About Our Project
This project aimed to use an innovative and pupil-centred approach to facilitate the running of enjoyable and relevant practical Science lessons at primary schools by their own teachers. This involved the design and production of a resource pack containing all of the resources needed for teaching 4-6 different practical science experiments to primary age pupils. The aim was to provide these resources free of charge to the primary teachers participating in the workshops run as part of this project.
Mission & Vision
PISA reports show that the performance of European pupils in science has declined steadily since 2006. An increasing disaffection for scientific studies has been noted at a time when the number of jobs in the sector is on the rise. It has been shown that "teacher experience has the greatest effect on student achievement yet there is no requirement for primary teachers in Scotland to have any level of formal Science qualification". A survey of primary teachers carried out by the partner schools in 2020 found that most of them would like to run more practical lessons with their pupils if provided with the resources and the training to use them.
In the context of our project, it was felt that the plan to work with our senior pupils to develop resources and use these resources to teach primary teachers and pupils would benefit all groups, increasing the levels of engagement and enjoyment, promoting their acquiral of key scientific and other skills and competences and meeting the skills gap in primary teaching. This would help to attract pupils to studying Science subjects, which is an ongoing battle across Europe. Interpersonal skills development and development of a European identity were also aims.
Extended Learning in Primary Years in Science
The concrete outcome of our project is a resource pack for use by primary teachers, enabling them to run practical science lessons with their pupils. A main objective was the involvement of senior pupils in the production of this pack and in the training of primary teachers in the use of the materials ( available on loan from each partner school) so that they become a sustainable resource. Our plan was that our senior pupils would help to teach primary pupils directly, becoming role models as well as science tutor for younger pupils.
We hoped to further the internationalisation of our pupils as a result of their working as an international team to design, trial and teach using the resources and of socialising both remotely and at Learning Teaching and Training (LTT) meetings. The project aimed to engage in interdisciplinary teaching and learning with Business studies, Science, Languages and Design as the core areas involved at various stages of the project. Other aims were to improve the senior pupils' scientific skills and foreign language competences in a stimulating and creative way, to facilitate their engagement in voluntary work and to potentially increase their employability prospects. The development of ongoing partnerships between primary and secondary teachers and schools was also planned. We hoped to increase the enjoyment of and engagement in Science of primary staff and pupils in a sustainable manner. All of our aims were met.