using primary and secondary collaboration to deliver the curriculum for science
building a professional learning community between primary, secondary and special educational need schools
This was a three year cluster project aimed at creating a sustainable and inspiring science curriculum. Schools within the cluster identified cross-curricular themes and worked together to develop kit boxes and resources. A cluster-based website was also produced to facilitate the sharing of resources and best practice. The schools signed up to a mentor programme which allowed partnership teaching and the joining of expertise. This collaboration increased the leadership capacity of colleagues, developed joint curriculum packages and facilitated the delivery of CPD to colleagues beyond their own schools.
AIMS & OBJECTIVES
- To implement a sustainable creative science curriculum across Year 5 to Year 8 incorporating the areas of Design and Technology, Humanities, Personal and Social Education, Environmental Education, Enterprise with an underlying theme of Ethical Education.
- To produce relevant curriculum packages to support the delivery of cross-curricular/cross-phase themes with primary colleagues.
- To develop a CPD programme to support primary colleagues in the delivery of the curriculum through the integration of subject specialists and sharing of bespoke resources to deliver the curriculum from Year 5.
- To share the approach taken with the delivery of the curriculum for science to provide consistency for those Key Stage 2 students in primary schools directly beyond the initial cluster of primary schools.
- To develop a CPD programme to support primary colleagues beyond the immediate cluster in the delivery of the curriculum for science through the utilisation of the science co-ordinators within the cluster acting as mentors to share expertise and providing bespoke resources.
Project Lead: Lisa Ingleby, Framwellgate School, Durham
Although the secondary school facilitated the project, teachers from all the schools involved took an equal part in guiding its direction and working to support one another. From the start of the project regular cluster meetings were used to agree and review progress of the key focuses of the project prior to dissemination to colleagues within the individual primary schools. The involvement of a special school teacher was a particular strength of the project. She was able to make a very significant contribution to teachers thinking together about teaching science and how to support a range of learners’ needs.
Initial activities focussed on developing KIT boxes containing resources and equipment which were shared around the schools. These boxes provided a topic-based context for sharing ideas about teaching science and were the basis for presentations at cluster meetings and activities in schools with pupils and teachers. Shared responsibility was also taken to develop the teaching and learning section of the cluster website, with teachers uploading teaching and learning materials.
The sense of ownership which has been established throughout the project team has resulted in an increased confidence in primary colleagues in their ability and desire to share project activities through planning and leading CPD in their own schools and the across the cluster.
In the final year of the project a needs analysis was completed by colleagues in schools extending out from the original cluster to identify the main areas of development from both a school and teacher perspective to enhance the delivery of science within their schools. Project teachers from the cluster schools met to establish mentors and mentees across the schools. Primary Colleagues completed a School to School Action Plan. This included the identification of particular modules of work to be developed, the training needs of colleagues and to plan the CPD to be delivered through the mentor programme over the following term including relevant resources to be shared and developed.
- As a result of sustained and purposeful working over the three years, there is an increased sense of direction by all members of the project team. Working as a cluster to develop a new curriculum model has encouraged the Project Team to consider every component crucial for a successful curriculum, including resources and equipment, assessment methods and tools and importantly the development of the cluster website.
- Teachers involved have developed their own knowledge of and confidence in teaching science which has not only impacted on their practice but, through running CPD activities in their own schools and others in the cluster, has also impacted on the practice of others.
The cluster website is an on-going resource along with the KIT boxes of materials and equipment developed during the project.
The reflective and collaborative process has provided a very positive model for the development of a mutually supportive professional learning community. It has also demonstrated an effective way of primary, secondary and special schools to work together emphasising equality between all the partners.
Framwellgate poster 1 [1.56MB]
Framwellgate 2012 Conference poster 2011 [10.88MB]
Framwellgate 2012 conference poster follow on project [14.87MB]
Framwellgate wider cluster conference poster 2013 [20.16MB]
Framwellgate STEM conference poster 2013 [20.85MB]
Find out more about this project by completing the form below and a member of the Primary Science Teaching Trust team will get back to you.