Education resource writer (Oxford)

Oxford Sparks are looking for someone who could write a set of teaching resources to support and upcoming Oxford Sparks animation on an Earth Sciences Topic.

Oxford Sparks is the University of Oxford’s online science engagement project. We create informative and appealing short animations in collaboration with researchers about their research, as well as podcasts and a number of social media activities, to share with wider audiences.

Alongside our animations, we create teaching resources for secondary teachers, as suggested lesson plans to enrich their lessons with examples of contemporary science. You can see examples of these here: These are all reviewed and approved by our Teachers’ Panel and then shared via the Times Education Supplement and STEM Learning Centre‘s resource databases.

We’re now looking for someone with experience of creating resources for secondary science teachers to create a set of resources for an animation based on research in our Earth Sciences department, looking at how we can study ancient muds to learn about how the early conditions on Earth affected the development of early complex life. We can send the animation brief and script for further information.

At present we are looking for someone to write one set, but we work on 6 animations a year, so there may be further opportunities to work on further resources, depending on areas of expertise. We are looking for specialist in Earth Sciences or related – who has:

  • Significant experience in writing and designing high-quality scientific teaching resources that support engaging classroom activities.
  • Experience with a wide range of schools – independent and state, rural and urban, to ensure that, given the diversity of schools, the resources would work (on the whole) with the resources a school might have.
  • Knowledge of a wide range of pupils with differing needs e.g. SEN, G and T and EAL. Note that resources will not be intended to work across all these areas but would need to specify if a particular need is fulfilled.
  • Knowledge of staffing issues in schools – i.e. an understanding the many teachers will not be specialists in particular areas of science so the writing of resources for teachers should be sensitive to the amount of information needed.
  • Knowledge of different teaching schemes at KS3, 4 and A level.
  • Knowledge and understanding of what teachers expect from published resources.

The teaching resources author will be expected to undertake the following activities to support the production of resources:

  • Collaborating with academics / subject matter experts / others within the project to clarify issues (over email/phone).
  • Researching and gathering information required on the given subject of the animation.
  • Writing, editing and presenting a set of resources using the existing template.
  • Attending the Teachers’ Panel meeting, if possible, to take on board feedback for edits (31 May, Oxford)
  • Sourcing images (beyond those available from the animations – we have an account with Shutterstock).
  • The author will be engaged on a freelance consultant basis with fees – £750 (inc VAT if applicable). Expenses for travel to Oxford will be covered for attending meetings (with Teachers Panel for example).

The animation is due for completion by end of July, and teaching resources would be expected to be complete in time for the start of the new academic year.

If you’re interested, please send me an email with your CV by Weds 21 March.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch and if you know of colleagues who might interested, please forward this opportunity.