Triple Science Support Programme (TSSP) 2011-2014
The TSSP is funded by the Department for Education from October 2011 to March 2014. The aim of the programme is to enable more young people to take the three separate sciences at GCSE. The programme particularly focuses on students who are not in the highest ability groups, and those from more deprived backgrounds.
In addition to the regional Science Learning Centres, Myscience works with a range of stakeholders to steer and deliver aspects of the programme. The most significant of these are:
- Institute of Physics
- Royal Society of Chemistry
- Society of Biology
- Association for Science Education
The TSSP is designed around the requirements of the new phase of the programme, engaging primarily with those schools which are not yet delivering triple science or have fewer than 16 students studying triple science in Year 10. In addition regional Centres are also able to work with schools they consider to be ‘at risk’ of either dropping/reducing numbers studying triple science, or not extending it beyond their most able students. All partner schools receive support free of charge. In total we aim to work with around 650 schools across the lifetime of the programme.
Different aspects of the programme
The programme of CPD is designed to be flexible and includes:
- Existing courses on the SLCs programme
- New scheduled courses
- One-to-one or one-to-two support
- Bespoke courses
- Training modules and webinars
Further details on the CPD programme are available in the booklet ‘Continuing Professional Development: A guide for schools and teachers’.
b) Peer support
Peer support relationships enable a partner school to link directly with another school which is local to them and has overcome some of the same challenges they are facing with triple science. These relationships are identified within the action plan and brokered by either the regional Centre or the adviser. The relationship will probably last between one and three terms and will have specific objectives in terms of moving the partner school forward with triple science. The peer school receives some funding for their time.
The networks have three main objectives:
- support schools in introducing or increasing sustainable and effective triple science provision for their pupils
- encourage take up of triple science for the broadest range of pupils, including those claiming free school meals and those not currently in the highest ability groups
- encourage pupils’ take-up of science at post-16 and university
d) Online resources
A series of resources for triple science are available to download free of charge from the National STEM Centre website. These fall under two categories:
- Teaching triple science
- Managing triple science
Resources can be accessed by clicking here.
e) Online communities
New online communities are now available through the National STEM Centre for all science educators to access further resources and discussion around triple science.
Why is the Triple Science Support Programme important to the Society of Biology (SB)?
Myscience and the Society of Biology work together to promote triple science and develop the TSSP in a number of ways. The SB is represented on the steering group and contributes centrally to the development of the programme, particularly in relation to CPD. The programme contributes to the aims of the SB, which are:
- supporting and encouraging the study of biology at all levels
- supporting and recognising excellence in biology teaching
- championing a biology curriculum that challenges students and encourages their passion for biology
- supporting young scientists in their studies throughout higher education
- providing careers guidance to students at all levels
Education Officers on Branch Committees and education contacts in partner organisations may be interested in signposting schools towards the Triple Science Support Programme as a way of promoting Biology at GCSE, and therefore increasing the likelihood of young people going on to study Biology post-16.
If schools are interested in receiving support they can be directed to the programme website or to their regional Science Learning Centre.