Science Ron R itchie
When the National Curriculum was first announced in 1986, the inclusion of science as a core subject came as a surprise to many teachers. At that time, science was effectively an ‘optional extra’ in the curricula of the majority of primary and special schools. However, a decade later science can be regarded as one of the success stories of the National Curriculum. It has become generally accepted by teachers that all pupils have an entitlement to a science education, although there is still some way to go to make such an entitlement a practical reality. The government had originally indicated its intention of introducing ‘Science for all’ in a policy document (DES, 1985). This set an agenda covering breadth, balance, relevance, differentiation, equal opportunities, continuity, progression, links across the curriculum, teaching methods and assessment that led to the science National Curriculum. This chapter explores the implications of a science curriculum for all pupils from 5 to 16 and addresses the particular opportunities and challenges this provides for teachers working in special schools.