learning’s vision to create world-leading education for all pupils across the UK
  • Understanding how to engage lower performing pupils in STEM subjects and help them to progress into STEM-related careers
  • 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

Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive, STEM Learning (CONFIRMED)


Case Study: Inspiring and Engaging Female Pupils

  • Understanding the common barriers to engagement in sciences including perceptions and gender stereotypes
  • Exploring the most effective methods of engaging pupils in the physics curriculum including creating engaging and inclusive classroom environments
  • Sharing how cross-departmental working can be an effective method of engaging female pupils through the use of practical experiments
  • Understanding how to encourage female students to study STEM subjects at Higher Education by ensuring career paths are clearly communicated

Edith Goakes, Teacher, Wimbledon High School (invited)

Winners of the 2018 Teachers of Physics Award from the Institute of Physics 


Questions and Answers Session


Refreshments and Networking


Case Study: Effectively Using Science to Teach Literacy

  • Discussing the best methods for UK schools to address science curriculum reforms
  • Understanding how to prepare for future curriculum changes whilst still being able to ensure teaching and learning is innovative and interesting for pupils
  • Sharing guidance from outstanding science teaching on an international scale
  • Exploring how to best support science teachers when adapting to curriculum changes and increase professional development to ensure pupils are able to ensure a deep understanding of scientific ideas

Professor Jim Ryder, Professor of Science Education, University of Leeds (invited)


Case Study: Providing 'Outstanding' Science Teaching and Learning

  • Exploring how to deliver ‘outstanding’ science teaching from a leading comprehensive school
  • Delivering a successful STEM strategy to encourage pupils to continue with these subjects at post-16 level
  • Understanding how to encourage A-level students to continue with Science through to higher education by providing efficient support and ensuring career pathways and possibilities are clear
  • Ensuring science is made accessible to all pupils through tailored lesson plans depending on ability level to maximise attainment

Rebecca Gavin, Science Coordinator, Harris Girls Academy Bromley (Invited)


Questions and Answers Session


Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change

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.

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.

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