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The HUBS Spring Meeting is held annually and focuses on learning and teaching in the biosciences. The 2013 meeting was held on the 24th-25th April at Chicheley Hall, Buckinghamshire. Day one of the meeting featured a session on the transition from A level to university before the award of the 2013 HE Bioscience Teacher of the Year. The focus of the meeting on day two was how learned societies can work together in higher education.

 

In the first session attendees heard different perspectives on the transition between A-level and higher education. Gemma Garrett (head of education, Society of Biology and SCORE Committee member) opened the session by outlining the SCORE position on A level reform. Attendees then heard a teacher's perspective on the biology A level curriculum and assessment from Andy Squires, senior headteacher at Denbigh School. Two University of Leicester students then gave their different experiences of transitioning into higher education. The last speakers were representatives from the exam board OCR. Beth Black and Sally Brown summarised results of OCR's research projects on knowledge retention between A level and university and the effectiveness of curricula as preparation for university. The session finished with a roundtable discussion about what students should know when they come to HE. The key themes from the discussion were that skills and flexibility were of greater importance than specific knowledge.

Day two of the meeting featured a panel discussion on how HUBS can work together with learned societies. Representatives from four learned societies spoke about the work they do at HE before a panel discussion opened about areas learned societies might focus on. The meeting closed with a discussion session on reward and recognition for HE teaching. Key themes discussed included the extent to which teaching promotion is under-valued, how to develop promotion criteria with respect to teaching, transparency of promotion and how learned societies might work to improve the reward and recognition of teaching at the HE level.

A full report of the meeting and the presentations will be available from the HUBS reports section of the website shortly.