So, I am currently reviewing key stage 3 schemes of work. I have to say that I am not that impressed.
I am in a very fortunate position of not having to worry as much as someone who works in a state school about progress, evidence and monitoring. There isn't a half termly email demanding a progress report. My SLT use the grades we give in the reports we write as that evidence. (Which we do October, December, March and June).
This means that I am looking for a scheme of work with an engaging book, good support materials for the technicians and creative activities. I am really struggling to find it.
Making a poster, answering a 6 mark question (which I could have made up myself), closed question sheets, make a model, fill in the labels on the diagrams, create a presentation with ideas about X on slide 1 and Y on slide 2 etc. Questions like 'write down the names of 10 elements'. Worksheets that require students to write in boxes with no lines, (especially when they could be writing in their books and using the worksheet as a reference and saving paper).
I want more.
I want activities that inspire the students, I want contexts, I want a lesson where the activities tie together, I want lessons that build on the one before, I want something I could not do myself. Apart from the typesetting, I haven't seen this. I want links to real scientists, I want every day applications, I want data, I want examples of good and bad investigations and modelling of good practice when drawing graphs.
I don't want the students to know what onion cells look like before they look at them down the microscope, I don't want them to know acid and bicarbonate is going to fizz before they add them together. I don't want them to know a spring is going to obey Hooke's Law before they stretch it.
But I want something that a) needs more than a few months to put together and b) costs more than I am willing and able to pay.
The cheapest available course it is then.