Davies, D and McMahon, K (2004) 'A smooth trajectory: developing continuity and progression between primary and secondary science education through a jointly planned projectiles project.' International Journal of Science Education, 26 (8). pp. 1009-1021. ISSN 1464-5289

Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1468181032000158372


This article reports on findings from a two‐year project—‘Improving Science Together’—undertaken in 20 primary and four secondary schools in and around Bristol, UK. The project was funded by the pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca PLC as part of their national Science Teaching Trust initiative, and had as one of its aims the development of cross‐phase liaison between secondary school science departments and their feeder primary schools. Our findings suggest that, as a result of joint planning and implementation of a bridging unit, there had been an increase in the secondary school teachers’ understanding of both the range of the science curriculum covered in primary schools and pupils’ levels of attainment in the procedures of scientific enquiry. There was also evidence that transfer assessment information was informing planning and that pupils were experiencing greater continuity in their science education.

Item Type: Article

This article is set within the field of enquiry of science education, specifically the transition between primary and secondary science education in England. Its theoretical perspective is informed by the analysis of science pedagogy in upper primary and lower secondary education undertaken in the ORACLE project (Galton et al 1999,2002). It is cited by two researchers because of the large scale of the project, funded by a £150,000 grant to work with 20 primary and 4 secondary schools. Its original contribution to theory lies in the identification of the significant factor of joint planning of bridging units by the teachers concerned. It is significant in that it has informed the development of professional development units on the AstraZeneca science teaching trust website. Data from multiple sources (observation, survey, interview, case study) have been triangulated to provide rigour. The article was separately refereed by two international referees.
Proportional contribution: 50%.

Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
Divisions: Institute for Education
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2012 04:45
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2015 11:00
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