Reports from pilot centres in Cheshire
Here are some reports on the first year of the pilot courses.
What students liked most about Core Science was chance to discuss scientific issues of social relevance. It's relevant and up-to-date.
The big changes from the course we were doing are the more demanding style of questions which ask for opinions and judgements. The course is better resourced and it's more interesting.
The greatest challenge has been weaning students off straight recall questions. We are now questioning theories which in the past were just accepted when they were taught.
We've also had to be sure that the ICT runs well and is always available in all teaching rooms.
Paul Graham and Chris Dury
Students say about Core Science:
"I have enjoyed being able to discuss topics which affect me such as hayfever and asthma."
"I have enjoyed doing the case study because I was allowed to pick a topic which I was interested in."
Students say about Applied Science:
"I didn't want to go on to do science at A-level / post-16, but if there is a course as good as the applied, I will."
"I now want a job which involves science. I think I now want to be a physiotherapist."
The big changes from the course we were doing are that there are more opportunities for different styles of teaching and learning. It's more relevant, and students seem to be enjoying this course more.
What students liked most about Applied Science was being able to discuss topical issues with Mum and Dad (e.g. amniocentesis tests!)
We've had to have an open mind to the suggestions offered by 21st Century Science, as well as using much more ICT.
Karen Hatfield and Rebecca Stubbs
What students liked most about Core Science was discussing issues of real relevance, such as 'should stem cell experimentation be allowed?'
The big changes from the course we were doing are the ideas-about-science and thinking about the media, and the use of ICT.
The greatest challenge has been IT provision, timing of units, and the pilot resources.
In Core Science, students enjoyed the work on genetics and producing screaming jelly babies! [in reaction with potassium chlorate]
The big changes from the course we were doing before are the emphasis on scientific ideas and students' responsibility for their own learning. There is more coursework.
The greatest challenge has been obtaining new materials for 21st Century Science, or adapting what we've got.