Science - why it's important and how to teach it
We all know science is a compulsory subject in English primary schools, but many teachers report a worrying trend that this important subject is being squeezed out of the curriculum. With science being less of a priority in recent years, too many schools are struggling to teach the recommended two hours every week.
The biggest concern is that a lack of science, technology, engineering and maths [STEM] skills are already holding back economic growth, and this will only get worse if we don't energise the next generation. This should be a wake-up call for everyone in government, business and education. Not only the nation's prosperity depend on this, but it also opens educational and careers opportunities for young people.
We believe that Science Bug delivers excellence from all angles - it helps to engage young scientists and also enables teachers to deliver excellent science lessons. Now that we have embedded good practice and good curriculum coverage, we also incorporated formative assessment, integrated into lesson plans to help teachers see the progress each child is making.
At Pearson we have recently conducted a case study at St Luke’s school in Camden, which started as a pilot during the programme development. Deputy Headteacher and Science Coordinator Rob Stephenson told us about his school’s experience with Science Bug and how the programme helped them to revolutionize science teaching. Rob explained that before the pilot teachers were less confident, but Science Bug help to change that.
Here are some of the quotes:
''Science Bug …directs teachers to give children the tools to investigate and come up with their own answers''
''Because of that training, science was instantly being taught on a regular basis using a good structure and good resources''
''Science Bug has really helped us to evolve our understanding of science as a school and make science a priority for development''
What really gives Science Bug an edge is the formative assessment we recently started to use within Science Bug and all lesson plans have assessment integrated in them – this will help to ‘catch’ children before they start lagging behind. Formative assessment is very targeted indeed so teachers can quickly spot any scientific misconceptions and make sure concepts are explained and understood correctly.
Find out more, download the case study.
Here is a quick summary showing why Science Bug is the way forward:
- well-structured lessons and resources help teachers grow confidence
- lessons plans allow for teachers own input
- good practice of science teaching with instant impact in the classroom
- engages children and ensures thorough learning of scientific concepts