Blog written by Jack Turner (SCITT Cohort 2020/21)

This week’s Friday Conference with Endeavour Learning SCITT, focused on Subject Knowledge Enhancement (SKE). We all spent the day with experienced subject specialists. In Science we worked with Tarleton Academy’s Head of Science, Tony Houghton, looking specifically at the transition between KS2 and KS3 science. We looked at where there is a link in the curriculum, identified the common misconceptions and then found ways to eliminate them early in the course. He showed us 2 brilliant websites with useful resources for our own lesson planning and for us to practise on our own knowledge for our weak spots (for me, mostly Physics!)

We worked in a group on a shared excel document to separate the content from the KS2 into the three science disciplinaries and ‘how science works’ and condensed the syllabus into the categories and then did the same for KS3. Then we looked at the links between the two highlighting the key stage three topics into Red- They should never have seen this; Amber- They should have touched upon it; and Green- They should know this already.

We looked at where we would start at each section and common misconceptions from the national curriculum, always mindful of the traffic light system we set up before. An example of this is below:

 

Chemistry

 

Starting point

 

Misconceptions

Changes of states

Diagram to show melting, boiling condensing, freezing and Sublimation getting students to attempt as a starter

You don’t have to go from a solid to a liquid to a gas. You can go straight from a solid to gas (Sublimation)

 

This was coloured green because they should know it from KS2.

For the last part we looked at the website CogSciSci which has lots of science resources on it for us to use in lessons and Tony asked us to look over physics lessons as this is our weak point to see what we could use in lessons.

It was very useful to focus on my own subject today. Although it is obviously essential that we are learning about general teaching techniques, it is also important to work with experts in your own subject area to get useful advice and subject knowledge. Today’s SKE conference has made me feel more confident when teaching science!