We’re excited to announce that the British Science Association is being supported by the Gatsby Foundation to pilot integrating CREST project work into the curriculum, particularly at KS5 level. This project follows on from Gatsby’s Good Practical Science report, which provides a framework for practical science in schools.

One of the Good Practical Science benchmarks is for students to have the opportunity to be involved in open-ended and extended investigative projects. CREST Awards is one example of this. The pilot will look at how CREST projects can be run during curriculum time.

The Good Practical Science report found that only 15% of respondents from English schools said all of their students have the opportunity to do an extended practical science project. We believe there is a need to ensure that the opportunity for project work is built into the curriculum, because many schools, particularly those facing challenging circumstances, will ‘only’ deliver the curriculum. Currently, extended projects in science are typically done in extra-curricular time. For teachers to run these projects as part of their curriculum delivery, we believe they will require extra support and tailored guidance on facilitating open-ended projects.

How the project will work:

School pilot

The pilot phase from September 2019 – July 2020, will evaluate how successfully CREST can be embedded into the curriculum and the specific benefits of incorporating project work into the curriculum. We are working with ten schools/colleges across the UK who will run CREST projects during curriculum time, focusing mostly on KS5 science students. The schools will have regular support to help them plan and reflect and we will be recording evidence of good practice and collating case studies and feedback from teacher experiences.

The outputs from the pilot will include:

  • A literature review of project work in the curriculum
  • A resource for teachers to show how our secondary CREST resources map to the KS3, KS4 and KS5 curriculums in the UK
  • A guidance pack for teachers on how and why to use project work in the curriculum which will be distributed to secondary schools and colleges across the UK.

Evaluation of impact

In the final phase of the project, we will measure the impact of the published guidance pack on teachers’ practice. Our goal is for more schools and colleges to use open-ended student projects within their formal curriculum in science at Key Stages 3, 4 and 5.

Advisory panel

We have set up an advisory group of specialists to inform the development of the project and build advocacy and support for CREST, and other open-ended extended projects, in the curriculum.

For more information please contact: [email protected]