The main aim of this booklet, provided by the National Curriculum Council, is to offer guidance on:
• the nature of scientific investigation
• continuity and progression across the full age range
• how schemes of work can be prepared to develop scientific skills
• the integration of investigations with knowledge and understanding
• how investigations can be managed in the classroom or laboratory.
The materials are designed to be flexible enough to enable:
• teachers to use sections to become familiar with aspects of the exploration of science
• teachers to evaluate aspects of the curriculum and to ensure continuity and progression
• science co-ordinators to carry out an evaluation and revision of schemes of work.
The pack can be used by science co-ordinators for in-service training days, by teachers revising their schemes of work, by advisers and advisory teachers organising LEA INSET for schools, and by tutors in higher education to develop their students’ understanding of the nature of science.
This publication was one in a series described as NCC INSET Resources. It was produced with the help of the ‘Exploration of Science’ project that was based at the University of Durham. NCC continued to work with the Exploration of Science team as one of the contributors to the NCC publications ‘Teaching Science at Key Stages 3 and 4’ and ‘Teaching Science at Key Stages 1 and 2’ (published 1993).
When the National Curriculum for science was first introduced it had two profile components; Exploration of Science and Knowledge and Understanding of Science. This booklet is about the Exploration of Science. Scientific investigations were a key feature of the National Curriculum but not all teachers of science were trained in or familiar with scientific investigations.
Investigations in science remains an important feature but are now described in How Science Works in the science National Curriculum; the booklet was produced with a video and was designed to help primary and secondary teachers build investigations into their teaching.
The National Curriculum was introduced by the passing into law of The Education Reform Act of 1988. It established the idea of a National Curriculum (NC) for England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The National Curriculum Council set out also to support the implementation of the National Curriculum by providing support and guidance for teachers. It also identified it needed to keep the National Curriculum under review.
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Resource by: National Curriculum Council