primary & secondary education

Delivering Outstanding Science Teaching

primary & secondary education

08:45 - 16:00

Tuesday 30 April 2019

The Hatton- etc Venues, 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) 
  • Lisa Niven, Assistant Subject Leader, Chemistry, All Saints RC School
  • Nadine Payne, STEM Coordinator, County Upper – The Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust 
View the agenda and additional speakers


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

  • 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

Neil Wade, Lead Subject Advisor for Science, 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

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.

Lisa Niven, Assistant Subject Leader, Chemistry, All Saints RC School

Lisa Niven is a chemistry specialist with 15 years teaching experience, the last four as a Head of Chemistry.  Her varied posts include working in a challenging comprehensive, a grammar school, a rural comprehensive, and a faith school.  She is passionate about helping pupils both identify the ‘when will I ever need to know this’ and view science as a subject providing lifelong skills. Lisa has a BA in Chemistry from St. Olaf College, MN, USA and entered the teaching profession via the GTP. 

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

After training to teach with Teachfirst, I was lucky enough to be part of the founding team at Oasis Academy South Bank.  We have worked incredibly hard to develop a shared curriculum in Science.  Based on leading research in cognitive science we have built a curriculum that ensures our students become knowledgeable scientists and have a consistently excellent Science education.  We were really pleased to receive some brilliant results for our first cohort of GCSE students this summer.  Now an Assistant Principal, I am currently leading a DfE funded pilot of our KS3 Science curriculum across seven London schools.

Lynn Nickerson , STEM Coordinator, Didcot Girls School

Lynn studied chemistry at Durham University, then gained a D.Phil. in physical organic chemistry from Oxford. She spent 6 years developing anti-cancer drug treatments at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Harvard University.

An interest in young people and practical science led to a career change, and she has spent over 20 years in education, as a technician, teacher, tutor and STEM Coordinator. Lynn has been running extracurricular science activities including leading school science clubs throughout this time.

She has been a Royal Society of Chemistry practical consultant and Regional Education Committee member and sits on the British Science Association Stakeholder Panel.

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

Shaun is Chief Executive of the Association for Science Education (ASE), the largest subject association in the UK. He sits on several influential science education groups and is a regular speaker at national and international events. Shaun spent twenty years in science teaching, including seven years as a Secondary Headteacher before becoming Chief Executive of a Company Group, overseeing five companies across the education, not-for-profit, commercial and charitable sectors. Shaun was also a National College for Teaching and Leadership Consultant for the National Professional Qualification for Headteachers (NPQH) programme and several other leadership courses.

Chris Carr, STEM Learning Network Education Lead, STEM Learning

Chris is the Network Education Lead for STEM Learning, the leading provider of STEM CPD for teachers across the UK. Chris has a long track record as a science teacher, is seconded to the National Space Academy as a Lead Educator and has served in various senior leadership positions in secondary schools and colleges.

A strong believer in the importance of teacher development and training, Chris has delivered on national training programmes in the UK and on international programmes for STEM teachers in China and Europe. A teacher at heart, he is committed to delivering the best possible education for all young people.

Katherine Aston, Lecturer in Science Education, Kings College London

Katherine Aston is Lecturer in Chemistry Education at King’s College London, where she leads the PGCE in Chemistry. Through teaching and research, she works with educators to help pupils develop meaningful connections with the world of chemistry. She has previously worked as a science teacher, an assessment designer, and a researcher in science education. Katherine holds Masters degrees in Chemistry and in Education, and is writing up her PhD thesis in Chemistry Education.

Nadine Payne, STEM Coordinator, County Upper - The Bury St Edmunds All-Through Trust

Nadine has been a Chemistry teacher at Bury St Edmunds County Upper since 2003 and has led the Norfolk and Suffolk Science Learning Partnership since its infancy in 2012. As an SLE and the Science Learning Partnership lead, Nadine has a passion for developing science teachers across the region, ensuring they feel supported and able to constantly improve their own subject knowledge and skills in the classroom.

Within her own school trust, Nadine has supported her team with the development of an all-through curriculum and by participating in the Science Mark pilot, her team were able to gain the Gold Science Mark and were awarded the STEM department of the year for the southern region.

Neil Wade, Lead Subject Advisor for Science, OCR

Neil studied engineering and worked in industry prior to retraining as a teacher. He completed both his Post Graduate Certificate in Education and subsequent M.A., by research in education, at the University of East Anglia. He taught for twenty years, and was Head of Science and Assistant Head at a comprehensive school as well as establishing the physics department at a new sixth form college. He now leads the science Subject Advisor team at OCR. He has been particularly active regarding practical science and has spoken and published regularly on this aspect of science education.

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

Emily leads EEF’s work on science, as well as overseeing a range of other grants work.  This involves funding and managing research projects as well as overseeing the production of guidance reports to communicate the findings of our work. Emily also oversees EEF projects that apply the findings of neuroscience within the classroom. Prior to joining the EEF in 2012 Emily worked at the Wellcome Trust, managing projects spanning education research, policy and practice – with a particular focus on science education at the primary stage and teacher development. Emily started her career working in malaria research, before training as a science teacher and working in a secondary comprehensive school.


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