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Identity statement

Reference code(s)
Level of description
Sub-fonds of Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
35 boxes


Name of creator(s)

Chelsea College, Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project

Administrative / Biographical history

The proposals of a biology panel of 1961 (made up of members of both the Science Masters Association and the Association of Women Science Teachers, later the Association for Science Education) to discuss teaching methods for Biology O-level (BOL) formed the starting point for deliberations of the Biology Section of the Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project. As a first step in 1962 a group of teachers was appointed to draft a complete O-level course in biology. The third year was tried out in schools during 1963-1964. During the following year, all five years were tried out. The draft publications were then revised on the basis of teachers' and pupils' criticism. The course organiser was Mr W H Dowdeswell, and the consultative committee consisted of Professor M M Swann, Mr D P Bennett, Mr C D Bingham, Dr J K Brierley, Professor J H Burnett, Professor G E Fogg, Miss M Going, Mr E J Machin, Mr S T S Skillin, and Dr N Tinbergen. Others involved in the compilation and testing of material and writing of books made up the Team Leaders and Area Leaders. The Nuffield Foundation Biology Project was envisaged as a five-year course for pupils between the ages of 11 and 16. The first two years, covering the ages 11 to 13, represented the introductory phase in which the groundwork was laid. The final three years represented the O-level examination. Schools were encouraged to start pupils at Year I or Year III. A Text and Teachers' Guide was produced for each of the five years of the course. Examinations in the Biology O-level were first set in summer 1965 for pupils from trial schools only. Similar examinations were held in 1966 and 1967. For the years following the GCE Examining Boards agreed that a Nuffield O-level paper would be set for all candidates wishing to enter. The Nuffield O-level Biology Continuation related to evaluation of BOL materials, and concentrated on four areas: content analysis; teacher opinion; implementation in schools; and examinations. The analysis included a questionnaire and was carried out in 1970.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

The papers were transferred to King's College London Archives from the Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project at Chelsea College.

Content & structure

Scope and content

Records, 1962-c1973, on the Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project (NFSTP) Biology O-level course, comprising general papers and correspondence, 1962-1971, including course contents and Five Year Trial Course; papers relating to meetings and conferences, 1962-1971, including the consultative committee; correspondence with schools, 1964-1966; papers relating to publications and visual aids, 1964-1967; Nuffield Foundation Biology O-level Texts, published by Longmans/Penguin Books, and related papers, 1963-1973, including NFSTP progress reports, 1964-1966, NFSTP Biology Newsletter , 1963-1964, and students' textbooks, 1966-1969; papers relating to examinations and projects, 1963-c1973, including question papers and reports on examinations, marking schemes, analyses of results and data on pupils' ability; Teachers' Guides to courses and information/teaching papers, 1963-1972; questionnaires and comments on Biology O-level including papers relating to revision of the course, 1963-1971; papers relating to apparatus and equipment, 1964-1968.

System of arrangement

Arranged in series as outlined above.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

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

Conditions governing reproduction

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.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

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

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Related units of description

King's College London Archives holds the records of the Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project (NFSTP), 1949-1993 (Ref: CNU), the other sub-fonds comprising general papers, 1961-1974 (Ref: CNU/STP); the Secondary Science Education Programme, 1965-1974 (Ref: CNU/SS); the Junior Science Project, 1960-1974 (Ref: CNU/JSP); the Combined Science Project, 1964-1970 (Ref: CNU/CSP); A-level in Physical Sciences, 1955-1974 (Ref: CNU/ALPS); Physics A-and O-level, 1963-1972 (Ref: CNU/PAL, CNU/POL); Chemistry O-level, 1962-1974 (Ref: CNU/COL); Chemistry A-level, 1962-1974 (Ref: CNU/CAL); Biology A-level, 1963-1972 (Ref: CNU/BAL); records relating to publications, also including material on NFSTP administration, 1949-1992 (Ref: CNU/PBN); published texts, 1960-1993 (Ref: CNU/TEXT); film loops and accompanying teaching notes, 1966-1978 (Ref: CNU/BOL/FL, CNU/COL/FL, CNU/BAL/FL, CNU/CAL/FL, CNU/PAL/FL, CNU/SS/FL, CNU/CSP/FL). It also holds records of the Schools Council Integrated Science Project (based, like the NFSTP, at Chelsea College and inspired by the Nuffield Combined Science Scheme), 1968-1984 (Ref: C/SCISP, C/SC, C/SCPT, C/SCI5-13).

Description control

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project. Source: list at King's College London Archives.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

Feb 2001, revised Mar 2001


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  • Biology education
  • Communications media
  • Curriculum
  • Educational evaluation
  • Educational institutions
  • Educational personnel
  • Educational sciences
  • Educational statistics
  • Equipment
  • Examinations
  • Field work
  • Information sciences
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  • Schoolchildren
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  • Science education
  • Scientific equipment
  • Secondary school students
  • Secondary school teachers
  • Student evaluation
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  • Teachers
  • Teaching materials

Corporate names

  • Nuffield Foundation Science Teaching Project

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