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#ASEchat 149 - Published schemes of work - how do you choose and use them in science?

21 April 2014 with host Rob Butler @cleverfiend 

Is a department scheme best? How much is too much to spend on a published scheme of work? #ASEchat participants shared their thoughts.

I opened the chat by asking “Published schemes of work - how do you choose and use them in science?”.  @Viciascience responded by saying he imagines that every school has a standby set of textbooks and others joined in by discussing their purchased schemes (see chat transcript for details).  @ViciaScience asked the going rate for a KS3 scheme and GregtheSeal responded with the figure of £3000.

@Deepexperience1 suggested we get out those textbooks for the 1950s and @Cleverfiend responded by saying if there is a match with content then why not?  @Deepexperience1 went on to say that modern schemes relied too heavily on worksheets, and @cleverfiend replied by saying that being in special measures at his school had resulted in a move away from worksheets.  @MissWatford confirmed that they are used for last minute cover work whilst @gregtheseal said they good for independent research.

Some chatters had an issue with the length of lessons not being matched to their schools, for example two chat participants had 100 minute lessons.  @TFScientist thought that a department made scheme is best, then you get a format for your lessons and everyone is invested in the scheme. 

@ViciaScience suggested that iBooks might be the way forward with cheap publishing and purchasing costs.  Gregtheseal suggested a crowd-sourced book published through iTunes. @HRogerson told us that most publishers are supporting ebooks (although many require a subscription rather than purchasing them), @Hodder are letting you buy ebooks through Amazon.  It was felt that there was an issue of quality control when crowd sourcing materials and despite many of the ASE members having been involved in writing schemes in the past, there wasn’t a single scheme that received universal praise from chat participants.

@ViciaScience asked about a central skeleton scheme of work and @Cleverfiend raised the prospect of another QCA scheme being a bad idea.  Some people like the idea of a scheme and @HRogerson pointed out that at least the QCA scheme being widely adopted let you mix and match resources from different sources.