Science weeks and days are a great opportunity for schools to raise the profile of science and increase enthusiasm for the subject. Many schools choose to timetable these throughout the year but there is a British Science Week which will take place this year between the 11th and 20th of March.
During this week, businesses, museums and schools across the country will be hosting and running events to inspire young scientists. Schools can find out about these events, download activity packs and find out about competitions by visiting the British Science Week website: www.britishscienceweek.org
If you are looking for a theme for this year’s science week, then why not think about a space theme? With Tim Peake making history as the first British European Space Agency astronaut, there is a wealth of support and resources available for teachers to inspire the next generation. The STEM Centre has collated and described a whole range of resources linked to space, from rockets to space dinners, and is worth taking a look at: www.stem.org.uk/esero/tim-peake
Primary science quality mark (PSQM)
The primary science quality mark (PSQM) is continuing to raise the profile of science within schools and there are currently over 50 Hertfordshire schools that have gained the award. The process of gaining the mark involves self-evaluation of the existing provision for science, an action plan that focuses on improving all aspects of teaching and learning in science, and a reflective submission with key pieces of evidence.
Subject leaders often comment on how the process of gaining the award has helped them to develop their role and support their school in real and sustained improvement in science.
The next cohort will begin in April 2016.
For more information or to register your interest please visit www.psqm.org.uk
Primary science package
The primary national curriculum now contains broad statements for each topic and a range of more demanding, working scientifically objectives, which present teachers with challenges around planning and assessment.
To support this, HfL has developed a suite of resources, the Primary science package, which contains a range of assessment tasks, tracking documents and a breakdown of the knowledge required for each topic to help teachers with planning.
These resources have been designed to help schools feel confident in securing and judging the progress of children in science and help take the science curriculum to the next step.
For more information please contact Charlotte Jackson at: email@example.com
Wildlife Action Awards
Outdoor learning and understanding of the nature in the local area is a significant part of the science curriculum, especially at KS1, and many Hertfordshire schools have fantastic environment areas.
The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has an award scheme where pupils, classes and year groups can collect points for finding out what there is in the natural environment that helps to protect it, including activities like making hedgehog homes. The award scheme has been used by wildlife clubs and classes to help recognise the work children have done to protect wildlife.
For more information about the awards, visit: http://bit.ly/TE-WildlifeAwards
Charlotte Jackson – Herts for Learning Science Advisor
Charlotte joined the teaching and learning advisory team this September, bringing experience from both the secondary and primary sectors.
She has a passion for increasing students’ engagement in science, and particularly enjoys bringing new ideas and initiatives to learning. She has a particular interest in exploring ideas to foster creativity in science which help to create independent and resilient learners.
Charlotte has a strong background in enriching the curriculum, especially for the more able, which was a focus of her Masters in Education. She has supported schools in planning exciting programs of enrichment. Now a Hub Leader for the Primary Science Quality Mark, she has experience in leading a primary school to achieve the Gold Award.
Since joining, Charlotte has been developing resources to support schools in assessing pupil progress in primary science.