Awesome Athletes for teacher and school development

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Mech Materials Manuf Eng Mgt


It is a very exciting time for science and engineering teaching in the UK. The government is introducing 2 major initiatives, 'Excellence and enjoyment - a strategy for primary schools' and 'Every child matters', designed to broaden the curriculum, make teaching more flexible and inclusive and break down barriers between subjects. These developments will require a significant change in teachers' approach, and many will need support in developing their skills and intellectual engagement. This proposal builds on a highly successful science theme day (funded through EPSRC PPA and PPE grants GR/T25774/01 and EP/D067634/1), where all these issues are explored in an innovative but well evaluated way.This project will be based on the well established Awesome Athletes theme day format; however the purpose and aims of the project have changed significantly. The primary purpose this time is to provide support for science teaching development, in line with recent government initiatives, using the theme day as an example of how aspects of science and engineering can be incorporated in a fully whole curriculum way. Delivery of the project will be by three linked routes; 1) facilitating theme days at individual schools (resource intensive but offering an opportunity to try out the concepts), 2) running in-service training events (accessing several schools at once, but no facilitated teaching practice), 3) running special events for newly qualified teachers (formal recognition of professional development). Whilst our experiences with Phases 1 and 2 of Awesome Athletes has given us excellent insight into how both school and seminar based training will run, it will be interesting to evaluate which route is most effective for teaching and curriculum development.


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