The challenge | Lessons had become too focussed on English and Maths: gaps in learning in the core subjects caused by a high level of mobility had taken over teaching and it was time and rebuild the curriculum.

The method | 3 drivers, collectively known as ‘Science Capital’, were used to drive engagement. These were: Diversification, Personalisation and Localisation

  • An ‘extreme Science fortnight’ was held in partnership with local STEM scientists
  • A range of trips and visits meant pupils experienced Science at work in real life contexts including pharmaceutical and veterinary medicine
  • A home-school learning ‘Science Fair’ project was with the help of pupil ‘Science Ambassadors’
  • Workshops and assemblies were led by a local scientist undertaking research in the Antarctic
  • An extra-curricular Science club was introduced, launched by a local theatre group and run by local scientists, with funded places for vulnerable and disadvantaged pupils
  • Pupil ambassadors chose to lead a whole school year-long research and conservation project on ladybirds, supported by a guest scientist from Cambridge University
  • We made Science knowledge ‘stickier’ through storytelling; a published author was invited to lead a series of story-telling events

The impact | 100% of staff involved in the project are more confident in teaching Science. There is now a mutually shared understanding of what ‘mastery’ and ‘greater depth’ in Science entails and of what progression looks like in Science. Pupil surveys indicate strong engagement and enjoyment in Science and 94% say that they might choose to carry on Science in their secondary and adult lives. Our Science Leader has developed the expertise to support other local cluster schools.

In addition, the school’s bank of Science resources now includes:

  • Sustainable links with local scientists
  • A calendar of enrichment events
  • A fully subscribed science club
  • A well-stocked Science cupboard – achieved by staff and children through a variety of fund-raising events, including a sleepover attended by 95 children!

Contact | Sarah Poulton