March 9, 2022

Subject Expertise in Primary Series

In their evidence review published in June 2020, Evidence Based Education (EBE) and Cambridge Assessment International Education looked at the efficacy of teacher CPD in relation to student outcomes. They particularly focussed on the question, “What are the best bets for teachers to invest time and effort in if they want their students to learn more?”

In their evidence review published in June 2020, Evidence Based Education (EBE) and Cambridge Assessment International Education looked at the efficacy of teacher CPD in relation to student outcomes. They particularly focussed on the question, “What are the best bets for teachers to invest time and effort in if they want their students to learn more?” Ref 1

Number one on their list was a good understanding of the content. EBE clarified this by saying that it was, “having deep and fluent knowledge and flexible understanding of the content you teach”. Alongside that, it was shown to be essential to also have a, “knowledge of common student strategies, misconceptions and sticking points in the relation to the content you are teaching.”

Additionally, with the strong focus on curriculum, there is also a requirement that subject knowledge is able to drive curriculum sequencing and a deep understanding of dependencies and relationships between the content and ideas that are being taught.

In order to support not just this subject expertise but also the skills required to teach it, we are running a ‘Subject Expertise Series’. Each subject series will be led by a subject expert and be delivered via Zoom over four twilights. The series will commence in the second half of the summer term and will continue in the academic year 22/23.

The intended outcome is twofold – to provide relevant subject knowledge on hot topics, for example climate change, and to refine pedagogical approaches which are designed to achieve the curriculum intent. In turn, schools will be able to create a culture of high expectations where pupils’ love of the subject can flourish.

Subject Expertise in Primary Series:

Geography

This series will be led by David Weatherly and be delivered via Zoom over four twilights. It will commence in the second half of the summer term and continue in the academic year 22/23.

The series will provide subject-specific knowledge training in Primary Geography to enable you to:

  • Increase your level of knowledge and understanding of the substantive content of geography at primary level, particularly in regard to the topics and areas of study identified in the programmes of the national curriculum.
  • Understand the disciplinary knowledge that underpins and shapes thinking and creates the distinctiveness of geography as a subject discipline.
  • Be confident in your comprehension of the second order and substantive concepts that serve as the big organising ideas around which knowledge and understanding in geography is constructed.
  • Gain up to date knowledge of current academic thinking in geography. 

Science

These four 90-minute online sessions will be led by Claire Seeley, Regional Mentor for the Primary Science Teaching Trust.

The series will provide subject-specific knowledge training in Primary Science to enable you to:

  • Increase your level of knowledge and understanding of the substantive content of science at primary level, particularly in regard to the topics and areas of study identified in the programmes of the national curriculum.
  • Understand the disciplinary knowledge that underpins and shapes thinking and creates the distinctiveness of science as a subject discipline.
  • Gain up to date knowledge of current research and best practice.

History

This series will be led by David Weatherly and be delivered via Zoom over four twilights. It will commence in the second half of the summer term and continue in the academic year 22/23.

The series will provide subject-specific knowledge training in Primary Science to enable you to:

  • Increase your level of knowledge and understanding of the substantive content of history at primary level, particularly in regard to the topics and areas of study identified in the programmes of the national curriculum.
  • Understand the disciplinary knowledge that underpins and shapes thinking and creates the distinctiveness of history as a subject discipline.
  • Be confident in your comprehension of the second order and substantive concepts that serve as the big organising ideas around which knowledge and understanding in history is constructed.
  • Gain up to date knowledge of current academic thinking in history.

Design Technology

This series will be led by Jane Ryder and be delivered via Zoom over four twilights. It will commence in the second half of the summer term and continue in the academic year 22/23.

These sessions are designed to equip primary subject leads with the skills and knowledge to fulfil their leadership role more confidently in school. The elements of high quality teaching and learning in Design Technology will be explored and practical approaches to support colleagues’ development in teaching DT more effectively will be shared. There will be opportunities to consider what making good progress in DT looks like and participants will explore the key skills involved.

The sessions aim to:

  • Allow DT coordinators to connect with other teachers and share ideas;
  • Explore ways to ensure that the DT curriculum engages and inspires pupils
  • Develop an awareness that design is all around us
  • Consider what learning progress looks like in DT and how to assess pupils’ knowledge and skills.

References:

Ref 1: Great Teaching Toolkit: Evidence Review, Coe R, Rauch C.J, Kime S, Singleton D, Evidence Based Education, Cambridge Assessment International Education, June 2020

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