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Science and Maths Teaching

Volume 453: debated on Monday 27 November 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what steps he is taking to improve the teaching of science and mathematics in schools to engage young people more effectively. (102531)

The Government are engaging young people more effectively in science and mathematics by improving the quality of teaching and learning through a number of different ways. These include:

Improving the quality of teaching by ensuring all science and mathematics teachers have access to good-quality continuing professional development through the network of Science Learning Centres and the National Centre for Excellence in the Teaching of Mathematics. Support and guidance are also available through the National Strategies.

Reviewing the Key Stage 3 science and mathematics curricula to ensure that they offer teachers more flexibility to meet pupils' individual learning needs. The Key Stage 4 science curriculum has already been revised to make it more manageable and to focus on the key conceptual underpinnings of science, as well as its excitement and relevance.

Developing innovative Key Stage 3 mathematics lesson materials through a £4 million partnership with the Bowland Trust that will draw on the interests of pupils while bringing out mathematical ways of thinking.

Piloting 250 after-school science and engineering clubs, offering an engaging and stretching programme of activities to Key Stage 3 pupils with an interest and potential in science.

Restructuring mathematics GCSE to place functional skills at its heart so that pupils will not be able to get a grade C or better without passing a functional skills unit.