Posted on June 12, 2010 by Science Learning Centres
Zoe Crompton, Senior Professional Development Leader at the National Science Learning Centre
The Department for Education has announced this week that they do not intend to proceed with the proposed new primary curriculum. Schools are to continue using the existing primary curriculum in 2011/12. For the future DfE ministers feel that schools should be given more flexibility. With this in mind the government intends to return the national curriculum to a minimum entitlement organised around subjects. The next steps in this process will be announced on the DfE’s website. Also, QCDA have confirmed that we are NOT to use the new level descriptors, instead teachers are to base their Teacher Assessment on the 2000 level descriptors.
In this practical course you’ll learn to plan for creative enquiry using children’s ideas and encouraging independent thinking in science.
About the author
This post was written by Zoe Crompton, primary development group lead for the Network of Science Learning Centres.
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Posted on June 11, 2010 by Science Learning Centres
In this video, Zoe Crompton explains Assessment Focus 2: Understanding the Applications and Implications of Science.
More information about this experiment can be found on the Primary Upd8 website.
The Leading Assessment for Learning Course at the National Science Learning Centre will help you use AfL effectively by developing your everyday Assessment for Learning practice.
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The regional Science Learning Centres are also running a number of courses to help you implement APP in your school.
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Filed under: Primary, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 10, 2010 by jeremyairey
Jeremy Airey, senior professional development leader at the National Science Learning Centre
Hot topic of the moment is Craig Venter’s announcement that his group has created a synthetic life form (dubbed Synthia by the media). This attention-grabber raises interesting discussion points for biology classrooms.
Amongst these is the meaning of “synthetic”. It certainly is not true that Venter’s group has “created life”. The functions of too many biological tools were required to make that claim – not least within the cells that received the new genome. However, it is a technical tour de force: to construct a new genome according to information on a computer, transplant it into a prepared cell, and to persuade that cell to “boot up” the genome. It’s also an important proof of concept for synthetic biology.
Why are biologists so excited? Synthetic biology is a burgeoning discipline, with practical applications projected to include clean biofuels, new polymers and cheaper medicines. Most synthetic biology is focused on less ambitious strategies than Venter’s. But, as he did with human genome sequencing, Venter has really upped the stakes, raising the prospects for much faster progress.
There are philosophical issues aside from the practical aspects. For me, though vitalism has no place in my understanding of life, Synthia is a sharp reminder that it’s all nuts and bolts. I doubt I am the only one who’s slightly disappointed. I need to get over my romantic side, recall that there are plenty of mysteries still to solve, and remember that for a scientist, understanding how something works does not diminish its wonder. Is that what our learners think?
The Bringing Cutting Edge Science into the Classroom: Genetics course at the regional Science Learning Centres will provide you with the opportunity to keep up to date with latest developments in the field of biology, and use a variety of activities and approaches to integrate contemporary genetics into your teaching.
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About the author
This post was written by Jeremy Airey
, senior professional development leader at the National Science Learning Centre.
Filed under: Breaking News, Secondary and Post-16, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »
Posted on June 8, 2010 by Science Learning Centres
The fourth in our series of demonstration videos is the ‘Cannon Fire’ experiment which can be used to demonstrate oxidation.
This impressive demonstration produces loud, crackling bursts of flame which resemble the sound of cannon fire.
Please ensure you undertake a full risk assessment before performing this demonstration and that it meets your institutions health and safety requirements. We also recommend you consult CLEAPSS or SERC.
The following Science Learning Centre courses are filled with spectacular demonstrations that can help inspire your students:
Science Demonstrations: Effective and Safe
Technicians as Demonstrators: The Practical Expert in the Classroom
Filed under: Demonstrations, Secondary and Post-16, Technicians, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »