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Publications from the Education and Learning team including reports based on commissioned research that informs our education work and stimulates wider discussion about science education.

A Rapid Evidence Review into the value of student-led independent research projects Led by the University of York and the Institute of Education at UCL, this Review summarises the evidence around independent research projects in science - hands-on, open-ended and student-led investigations.
Impacts of Professional Development on the Primary Science Classroom: Qualitative Comparisons This report presents a small-scale qualitative analysis of data from teachers who participated in the evaluation of the impact of the Primary Science Specialist Continuing Professional Development programme. DownloadDownload report [PDF 984 KB]
The Wellcome Trust Case Study of the Implementation of a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT) in Education This report explores perceptions of the Primary Science Specialist Continuing Professional Development Evaluation using key informants and randomised control trials in education.  DownloadDownload report [PDF 859KB]
Evaluation of the impact of a continuing professional development (CPD) course for primary science specialists: full report This document evaluates the impact of a continuing professional development (CPD) science course for primary school teachers, developed by the Wellcome Trust and the National Science Learning Centre, in full. DownloadDownload report [PDF 1.02MB]
Evaluation of the impact of a continuing professional development (CPD) course for primary science specialists: key findings This document outlines the key findings of a report evaluating the impact of a continuing professional development (CPD) science course for primary school teachers, developed by the Wellcome Trust and the National Science Learning Centre. DownloadDownload report [PDF 93.2KB]
Review of the extent to which Ofsted reports mention science Science is a core subject alongside English and mathematics and must be studied by all until the age of 16. The Wellcome Trust carried out a preliminary review of Ofsted’s full school inspection reports of primary and secondary schools to see how many mentioned science. DownloadDownload report [PDF 148KB]
Primary science: developing great science subject leadership Good leadership of science is essential at primary school. This leaflet provides support for primary science leaders, based on good practice in schools that value science. DownloadDownload report [PDF 103KB]
A Framework for Governance: A flexible guide to strategic planning The National Governors’ Association (NGA) and the Wellcome Trust have jointly developed the Framework for Governance, a document for all governing boards to help them carry out their vital role. DownloadDownload report [PDF 640KB]
Evaluation report: A Recommended Code of Governance for Schools In 2012, the Wellcome Trust developed 'A Recommended Code of Governance for Schools'. This report uses information from the two-year pilot of the Code to evaluate its outcomes in 21 schools across England and Wales. DownloadDownload report [PDF 1.8MB]
Ensuring your research is ethical A brief guide for students undertaking research for independent projects, especially the Extended Project Qualification.
Questions for Governors A framework to facilitate discussions between governors and school leaders about science and maths in English secondary schools.
Primary science: is it missing out? This report explores the current status of primary science, how to address the issues uncovered and makes recommendations for the future.
The perceived success of interventions in science education
This report explores what a range of stakeholders consider to be features of successful interventions in science education and on what grounds are interventions considered successful or not?
Experiments in Engagement The Wellcome Trust commissioned two reports to review opportunities to engage with disadvantaged young people outside of school in the UK. The reports sought to understand what activities young people from disadvantaged backgrounds engage in during their free time and how the informal science learning community could better reach this audience.
The deployment of primary science expertise This report will be useful to school leaders, governors and policy makers looking to address the need for greater expertise in primary science education. Based upon data from a survey and a set of case studies, it describes the different models for science teaching and leadership, and provides rich exemplars of these from schools that have made strategic decisions to adopt particular models of deployment.
How neuroscience is affecting education This report summarises the results of surveys asking teachers and parents about educational interventions which they use (or have come across) and which they think (or have been told) are based on neuroscience. The surveys are not representative but indicate the sorts of ideas that are being applied in education, and how they are selected and evaluated.
Working with Schools in STEM Public Engagement The Wellcome Trust commissioned a report examining the approaches taken by Wellcome Trust-funded research centres when working with schools. This report has informed the production of a set of guidelines for centres and other organisations who work with schools in STEM public engagement.
Primary Science Quality Mark: Learning from good practice in primary science This report presents the results of a scoping project to investigate which questions about the teaching and learning of science in primary schools can be answered using submissions made in the first round (2011) of the Primary Science Quality Mark award programme. DownloadDownload report [339 KB]
Perspectives on Education 'Perspectives on Education' is a series of reports presenting well-argued and evidenced views from across the education sector, with the aim of promoting informed debate. The most recent issue examines the effects of accountability systems.
Previous issues consider inquiry-based-learning, primary science and primary-secondary transfer in science.
A Recommended Code of Governance for Schools The Wellcome Trust has developed 'A Recommended Code of Governance for Schools', working with the National Governors' Association, the National College of School Leadership, Ofsted and DfE. It aims to improve how school governing bodies work, including how they set strategic direction, evaluate their own performance, and hold the headteacher and other senior school leaders to account.
Review of Informal Science Learning The Wellcome Trust commissioned two reports, from GHK Consulting and from Stanford and Oregon State Universities, to review informal science learning in the UK and its value to science education. The Trust responded to these reports with a short commentary.
Big Picture evaluation
Evaluation: Big Picture teaching resource In spring 2012, the Wellcome Trust evaluated 'Big Picture', its free publication on bioscience, and explored ways in which it could be developed. We hope that this summary of the main findings will be of use to other organisations developing materials for teachers and students, particularly those interested in offering resources online or for other interactive devices, including mobile phones and whiteboards. DownloadDownload report [2.1 MB]
Working Together: Making STEM happen in secondary schools
Working Together: Making STEM happen in secondary schools The Wellcome Trust's Camden science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) initiative was carried out over two academic years, starting in 2009.
