Science Resources for the Nationals

Following the SQA/ Education Scotland joint publication of Past Paper Guidance for N5. Education Scotland has published copies of the identified questions on Sciences Glow 365 site, in the N5 folders for each subject. This compliments the previously shared N5 Biology questions. Further support materials for N5 will be published in the near future.

Shared on the Sciences Glow 365 site new class spreadsheets for tracking assessment standard passes at National 4 and an updated version for National 5. Look in the N4 and N5 folders in your subject.

Delegates attending our fourth conversation day at Bucksburn Academy identified three key themes for improving science education.

Discussions focussed on:

 Priorities for sciences education

Identifying partnerships that work

 What does great learning in the sciences look like?

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views regarding the third theme, addressing what great learning in the sciences looks like.

What does great learning in the sciences look like?

Science education is important for every child and not just for those who may be headed toward a scientific or technical career.

Great learning in the sciences encourages young people to make sense of the world around them, to be scientifically literate. It develops skills enabling them to analyse, evaluate, think critically, justify conclusions and be creative and innovative; skills required to thrive and succeed in an increasingly globalised and technological society.

Delegates identified factors contributing to great learning in the sciences:

  • relevant and purposeful (real life) teaching through engaging activities, which occur in and out of the classroom environment
  • learning environment has motivated and enthusiastic teachers and pupils
  • lessons have variety, depth, challenge and are interactive, delivered by inspirational teachers with a passion and enthusiasm for the subject and who convey a love of learning
  • consistent and firm discipline
  • learners are taught the skills they need through a variety of methodologies e.g. active, visual, audio and concepts are revisited in  different ways
  • progression is evident                                 
  • subjects are interlinked and connected
  • great learning is different in different schools and classes, and good teachers are still learning.

The final part of this discussion addressed the question, how do we get it right for every child and young person?  Delegates’ suggestions included:

  • good communication between primary and secondary
  • establish where the “starting point” for every child is and identify children who need to extend their knowledge
  • ensure learners feel safe enough to ask for help/guidance
  • quality provision must be evident all the time
  • teaching should be delivered in different order/style depending on the needs of the learner.

National Science & Engineering Week (NSEW) is a ten-day national programme of science, technology, engineering and maths events and activities across the UK aimed at people of all ages.

Anyone can organise an event or activity and the British Science Association supports organisers by providing:

Activity packs

National school poster competition

Mass participation in Flusurvey project

Case studies

How to guides

Our new activity packs include: 

Explore the future- for primary schools

Community garden challenge – for secondary schools 

Get engineering II – in partnership with Engineering UK (coming up)

Cracking chemistry, in partnership with Royal Society of Chemistry

This year organisers can celebrate anything related to science, technology, engineering and maths. The sky is the limit!

However, for schools, Explore the Future will be the common theme across competitions, new resources and online projects, to encourage teachers and other educators to look forward to the world their students will lead.

For further information :

http://www.britishscienceassociation.org/national-science-engineering-week

There are still places available at Education Scotland’s Community Resilience Conversation and Networking Event on Monday 17th March.

The day is aimed at members of the Scottish Government, emergency planning and civil contingencies teams from local councils, representatives from local education authorities, and members of other key organisations to consider community resilience as a rich and exciting context for teaching and learning.

Conversation activities will provide delegates with opportunities to network with one another and engage in professional dialogue in relation to preparing for emergencies and developing resilient communities. Selected examples of good practice will also be shared through engaging presentations delivered by government, local council and school representatives.

We would like to invite you to take part in the event at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel on the 17th March 2014 to explore how we might take forward resilience education in schools and consider important developments in teaching and learning.

We would be grateful if you could register online at http://svy.mk/Mb8ZM7 by end of day Thursday 13th March 2014 to confirm your attendance and inform us of any special dietary or access requirements you may have.

Delegates attending our fourth conversation day at Bucksburn Academy identified three key themes for improving science education.

Discussions focussed on:

  1.  Priorities for sciences education
  2. Identifying partnerships that work
  3. What does great learning in the sciences look like?

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views regarding the second theme which addressed identifying partnerships that work.

Identifying partnerships that work

Delegates identified various partner organisations that they were engaging with including subsea 7, forest rangers, ABC, mentoring John Lewis, STEM ambassadors, car safety, BP renewable, Forvie Nature reserve, university medical students, Zoo lab, forensic scientists, “curious about chemistry”. Learners at Bucksburn Academy had also set up a programme of advanced level lunchtime lectures in relation to STEM.

Delegates put forward suggestions for successful partnership working. It was agreed that this had to be mutually beneficial, providing support, resources and expertise for the school, whilst meeting the business needs of the organisation. In addition delegates highlighted the following:

  • organisation must provide support in the classroom and visit the school (not the other way)
  • partnerships should be innovative, curriculum led, embedded in the curriculum
  • personnel involved are enthusiastic individuals with a willingness to commit extra time to establish short/long term working relationship
  • investment and funding through the partnership provides opportunities for all

Delegates identified areas of partnership working which they regarded as requiring further development:

  • not enough organisations/partnerships to support early years
  • more visiting scientists lecturing at a high level – aspirations needed to be raised
  • speakers need to be able to pitch talk at right level for young people
  • mixture of input needed for different levels of interest required

Education Scotland is keen to hear your views. Click on the title of this blog post to leave a comment

Nominations for the next three rounds of cross authority working groups are due by 5pm on Monday 10th of March. If you’re interested in attending please contact your local authority organiser.

Glow TV events:

Ask the Expert – Neil Kermode      11 March 10.30       http://bit.ly/1g9zh90

As part of the Get Energised with the ScottishPower Foundation project, this series of broadcasts from the National Museum of Scotland will help N4/5 students in STEM subjects to learn more about renewables in Scotland. Hear from leading experts in the field and ask them about their work. 

Past papers identified by Education Scotland and SQA as appropriate for N5 Biology have been collated and shared by Invergordon Academy. These are posted on the Sciences Glow 365 site.

Geneious software suitable for case studies, a free download suitable for case studies in the Genome key area of DNA and the Genome unit at cfe Higher Biology is available from.

http://geneious.com/

A free online Environmental Studies textbook, Earth’s Dynamic Systems is available at http://earthds.info/ particularly good for Geosphere, Hydrosphere etc.

 Dave Edwards from the Open University asked Education Scotland to publicise this MOOC.

The OU’s free Moons MOOC is at; https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/moons  and I am gearing up to facilitate some of the discussion.  It starts on 17 March.

We envisage it taking around 3 hours per week, for the eight week presentation.

Aberdeen Biodiversity Centre have a S1-3 poster competition running currently, copies can be downloaded from their website under secondary education – ttp://www.abdn.ac.uk/biodiversity/education/secondary/cfe-support/

The Small Steps-Big Changes? Seminar on 27 February 2014, organised jointly by Education Scotland and Learning for Sustainability Scotland attracted over 60 participants from across Scotland interested in how those working in Community Learning and Development and those with sustainable development experience and expertise could work more closely together.

The seminar heard about learning for sustainability through Scottish Government policies, Education Scotland initiatives and local projects.

Aileen Campbell MSP, Minister for Children and Young People set out the policy context for this work. Ms Campbell highlighted the opportunities offered by the Children and Young People’s Bill, the National Youthwork Strategy, the CLD (Scotland) Regulations, the Community Empowerment Bill and the recent Adult Learning Statement of Ambition. She said that ‘Learning for Sustainability is a Scottish Government and international priority for every type of learning’.

Professor Pete Higgins, Professor of Outdoor and Environmental Education at the University of Edinburgh and Director of Learning for Sustainability Scotland said, ‘Through learning together we’ll ensure that people and communities in Scotland have opportunities to understand more about the sustainable development issues that concern them, and to use their learning to help them shape their future as members of a nation that takes these responsibilities and opportunities seriously’.

Learning for sustainability is not just about One Planet schools but also involves the wider community. The links with Curriculum for Excellence and communities were ably illustrated as were empowerment approaches in partnership with Malawi and through community development in Scotland.

The showcase sessions provided eight examples of learning for sustainability in action and stimulated lots of discussion. The presentations and filmed clips of the seminar will be made available through i-develop.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          STEM Central supports the delivery of teaching in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.   

Through Learning in Context, practitioners can source information, resources, learning journeys and videos for nine learning contexts, including Food Security, Transport and Water.

To support and enhance the existing Water context section we have added three new learning journeys:

Changing States – Early Level

  • learners explore the changing states of water as they investigate freezing, melting, boiling and evaporation.

Travelling on Water – First Level

  • learners investigate floating, sinking and buoyancy and develop their understanding of the concept of density and Archemides’ Principle.

Uses of Water – Second Level

  • through science challenges and investigations learners improve their knowledge and understanding of the different uses of water in Scotland and the world e.g. as source of power or use in recreation.

