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A Review of the Key Stage Four Curriculum

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  1. A Review of the Key Stage Four Curriculum By Emma Feggetter

  2. Introduction • Background Information • Aims of the change to the curriculum • Review at St Bede’s • Findings • Further work

  3. St Bede’s Catholic College • Smaller than average secondary school • Wide Catchment Area • In 2007 64 % achieved 5 A*-C GCSE grades • Specialist Science Status • Previous links with the school

  4. What I did at St Bede’s • Observation • Participation • GCSE coursework • Science Week • Key Stage Four review

  5. Science Week - Demonstration

  6. Basis for my review • General interest in change in curriculum • First cohort of students • Helped pupils with coursework • Useful to the school for future reference

  7. Early 19th Century – Science not taught in schools 1904 – Science compulsory in grammar schools 1950s – Science Education needed major reform 1988 – Introduction of the National Curriculum History of Science Education Source: www.cccoe.k12.ca.us/about/Images_About/history/HistSchoolRoom

  8. 1988 • Education Reform Act - Compulsory education up to 16 • National Curriculum divided into four key stages • Series of modifications to the existing curricula

  9. KS4 Curriculum Dilemma Scientific Literacy versus Science for Specialists

  10. New Science Curriculum Seeks to satisfy both - promote ‘scientific literacy’ - prepare young people for more advanced study Source: (Millar 2006)

  11. Further Aims • Integrated 14 – 19 approach • More flexible curriculum • Greater level of independent learning • Ensure entitlement for all learners • Engaging for pupils • Set science in a relevant context • More appropriate scheme of assessment

  12. Finding out staff and student opinion at St Bede’s? • Pupil Questionnaires - completed by 232 pupils • Teacher Surveys - completed by all 8 members of staff • Technicians Question Time

  13. Methodology • Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis • Open Questions • Thought Provoking • Closed Questions • Ability to conduct statistical analysis • Anonymity

  14. Analysis of the pupils questionnaires • 81 % of pupils in years 10 and 11 like science • 78 % like the subject matter of the GCSE course

  15. Analysis of the pupils questionnaire • 70% of year 10 pupils think the course is relevant to everyday life • 93 % of pupils in years 10 and 11 would like more practicals

  16. Pupil Comments Explain how the GCSE course is or isn’t relevant to your everyday life: ‘It allows for complex and informed opinions to be formulated and expressed about social, cultural and economic subjects.’ ‘We do work about baby care and such other things that we will deal with in everyday life.’ ‘It isn’t relevant because once I leave school I wont need to know these things.’

  17. Pupils Comments Continued How has the GCSE course been different to years 7 – 9? ‘Its more related to issues’ ‘Its more engaged and interesting and more challenging’ ‘You have more independent work and your teachers are there if you need them.’

  18. Analysis of the teacher survey • 100 % thought the new course was more relevant to everyday life • 100 % thought there were not enough practicals allocated in the scheme of work • 100 % thought there were too many discussions

  19. Conclusions • Limitations – Data only from one school • Satisfies both scientific literacy and science for specialists • In general, aims of the changes fulfilled • More practical work required • Potentially too many discussions - Better framework required - More background science

  20. My Further Work • Compare with St Brendan’s Sixth Form • Compare with France Source :www.frenchentree.com/fe-education/images/TeenagersinClassrom.jpg

  21. Summary • Information about St Bede’s • What I did during my time there • Brief History of the Curriculum • The aims of the change in curriculum • Research methods • Findings • Further Work

  22. With Thanks to • The Staff and Pupils at St Bede’s • Tony and Barbara the technicians at St Bede’s • Tim Harrison and Dr David Smith • Linda Sellou