Science and design and technology at key stage 2

Summary

The report focuses on standards, provision and leadership in the National Curriculum subjects of science and design and technology at key stage 2 in primary schools in Wales. For this survey, Estyn inspectors visited or interviewed by telephone a broad range of primary schools across Wales, taking into account: school size, geographical location, the proportion of pupils eligible for free school meals, and linguistic and religious characteristics. Inspectors observed lessons, interviewed pupils, teachers and school leaders, and scrutinised planning and pupils’ work. In addition, inspectors considered a wide range of primary school inspection evidence. The report’s findings will help to inform the development of the ‘science and technology’ Area of Learning and Experience of the new curriculum.
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Recommendations

Schools should:

  • R1 Make sure that science lessons challenge all pupils, particularly the more able, and reduce the achievement gap between pupils eligible for free school meals and their peers
  • R2 Make sure that pupils have opportunities to learn about all areas of the design and technology curriculum, particularly ‘systems and control’
  • R3 Ensure that assessment helps pupils know what they need to do to improve
  • R4 Ensure that self-evaluation processes are robust and focus on pupils’ subject knowledge, understanding and skills, and on the quality of teaching
  • R5 Provide teachers with training in the areas of science and of design and technology where they lack knowledge and confidence

Local authorities and regional consortia should:

  • R6 Provide more subject-specific support for teachers to improve teaching and assessment in science and design and technology and facilitate the sharing of good practice
  • R7 Provide more support for schools to evaluate their curriculum and plan for the development of the science and technology area of learning and experience