Today the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published its latest guidance report, designed to support secondary science teaching. Improving secondary science reviews the best available research to offer schools and teachers seven clear and actionable recommendations on how to boost their pupils’ attainment in science.
Previous research by the EEF found that there is a gap in science outcomes between disadvantaged pupils and their classmates at every stage in the education system. The gap first becomes apparent at Key Stage 1 (ages 5–7) and only gets wider throughout primary and secondary school and on to A-level.
This latest report is designed to support secondary schools to provide every pupil – but particularly those from disadvantaged homes – with a high-quality and well-rounded grounding in science and an interest that may lead them to further study.
One recommendation focuses on how to harness pupils’ common misconceptions about science to move their thinking on and improve their learning. Another suggests that teachers spend time making sure pupil understand the language of science, particularly words like ‘random’ or ‘valid’ that have different meanings in science.
The report – which is free to download from the EEF’s website – also includes guidance on practical work, memory, and effective feedback.
This guidance report sits alongside the EEF’s other guidance reports – focused on literacy, maths, metacognition, effective implementation and making best use of teaching assistants – providing the basis for an overall advance towards evidence-informed school improvement.