This record is held by King's College London: College Archives

Details of C/SCISP
Reference: C/SCISP

Records, 1968-1984, of the Schools Council Integrated Science Project (SCISP), created by the senior members of the SCISP team, comprising papers of the SCISP consultative committee, 1969-1981, including minutes and other meeting papers, correspondence, comments on the trials course material, and publicity; papers relating to Phase 1 and Phase 2 trials schools, 1970-1979, largely correspondence with and feedback from individual schools; correspondence files concerning implementation of the scheme in schools participating in Phase 3 of the Project, 1970-1983, including correspondence of the Project Co-ordinator with the Area Co-ordinator, Area Local Education Authorities, and Area Schools; papers relating to Area Co-ordination, 1970-1982, including minutes and other meeting papers; correspondence and papers, 1968-1982, including material relating to the SCISP Advisory Group, financial and administrative matters, personnel files, the preparation of the course and teaching material, apparatus, correspondence with individual colleges of education requesting information and material, publicity, participants, the acceptability of the qualification, and SCISP overseas; papers relating to SCISP and other conferences, 1971-1979; papers relating to SCISP publications on Patterns (pupils' and technicians' manuals and teachers' guide), background books, Exploring Science and others such as SCISP leaflets and Newsletters, 1970-1983, including trial versions and supporting papers; papers on assessment, 1968-1984, including meeting papers of the SCISP Assessment Working Party and correspondence with the Associated Examining Board; papers on SCISP in Northern Ireland, 1969-1975, including feedback; papers on evaluation and feedback, 1970-[1982], including feedback from schools and pupils, data on their performance, and evaluation of course content; correspondence on acceptability of the SCISP O-level with professional and educational organisations, 1970-1984; papers on Mode 3 CSE based on SCISP, 1974-1982, including planning and reports; reports, 1977, of the Schools Council Syllabus Steering Groups on various subjects, relating to proposals for reform of sixth-form curricula and examinations and the replacement of A-levels with N- and F-levels; miscellaneous Schools Councils publications, 1971-1983, some including sections on Nuffield Science Projects; publications of the Schools Council's Project Technology, 1969-1971, offering guidance to schools wanting to include technology studies in their curriculum; publications, 1968-1973, and reports, 1971-1973, of Science 5/13, a project sponsored partly by the Schools Council and the Nuffield Foundation to assist teachers in helping children aged between five and thirteen to learn science; publications, 1965-1974, of miscellaneous bodies, including the British Petroleum Company Ltd, Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project, the Peak Park Planning Board and Unilever Ltd, on various scientific topics.

Date: 1968 - 1984

Arranged in series with files relating to Phase I and Phase 2 trials schools arranged in alphabetical order by name of school and contents within the files generally in chronological order; files relating to Phase 3 schools are arranged by area, and within that alphabetically by school. Correspondence and papers are arranged alphabetically by correspondent or subject.

Related material:

King's College London Archives holds the records of the Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project, 1949-1993, based, like SCISP, at Chelsea College (Ref: CNU).

Held by: King's College London: College Archives, not available at The National Archives
Language: English

Schools Council Integrated Science Project, 1969 -

Physical description: 56 boxes, 1 volume
Restrictions on use:

Photocopies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive Services, King's College London.

Access conditions:

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Immediate source of acquisition:

The papers were transferred to King's College London Archives from the Centre for Science Education at Chelsea College.

  • Science education
Unpublished finding aids:

List available in reading room at King's College London Archives.

Administrative / biographical background:

The Beginnings of SCISP


In 1969 a proposal for the development of an integrated science scheme for 13 - 16 year old pupils was accepted by the Schools Council and a development grant allocated. The impetus for this Project had been provided by the Nuffield Combined Science Scheme, designed for 11 - 13 year old pupils. Dr William C. Hall and Brian Mowl were appointed to organize and direct the Project, which was based at the Centre for Science Education, Chelsea College.


The Project 'brief' was to produce an integrated science course suitable for the top 20% of the ability range, leading to a special G.C.E. O-level examination with double certification. The course required about one fifth of the school time-table for a period of three years.


The stated overall aims of the SCISP scheme were:


1. To help the pupils develop intellectual skills which will be particularly useful if their careers are science based.


2. To give priority to developing those skills over the teaching of facts.


3. To develop and change pupil attitudes to science, society and their own education.


4. To encourage pupils to make critical and sceptical analyses of their own work and that of scientists and technologists.


See: C/SCISP4/F110, page 3


The SCISP Phases, 1 - 3


Trials of the SCISP course began in September 1970 in twenty-one schools in the London, Birmingham and Northern Ireland regions. These were known as the Phase 1 trials schools. (See: C/SCISP2/F1 - C/SCISP2/F23). Upon successful application by SCISP for an increase in its grant ten more schools were able to join the Project from September 1971. These were known as the Phase 2 trials schools. (See: C/SCISP2/F24 - C/SCISP2/F35). During Phase 1 and 2 schools tested trials versions of the SCISP course materials and pupils took examinations for the qualification.


