Key messages

Consider the following key messages from this unit.

  • When planning a lesson, start by setting learning objectives and intended learning outcomes. In order to achieve these objectives, pick appropriate activities to drive different parts of the lesson.
  • Using stems ('Discuss', 'Present', 'Explain why' and so on) helps to ensure that learning objectives focus on learning rather than on classroom activities.
  • Effective learning takes place when learners understand what they are trying to achieve. Sharing objectives with pupils ensures they are aware of what they are learning and why. Sharing the learning objectives enables teachers and pupils to review progress during and at the end of the lesson.
  • The learning objective is what the teacher intends the pupils to learn; how achievement will be demonstrated by pupils is called the learning outcome.
  • Pupils' progress is accelerated when they are clear about the success criteria for the intended outcomes and are able to judge the quality of their work and know how to improve it. This requires teachers having a good understanding of progression in the key concepts and skills in science. The Assessing Pupils' Progress (APP) assessment guidelines can support this understanding of progression in How science works (HSW).
  • In stating the learning objective in a lesson, it is common practice to link to past and future lessons, so that pupils can appreciate how this relates to the big picture of their learning and day-to-day and periodic assessment.
  • In science, it is important that learning objectives focus on HSW, with the context of the learning derived from an appropriate part of the range and content. This will ensure opportunities for assessment against the APP assessment guidelines. A good starting point for this is the Framework.

Quality First teaching

In summary, Quality First teaching in science will feature:

  • learning objectives as the starting point for planning the lesson (In science these have a HSW focus.)
  • learning outcomes that are an integral part of the planning, and delivery of Quality First teaching where it is clear what aspect of HSW is being developed
  • learning objectives and learning outcomes, skilfully crafted to guide teachers and advise pupils of the goal of the lesson, giving focus, meaning and purpose to the tasks performed
  • teachers personalising learning; pupils judging the quality of their work and identifying their next steps.

All of these factors help pupils to become independent learners.