As part of ERO’s regular education reviews ERO investigated science teaching and learning in 100 schools. Forty four were full primary schools, 43 contributing primaries, 8 were intermediates, 3 were composite schools and 2 were Years 7 to 13 secondary schools.

A team of reviewers with particular science curriculum expertise carried out the evaluation. They observed lessons in Years 5 to 8 classes, analysed documents, and met with senior managers, trustees, teachers and students.

ERO evaluated each school’s approach to science education based on the set of good practice indicators used in the 2010 ERO report Science in Years 5 to 8: Capable and Competent Teaching. [13] In addition, ERO evaluated self review of science teaching and learning using the self-review questions provided for schools in that report.[14]

Evaluation Framework

This evaluation sought to answer the questions:

  • How well is science taught and organised in Years 5 to 8?
  • What is the context surrounding science education in Years 5 to 8?
  • How does the school’s leadership ensure high quality curriculum design, teaching strategies and professional development for science?
  • How well is science planned to support students in Years 5 to 8 develop scientific knowledge, understanding and skills?
  • How well has the school integrated their mathematics, reading and writing teaching into science plans?
  • How well does the assessment of science support learning?
  • What is the quality of classroom teaching for Years 5 to 8 science?