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Members Update: Committee Report Winter 2016

19 December 2016

In addition to our Trustees and Education Group, ASE has several dedicated committees and specialist groups who work on behalf on the whole of our professional network. Their expertise and experience forms part of ASE’s voice. Each committee periodically issues a short update for members about the work they are undertaking on their behalf.

11 to 19 Committee 

At the last 11 to 19 committee meeting in November we were delighted to welcome our newest members who have already been contributing to the upcoming update of the Science Leaders’ Survival Guide. The first part of our meeting was held jointly with Primary Committee with whom we are collaborating in producing a document to show how Working Scientifically progress from primary through to secondary. As usual we provided feedback on a number of projects and policy documents from ASE and external organisations. It is important that our committee represents the full range of professionals involved in secondary education but making sure the voice of the classroom teachers is heard is a top priority. We then had a lively discussion about the new GCSE’s that schools in England are starting to teach. We are aiming to find positive way in which ASE can support its secondary members. This will remain a focus for this academic year so if you wish to share any views please get in touch with Helen Harden (chair).

In order to make sure our committee is truly representative we are looking to recruit a small extended network of teachers who can advise us in areas where we do not currently have expertise. If you work in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland and would like to contribute please contact Helen Harden ( The role would involve providing email feedback as well as a summary three times a year to inform us our meetings of any issues of concern to teachers. This may be via video conferencing if we can get the technology to work.

The committee will be hosting three sessions at ASE Annual Conference…it would be great to see you there!

ASE Primary Committee

Primary and 11-19 committees met together to discuss progression in Working Scientifically from Early Years to KS4 and are working collaboratively to provide guidance to support teachers.  The primary committee started working on the primary programme for the Primary Days at the ASE Annual Conference in Reading in January 2017.  This is a fantastic  opportunity for CPD, to meet and network with other subject leaders and just to have a good time!  If you have recently become an ASE as part of working towards your Primary Science Quality Mark, don't forget that you can bring your staff to the conference for one day for free. This meeting was the last meeting for the chair Lois Kelly and Joy Parvin both long standing members of the committee.  They were thanked for their work.  New members of the committee are David Allen from University of Hertfordshire and on the senior leadership team of PSQM and Tracey Ellicott who will represent Scotland.  Lucy Wood was co-opted onto the committee. The new chair of the Primary Committee is Naomi Hiscock. We wish her well.

After meeting with the secondary committee to discuss the Science Enquiry document and the potential new mathematics resource, we discussed the final arrangements for the annual conference which is shaping up to be an excellent event. The programme has been arranged into themes enabling delegates to make informed decisions about which sessions to attend. The committee has also worked hard on securing a primary room which will act as a hub for primary delegates to meet and network.

New assessment resources to support teachers to plan and moderate science within the new English curriculum have been published within the primary resources area of the website. Although designed for English schools these were viewed as being very useful for the rest of the UK also. It was decided to spend time at the next meeting reviewing the website to ensure that content is still relevant and provides sufficient support for all four countries.

ASE Technicians Committee

The technician committee prior to Annual Technician Conference in July were busy planning and organising. The Conference itself was well attended both days. This was the 20th ASE Technician Conference so we issued notebooks and bags as a celebration. The committee decided to not have end of the day keynote speakers instead we took time to draw the raffle and get feedback at the end of the day. After the conference we go through all the feedback sheets to help us plan next year’s conference trying to take into account what the delegates want to see. Our first meeting was in September when we plan the conference for next year. We also discussed what we are presenting at the Annual ASE Conference in Reading in January 2017 and any topics for discussion that have been raised by members. 

ASE Publications Specialist Group 

We met as a group of 7 with Marianne Cutler from HQ joining us for a short period in the afternoon, and a written report on the various journals from Jane Hanrott. Following various discussions on the journals and  progress to date  on such things as raising the profile of ASE publications and ways to ensure it is a good  membership perk, ideas were shared and considered. The way forward includes ensuring we have a science related World Book day/World poetry day every year, where we overtly linked our books with classroom ideas. This builds on our successful linking with Michael Rosen's book and his comment this year. Other ideas included having a writers workshop at each ASE Annual Conference and also introducing a new workshop session that widens teachers understanding of science related careers beyond the traditional STEM ones. Finally there is a drive to include more of our ASE  members in publication related ideas, such as the new ASE Science Book  of the year award - which requires volunteers to review the entries for 2016/2017 as well as new membership to our group.

How to apply for Committee membership

As part of ASE’s Committees or Specialist Groups, your expertise and experience will form part of ASE’s influential voice. You could also be part of setting the agenda for ASE’s activity in providing timely professional learning across science education. Committee members find that they learn a great deal, have valuable experience to add to that of the group, make friends and enjoy the experience. Find out more about ASE committees.

 If you are interested in becoming a member on any our committees please consider completing a nomination form above.