Reports from pilot centres in the Midlands
Here are some reports on the first year and subsequent years of the pilot courses.
Springwell Community School, Chesterfield
Moulton School, Northampton
Trinity School, Nottingham
Lutterworth Grammar School, Leicestershire
Moseley School, Birmingham
Woodrush Community High School, Birmingham
The greatest challenge has been to get the pupils to view evidence from both sides of an argument, and hence develop their own stance on a subject.
What students liked most about Core Science was the opportunity to think for themselves.
The big change from the course we were doing is concentrating on the relevance of science to the students, and not just expecting them to regurgitate facts.
The big changes from the course we were doing before are that more thinking and evaluating is required, and that science is brought up to date.
The greatest challenge has been finding enough opportunities for practical work in the pilot course. [The project team have addressed this for the 2006 course.]
We find that the students love the Science course.
The parents tell us that their kids are coming home and talking about what they've been doing in science. The kids watch the TV news and comment on whether what is said is likely to be true.
What students liked most about Core Science was the different viewpoints and arguments, and links to topic issues.
The kids loved it, having their say in science lessons, and learning about science as consumers.
In Applied Science, students enjoyed working on lots of different practicals, and the links to jobs or crime investigations.
The greatest challenges have been developing thinking skills, differentiating the resources, planning and keeping up with the course, and running out of time!
In Applied Science, students were most interested in the paramedic who showed and told us about some of the things they do in their job.
The big change from the course we were doing is not having to make lots of notes.
The greatest challenge has been 'thinking skills' - working in groups and discussing ideas.