This report, 'Working Together: Making STEM happen in secondary schools', presents a series of teaching and learning ideas from Camden schools that we hope will be used by schools elsewhere to develop STEM activities and curricula. It also sets the initiative in a wider context, outlining the importance of STEM education and its impacts on young people.
DownloadDownload report [3.6 MB]
Primary Science Survey Report This reports the findings of an online survey run by the Wellcome Trust in July 2011. It asked primary school teachers for their views on the status of primary science, the opportunities available to them and their students, and about any changes since the removal of SATs in England in 2009. DownloadDownload report [221KB]
Acquisition of Science Subject Knowledge and Pedagogy in Initial Teacher Training In 2009, the Wellcome Trust commissioned this study of postgraduate training for secondary science teachers. Most secondary science teachers teach outside their science specialism, and the Trust was interested in how trainees acquire subject knowledge and whether there are variations between institutions. DownloadDownload report [650KB]
Exploring Young People's Views on Science Education This research report was commissioned by the Trust and conducted by NFER in 2011 to look at young people's experiences of science education and how they could be enhanced. DownloadDownload report [720KB]
Darwin Education Initiative As part of the Darwin200 celebrations in 2009 the Wellcome Trust commissioned a range of activities including experiment kits for schools. The Great Plant Hunt for primary schools and Survival Rivals for secondary schools enabled young people to carry out practical investigations about evolution. This evaluation report looks at the impact of these resources. DownloadDownload report [ 582 KB]
Download summary [830 KB]
Leading Debate: 21 Years of the National Curriculum for science This seminar summary follows a meeting convened by the Wellcome Trust to mark 21 years of the National Curriculum for science. It is hoped that the five key messages presented in this summary will inform curriculum developers and policymakers when planning their future reforms. DownloadDownload report [540KB]
Subject Choice in STEM: Factors influencing young people (aged 14-19) in education The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre (EPPI-Centre) was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust to undertake a systematic review of research about subject choice. The main aim of the review was to examine the factors that influence the STEM subject choices of young people (14-19 years) in education in the UK. DownloadDownload report [PDF 5MB]
Attitudes of Children and Parents to Key Stage 2 Science Testing and Assessment This research report was commissioned by the Trust in January 2009 to provide information on parents' and pupils' views of testing and assessment in science at Key Stage 2 (year 6).The report is the first to look at the attitudes and concerns of children and parents on the way science is assessed in primary school. DownloadDownload report [PDF 8MB]
Becoming a Teacher: The experiences of STEM teachers The 'Becoming a Teacher' study is a six-year longitudinal study (2003-2009) exploring the progress of teachers from initial training through their early careers. This report looks at experiences and attitudes of teachers of STEM subjects at the end of their fourth year of teaching. Although the differences between these teachers and colleagues in other subjects are generally not significant, issues related to attitudes and career development warrant further investigation. DownloadDownload report [PDF 2MB]
Creative Encounters: Feasibility study for a touring exhibition to promote creative learning in science The Wellcome Trust has commissioned a feasibility study to explore the potential for a touring exhibition of creative work involving science and young people. This report reviews existing initiatives and outlines practical options for a contemporary visual arts-based exhibition aimed at stimulating interest and excitement in biomedical science among young people. DownloadDownload report [PDF 1.22MB]
The Effects of National Testing in Science at KS2 in England and Wales: Executive summary This summary report explores the effects of compulsory national testing in science on year 6 teachers and the teaching of science in England, as well as the impact of the abolition of statutory testing in science at KS2 in 2004 on Y6 teachers and the teaching of science in Wales.If you would like a copy of the full report please email: education@wellcome.ac.uk. DownloadDownload executive summary [PDF 236KB]
National Primary Science Survey (England) In-service Training Audit The preliminary report of the NPSS presented information concerning self-perceptions of National Curriculum science from primary head teachers, science coordinators and class teachers across a number of geographically diverse regions of the country.This NPSS Inservice Training Audit was commissioned by the Wellcome Trust and presents a comprehensive and more detailed analysis of the NPSS data pertaining specifically to in-service training issues. DownloadDownload report [PDF 1.35MB]
Evaluation of the National Network of Science Learning Centres: Final report This report presents the findings of the Evaluation of the National Network of Science Learning Centres (SLCs), undertaken between May 2006 and December 2007. DownloadDownload report [PDF 2.84MB]
Believers, Seekers and Sceptics This report is based on a research study that sets out to find out what teachers think about continuing professional development (CPD). 31/01/06 DownloadDownload briefing report [PDF 320KB]
Primary Horizons: Starting out in science 'Primary Horizons' is based on a research study that sets out to explore teachers' views and experiences of primary science education across the UK and to identify ways in which it could be improved. 12/09/05 DownloadDownload full report [PDF 2.18MB]
Life Study: Biology A level in the 21st century 'Life Study' is a research report that sets out to understand current views and attitudes towards biology A level from a range of stakeholders and interested parties. 01/10/03 DownloadDownload full report [PDF 244KB]
Valuable Lessons: Engaging with the social content of science in schools 'Valuable Lessons' is a research report that explores how teachers approach controversial topics raised by science in their lessons. 05/12/01 DownloadDownload full report [PDF 490KB]
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