Identifying Good Practice: a Survey of Post-16 Science in Colleges and Schools
This report from Ofsted represents the findings from a survey of post-16 science provision in 18 colleges and schools where provision had been judged to be good or outstanding at their previous inspection. Between October 2006 and April 2007 five schools, nine sixth form colleges, one tertiary college and three general further education colleges were visited by inspectors. Examples of good practice are given and recommendations for improvements are made.
• Students’ achievement and standards in science were outstanding in 12 of the schools and colleges visited. A wide variety of enrichment activities helped students to put science in a wider context and to clarify career decisions.
• In eight of the institutions visited, the quality of teaching and learning was outstanding. The vast majority of science teachers were subject specialists. Teachers established a good balance of investigation, theory and assessed written work, so that students experienced the laboratory techniques and analyses of their various disciplines while also being prepared well for external examinations. Assessment for learning was beginning to have an impact.
• Peer mentoring in some of the sixth form colleges and subject-based workshops visited was highly effective in helping students to improve.
• The vast majority of the science laboratories seen in the survey were modern and well equipped, and provided good environments for learning. Science teachers used information and communication technology (ICT) effectively.
• The quality of leadership and management was outstanding in 11 colleges and schools in the survey.
HEALTH and SAFETY
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