When speaking to science departments about teaching the new GCSE specifications, I always hear the same question: “where do we find the time?”. Not only has the volume of content to deliver increased, but exams now place a greater emphasis on testing knowledge application. Without changing the status quo of the course delivery, departments will increasingly find that time for consolidation and practising application will simply run out.
The 2016 specifications for Science have only increased the sheer volume of content students are expected to memorise and understand for their GCSEs.
At Doddle, we’ve now created 540 new resources (and counting) for Science to address the deficit between teaching capacity and the vast amount of knowledge students must learn, retain and apply.
In August 2017, we waited with bated breath to receive the first bout of 1-9 grades from the new English Language and Literature GCSEs. We’d been promised only a handful of Grade 9s across the entire country, but in the end over 2000 pupils achieved straight Grade 9s. The crème de la crème of GCSE attainment suddenly seemed obtainable and sights are now firmly on this summer’s exams.
In their recent report on the new national curriculum, the Policy Exchange think tank concluded frankly that “the workload demand on teachers creating almost all of their resources themselves is intolerable”.
It is no wonder, then, that both the Policy Exchange and the Independent Teacher Workload Group have called for schools to invest in teaching resources.
All teachers have been there. You’re outside the exam hall, the day of the exam has finally arrived and up walks one of your beloved students, looking awful. Bleary eyed, hair all over the place, often clutching a large coffee or energy drink in one hand and pages of highlighted key facts in the other. Uh oh. Proudly he will announce: “I was up until 4:30 last night re-reading my notes, I’m so ready.” Disaster.
Last September, the Good Practical Science report was released. After surveying both international schools and almost 400 schools in England, the report concluded that “in the countries we visited, practical science is alive and flourishing” while in England “the intense pressure to perform in written exams” means “practical science is at risk” with many schools “making too little use of their often excellent practical science facilities.”
A recent report published by the Education Endowment Foundation highlighted stark gaps between the attainment of SEND and non-SEND students at both age 11 and 16, with the disparities between SEND and non-SEND students greater than those between disadvantaged students and their peers.
The Department for Education is clear, parental engagement can have “a large and positive effect on children’s learning” and so, schools should prioritise the identification of effective methods for involving parents in their child’s education.
Teacher workload has never been higher on the agenda for schools and academies, as well as more recently for Ofsted. From the start of this academic year, Ofsted inspectors have been routinely asking headteachers how they intend to reduce their teachers’ workload.
If you want to see the latest in secondary resources for teaching, homework and assessment, all in one platform, be sure to check out what Doddle has to offer.
This year we have been nominated as a Bett Awards finalist for Secondary Content, so why not visit us at stand C143 to try Doddle for yourself?