In 2002 the UK Government launched the Key Stage Three National Strategy for science – a school support programme involving locally employed consultants to work with science teachers and departments to raise standards in Key Stage Three science across England (students aged 11-14).
From the introduction to Framework for Teaching Science: Years Seven, Eight and Nine: “The National Strategy for Key Stage 3 is part of the Government’s support for schools as they strive to reach their targets. It began in schools in September 2001 with the introduction of two strands: English and mathematics. Three other strands – science, information and communication technology (ICT), and teaching and learning in the foundation subjects (TLF) – were introduced in 2002–03.”
The initial approach taken was based around the acronym EPET, that is, to try and raise Expectations about students' learning; focus on Progression through the key stages; to use teaching methods that Engage students more readily; and on Transformation of the teaching profession at Key Stage Three – to build the capacity of teachers. This was all underpinned by ‘frameworks’ which were produced in two versions (2002 and 2008) as the demands of the National Curriculum and the remit of the programme changed.
The Key Stage Three Strategy for science became part of the Secondary National Strategies, with a broader remit than just 11-14 year old students.
The whole National Strategies programme ended in 2011.
The National Strategies represented one of the most ambitious change management programmes in education. They leave behind a legacy of high-quality training materials, teaching and learning frameworks, and well-trained teaching professionals and leaders of learning in schools, settings and more widely in the education sector.
This document summarises the main achievements of the former National Strategies since they began and draws lessons from feedback and evaluation.
More information here.
Education consultants were employed by Local Authorities and trained in the delivery of centrally produced classroom and teacher training materials – central development being undertaken under contract by CfBT and (later) Capita consultants.
These materials were then interpreted by the Local Authorities’ consultants for the local secondary school setting, and used for training and coaching purposes.
Materials were often also distributed electronically via the Internet.
Find more of these resources here.