I was pleased to be able to take part in a governing body visit last week, looking at the teaching of science across the school. I was in good company with governors Bridget Da Silva, Andrew Sails and Philip McGowan who are professional scientists. The school is currently working towards achieving Primary Science Quality Mark. This isn't just a nice plaque or certificate to put on the wall, but has real value in giving guidance, benchmarks and clear aims to help the school organise it's approach to science.
On our visit to the school we saw a wide range practice and scientific thinking being developed with the children. Reception were being treated to a talk on the arrival of the new honey bees and were full of questions, my favourite being 'why do bees buzz?' Plants were being dissected and the parts labelled by Y1 children, and in Y3, children were looking at the structure of teeth. Y2 were organising animals into different groups, a really important foundation for understanding and describing the natural world
As usual we were able to observe that children were able to use literacy, numeracy and problem solving on scientific challenges that were interesting to them. We noticed that children were confident in using scientific language, but not constrained in their thinking or communication by jargon. Andy and Philip, as working scientists were particularly keen to see science being presented as part of the real world and not stereotyped as being about people in white coats in laboratories ..(although Andy confessed that sometimes his job does require it!)
The part of a governors visit we all enjoy is 'Pupil Voice' when we get to talk with groups of children about their experience at school. We met groups from both Key Stages who were confident in expressing their honest opinion on science at Sele First. The children confirmed for us that science comes up in all areas of the curriculum. A really good example of this was the use of sports science in PE. They were also brimming with enthusiasm that visitors to SET will know well.
We are hopeful that Selefirst will gain recognition of its work on science teaching and I would like to thank Mrs McVittie for leading this work and all the staff and volunteers who contribute to its success.
Our full report will be available soon.