In September 1973 the trials period ended and Phase 3 began - the 'dissemination' phase, from which date the final version of the SCISP course was taught in hundreds of schools. For co-ordination of Phase 3 England, Wales and Northern Ireland were divided, arbitrarily, into fifteen Areas. A Co-ordinator was appointed for each Area to organize SCISP schools and liaise with the national Project Co-ordinator. (See: C/SCISP2/F39 - C/SCISP2/F264, and see C/SCISP3/F9 - C/SCISP3/F23)




1969 Dr William C. Hall and Brian Mowl appointed Joint Organizers for the Integrated Science Project.


1970 Sep Phase 1 trials begin.


1971 Sep Phase 2 trials begin.


1972 Sep 1 Marguerite Jarman appointed Project Co-ordinator to organize and direct Phase 3.


1973 Aug Dr Hall leaves the Project.


1973 Sep The trials period ends and Phase 3 begins.


1973 Dec Brian Mowl leaves the Project.


1973 Dec Marguerite Jarman leaves the Project.


1974 Jan Roger Landbeck takes over as Phase 3 Project Co-ordinator.


1974 Sep Roger Landbeck leaves the Project.


Mike Lyth takes over as Project Co-ordinator on a part-time basis directing the Project into the early 1980s. (Lyth was also a lecturer on the course for the Post Graduate Certificate in Education, in mathematics or science, at the Chelsea College Centre for Science Education).




John Bausor Physicist (?)


Barbara Lawes Editorial Assistant, to work on trials material.


Sam McGuffin Northern Ireland Co-ordinator. (See: C/SCISP8/F1 - C/SCISP8/F16)


Mike Nice Team Member, to deal with feedback and develop the technicians' manual. (Appointed [1971], leaves Aug 1973)


David Wimpenny Research Fellow, for assessment and evaluation. Appointed Sep 1971, leaves in Aug 1974 to take up a post at the Associated Examining Board, with special responsibility for SCISP. (See: C/SCISP7/F1 - C/SCISP7/F52 and C/SCISP9/F1 - C/SCISP9/F22)


The SCISP Team was aided in administration, management, planning and development of the Project by a Consultative Committee. The Committee consisted mainly of persons involved in science education at universities, colleges, schools, the DES, industry and the Schools Council. (See: C/SCISP1/F1 - C/SCISP1/F17)


Assessment in SCISP


The SCISP G.C.E. O-level was administered by the Associated Examining Board for all boards. Successful candidates received two O-level grades Integrated Science A, which focused on pattern-finding and Integrated Science B, which focused on problem-solving. The double certification was to stand in lieu of the normal separate science grades.


The examination included a teacher-assessed element which was regularly discussed and standardized, and a paper was prepared giving the SCISP criteria for the teacher assessment of pupil attitudes and value judgements. (See: C/SCISP7/F51)


(For files on the G.C.E. O-level assessment see: C/SCISP7/F1 - C/SCISP7/F52)


Course material


The SCISP course was called Patterns. (An explanation of the philosophy and structure of the Patterns scheme is found in the Patterns Teacher's Handbook, C/SCISP4/F92 & C/SCISP4/F93)


An inventory of eighty-six patterns and concepts in science (contained in the Teacher's Handbook) formed the basis of the course - the nearest equivalent to a syllabus. The course texts represented one way of teaching those patterns and concepts, and were based on three large-scale organizing patterns used by scientists: building blocks, energy, and interactions. Background books were also prepared to provide further, optional, reading to parts of the Patterns texts.


'Trials' versions of Patterns manuals (for pupils, teachers and technicians) and background books were produced and tested by Phase 1 and 2 trials schools. These schools forwarded comments and criticisms on the texts to the SCISP team. The final revised versions of the Patterns manuals and background books were published in 1973 and 1974, and were used after the trials stage had ended.


In the late 1970s work began on the preparation of a new set of SCISP books, Exploring Science. This series was aimed at pupils in the average to lower range of ability.


(For files on the course material see: C/SCISP6/F1 - C/SCISP6/F98)


CSE Developments


In 1974 and 1975 a Project survey revealed that over three quarters of the participating schools had developed a CSE Mode 3 examination based on the philosophy and structure of SCISP. Further research by SCISP into the extent of, and reasons for these developments led to the setting up of the SCISP 16+ Working Party in 1977. During the late 1970s and early 1980s the Working Party devised a Mode 3 CSE examination model based on the SCISP O-level, and incorporating a revised Patterns inventory. A report outlining their ideas for an examination model was published in 1979.


(For files on the Mode 3 CSE see: C/SCISP11/F1-C/SCISP11/8)

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research