Ofsted has published a report which identifies the ways in which successful colleges have improved the quality of their science teaching, and makes recommendations for further improvement.
'We saw evidence of a great deal of good practice around the country including teaching that engaged young people and helped them learn well', said Miriam Rosen, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector. 'The best colleges have a full range of well-attended science enrichment activities, including industrial and employer visits and field trips to stimulate and interest students.'
The report states that students made most progress in practical lessons when their teachers actively supported them in setting up apparatus, making observations, and were enthusiastic about the results of their investigations.
The best teachers not only guided students through topics using questions, but also allowed them the freedom to take discussions further and link them to other related areas of interest.
Other key findings include providing virtual learning environments which contain a wealth of support materials, using interactive whiteboards to present a variety of multimedia information and providing additional subject-based support sessions in mathematics and exam techniques throughout the year.
The report is the outcome of visits to 15 further education and sixth form colleges in spring 2011. It includes a series of recommendations to college managers, career services and government departments, such as ensuring that all Key Stage 4 students can access independent advice about a full range of career options.
The full report is available on the Ofsted website.
A report from Ofsted