Actions for science teacher to improve uptake of post-16 sciences

Actions for science teachers to improve uptake of pupils studying science post-16 which is based on National Strategies research (2007–2010) into common features of successful schools.

This list of research findings from schools with high uptake of post-16 sciences can be used by science teachers to stimulate action to improve uptake of post-16 sciences in their schools.

Characteristics of science teachers in schools with good uptake

In schools with good uptake, science teachers:

  • provide lessons that fire pupils' curiosity about the world around them, supporting them to ask and answer questions using their scientific knowledge to provide suitable explanations
  • help pre-16 pupils to use key scientific processes and concepts to link ideas with evidence to make explanations for issues and problems so they learn that science is a creative process, not just an accumulation of facts and 'right' answers
  • help pupils to discover how scientific ideas contribute to technological changes in industry, business and medicine to improve the quality of life
  • provide clear, coherent, visually stimulating lessons, using ICT and effective demonstrations and experiments
  • use meaningful, well-organised practical work and other interactive learning opportunities to support pupils' learning
  • use effective assessment strategies to track pupils’ attainment and progress, build good relationships with pupils and challenge their thinking
  • throughout 11–16 lessons, challenge pupils, ask difficult questions, treat each one as if they are a potential post-16 student and help them to see the possible benefits to their life and career in studying post-16 sciences
  • retain a professional interest in science, keeping up to date using appropriate CPD opportunities.