The new water learning journey format incorporates the Design Principles demonstrating their relevance to planning enjoyable, contextualised and challenging learning experiences and in identifying appropriate forms of assessment.

There are supporting resources for each new journey and links identified for additional learning and teaching opportunities.  

Access the water learning journeys and supporting resources on STEM Central  

http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/stemcentral/contexts/water/index.asp

 Sciences – National Qualifications Update

 We can now confirm that three Higher Cross-Authority Writing Workshops will now take place as follows:

 Session 1 – Evening session 5pm – 7:30pm on Wednesday 19th March and all day Thursday 20th March 2014. Venue: Stirling Management Centre, Stirling

 Session 2 – Thursday 24th April 2014. Venue: SSERC, Dunfermline

 Session 3 – Tuesday 27th May 2014. Venue: Glasgow, to be confirmed. Note: Date changed due to clash with Biology Markers’ Meeting.

 The purpose of the days will be to provide practitioners with the opportunity to share existing materials developed for the Higher Sciences qualifications and co-develop further materials as required including resources for each Higher Unit, banks of questions etc. Our hope is that we will have groups collaborating to support all five sciences Highers including: Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Science. Education Scotland and SQA colleagues will also be attending to work alongside practitioners.

Each local authority is invited to identify one practitioner to attend. This should be a Faculty Head, Principal Teacher and/or someone with experience of developing course materials for national qualifications.  Nominations should be sent to Grant.McAllister@educationscotland.gov.uk by 5pm Monday 10th March 2014. When submitting nominations please provide the following details: name, role, school, email, subject specialism and dietary requirements. Our hope is that the same representative will attend all three events to ensure continuity but we realise that this may not always be possible.

One place for each local authority is guaranteed providing nominations are received by the deadline. Places not claimed by this point will be reallocated to other authorities. A limited number of reserve places will also be available to ensure balance across each of the five Higher qualifications. Authorities can nominate a second individual, from a different subject specialism, to be added to this list. We will notify reserve list nominees about availability of places shortly after the deadline on the 10th March.

Other updates:

Please note: you may need to click the compatibility view icon and/or refresh button in the top navigation bar of your internet browser to see the videos.

 

 An extensive range of course materials for Higher Sciences is available from Education Scotland’s NQ Higher Sciences website: http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/highersciences/

The cross authority writing group’s approach to National 5 Hydrogels assignment has been published on the NQ Glow portal. http://www.educationscotland.gov.uk/nqcoursematerials/subjects/c/nqresource_tcm4827127.asp .

Highland council have kindly shared their mapping of changes from traditional higher to CfE Higher for Biology, Chemistry, Human Biology and Physics. Again available on the NQ Glow Portal.

South Lanarkshire have produced a guide to assessments in the sciences at national 3, 4 & 5. This has been adapted to into subject specific versions and are available on the NQ glow portal http://bit.ly/1lcuFGn

 

The sciences glow 365 site http:\\bit.ly/glowsciences continues to be populated with more materials including resources for National 4 & 5 Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation has an educators’ group: http://is.gd/circulareconomy. The Ellen MacArthur foundation has a number of resources suitable across the sciences and interdisciplinary learning activities. The Scotland’s Environment Website Youth Discussion competition is aimed at 5-18 yr olds and closes on 31 March. The competition has an environmental theme so it could cover a range of areas within the curriculum.

Time: 09:30 (for 10:00 start) – 15:00

Venue: Glasgow Hilton Hotel, William Street, Glasgow, G3 8HT

Education Scotland is excited to be hosting its first community resilience conversation and networking event with a view to developing a shared, partnership approach to provide 3-18 resilience education opportunities.

The day aims to bring together members of the Scottish Government, emergency planning and civil contingencies teams from local councils, representatives from local education authorities, and members of other key organisations to consider community resilience as a rich and exciting context for teaching and learning focusing on a range of contexts such as flooding and other forms of extreme weather and their impact on our lives.

Conversation activities will provide delegates with opportunities to network with one another and engage in professional dialogue in relation to preparing for emergencies and developing resilient communities. Selected examples of good practice will also be shared through engaging presentations delivered by government, local council and school representatives.

We would like to invite you to take part in the event at the Glasgow Hilton Hotel on the 17th March 2014 to explore how we might take forward resilience education and consider important developments in teaching and learning. Places will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. There is no cost to attend.

We would be grateful if you could register online at http://svy.mk/Mb8ZM7 by Monday 10th March 2014 to confirm your attendance and inform us of any special dietary or access requirements you may have.

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