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Members' Update: What our committees have been up to this spring

28 March 2018

ASE is a community led charity. Our members share their expertise across a broad spectrum of groups and committees to ensure that ASE continues to make progress on our mission to promote excellent in science teaching and learning. This is what's been happening so far in 2018! 

ASE Education Group

The ASE Strategic Plan directs our work, both of the group and as individuals.

  • The standard for Professional Development informed our more in depth evaluations collected at National Conference led by Chris Colclough.
  • Chris reported back on the findings of the Subject specific CPD survey for teachers (see future EiS article) A Technician specific CPD survey, is now live until (deadline 20th April)
  • Ed group directed input to the recent Consultation on ITT and career progression for teachers. This is being linked to developing an ASE mentor programme, that formed the basis of a submission for EEF/Wellcome funding.
  • 4 new best practice statements Environment and Sustainability, Mathematics in Science, Governors, Diversity and Equality have been signed off and published. Other Best Practice documents planned SLT and science, Outdoor learning and Evidence based practice
  • As Chair Elect Mary Whitehouse, prepares to take on the role of chair, the group have been looking at formative assessment, experiencing CPD using Mary’s expertise, as well as thinking about how the group can support science teachers with formative assessment.

Chair Linda Needham 

ASE Research Group

  • A communications plan is to be drawn up to keep members up to date with Research in science education, through ASE publications and the web site
  • The new book Research in Science Education will be ready for publication launch at Annual conference January 2019
  • The group is looking for new members and would like to encourage school based researchers/ research leads to join the group
  • There are plans to raise the profile of science education research at the Annual Conference

Chair Jane McNicholl 

ASE International Group

  • Reviewed International Day at Annual Conference in Liverpool 2018
  • Planned themes and structure of International Day at Annual Conference in Birmingham 2019
  • Discussed proposal and plans for an International Conference in Hong Kong Nov 2108
  • Discussed ideas for increasing membership and communication with international members

Interim Chair Chris Harrison 

ASE Primary Committee

  • Review of the primary strand of the annual conference. The TeachMeet, sponsored by Wellcome Trust, was a new, very successful addition to the Saturday programme. The Brenda Keough lecture was very well structured and organised. Pop up was again very popular. The timetable worked well and will be kept the same for 2019. Annual Conference is an essential event for teachers of primary science
  • The subject leader's survival guide was reviewed and next steps identified.
  • We met jointly with 11-19 committee taking part in a session led by Allana Gay (co-founder BAMEedNetwork. As a committee we will continue to ensure that our publications show a good range of diversity as a first step.

Chair Naomi Hiscock 

ASE Technicians Committee

  • We are promoting the ASE Technicians CPD survey and are interested to know how much technicians are supported in their role, do complete the survey it closes on 20th April 18
  • We contributed to the recent #TECHOGNITIAN social media campaign on Twitter, if you want some ideas of how to communicate the role technicians play in the smooth running of our science departments a quick search for the #TECHOGNITIAN will help
  • We are starting to work with Gatsby and Wellcome looking at a similar campaign for school technicians to the “Technician Commitment” running in HE
  • Plans for the next Annual Technicians Conference in York 5th and 6th July are well under way

Chair Ann Bullen 

ASE Health and Safety Group

Appeal for new members to the group; you don’t have to be a H & S expert to join us, just a working knowledge of school laboratory practice. If you are interested to see what we get up to, do join one of our meetings as a guest, contact Ralph Witcher rwhitcher@btinternet.com to find out more

  • We have published further Revised Topics in Safety (available for members only) which we aim to complete in 2018, alongside a review of the guidance made available.
  • We delivered our 'Yes We Can!' workshop at the ASE Annual Conference, a demonstration of practical activities often thought to be banned or restricted, with plans for a similar workshop in 2019
  • We are underway with the revision of the book 'Safeguards in the School Laboratory' which will be completed by 2020, producing a new 12th edition.

Chair Ralph Witcher 

ASE 11-19 Committee

  • Review and minor amendments to the #SciTeacherSOS document following feedback from individuals and #ASEchat
  • Discussion of how to support teachers through the new sos@ase.org.uk email.
  • Updates from guest teachers about issues facing science teachers in Northern Ireland and Wales.
  • Update from Linda Needham on latest Best Practice documents produced by Education Group.
  • Joint session with primary committee led by guest speaker Allana Gay, co-founder of BAMEedNetwork.
  • Annual conference review and planning for 2019 with our conference secretary Susie Burr and conference organiser Nicola Hern.
  • Sharing of potential book recommendations for the ASE bookshop.

At our June meeting a key focus will be consideration of our response to the issues being raised by teachers using the SOS email and support document. How can ASE help?

We will also be discussing strategies to encourage and support more teachers to present at conferences as well as committee priorities for the coming year.

Chair Helen Harden