The Contributory Database

Richard Hammond
Education Officer BECTa
This article first appeared in MAPE Focus on Science Autumn 2000

The VTC Contributory Database, having reached the end of the development stage, is to be launched in September 2000.

Find it at:

The Virtual Teacher Centre (VTC) provides a focus for information and resource materials for teachers and school managers on the grid, including support for professional development and classroom resources. The latest piece in this growing jigsaw is the VTC Contributory Database.

The VTC Contributory Database is designed to help teachers develop and share ideas for activities and resources. Contributions will be many and varied from simple ideas and questions to complete contributions, e.g. lesson plans or schemes of work, which will enable other teachers to use these resources within their own lessons.

Contributions can be made at two levels/tiers.

First tier

First thoughts: raw assets are submitted at this level

This could be as simple as an idea, e.g. How to make a pinhole camera from a crisps tube, to something more technical and sophisticated, e.g. a PowerPoint presentation with animation and sound to be used in whole class teaching. These are ideas, which are not complete about ways to teach a whole lesson/topic.

Second tier

Developing ideas: developed ideas for a whole lesson or topic with aims, objectives, learning outcomes, etc.

This could be submitted as a finished product by a contributor or could be developed by an author of a first thought after having had notes, comments, and feedback on the original contribution from other teachers.

Eventually resources can be developed to the third level.

Third tier

New resources: complete, structured learning and teaching resources

New ideas which have been used in other schools successfully could be moved to the third level having had notes, comments and feedback on how the idea had been used by different teachers/schools.

Although still in its development stage and by no means offering a comprehensive selection of contributions there are a significant range of ideas and assets. These can be viewed by browsing through the contributions.

Some of the contributions for Key Stages 1 & 2 include:


Other subjects/topics include



Plus many more. Log on and see for yourself and share your own assets.

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