Children love Science Weeks and Science Days, when the regular timetable is relaxed and every lesson is their favourite one – science! Of course British Science Week is the ideal opportunity to do this, but you can hold a School Science Week at any time to suit your school.
Whatever the form and content of the Science Week, there are several features that are consistent in all schools:
- A Science Week demands significant organisation – usually managed by the science subject leader, flexible timetables, some budgetallocation, and keen and willing teachers and TAs. Team work is required and plenty of planning time!
- A Science Week is excellent CPD for teachers as it is an opportunity for them to explore new strategies for teaching and learning science in their own classrooms as well as work with experts from other sectors.
- A Science Week gives a school wide profile to Science, and raises interest and enthusiasm not just in children but also staff, governors and parents.
Which leads to an important question: what happens next?
How can that high profile and raised enthusiasm for science be maintained? What will be the impact of Science Week in the following weeks and terms?
The answer is straightforward: evaluate. Listen to children, teachers and parents and find out what was impactful that can be built into regular planning for science teaching and learning. Interrogate Science Week using the following questions:
- Did the visits and visitors enrich children’s understanding of applications of science?
- How can these become a regular part of the science curriculum?
- Did teachers extend their own repertoires of science teaching strategies?
- Was the range of enquiry types increased?
- Were there more opportunities for children to raise their own questions?
- Were children practically gathering evidence to answer their questions?
- Were they given more time to report and reflect on their findings?
- Did children develop their scientific understanding securely?
- What did teachers learn about effective teaching of science that they will take into their planning for the future?
- Which new resources have they used that will become part of their library?
- Did parents and carers enjoy taking part in Science Week?
- How can this participation and commitment be maintained?
- Could there be a regular home – school science challenge?
- Would parents help with science clubs or regular classroom activity, or develop the outdoor area or manage a school allotment?
- Who will contribute to a science area on the school website?
- Did children enjoy sharing their science learning in assembly?
- Will there be a science assembly every half term?
- Would a ‘scientist of the week’ award keep the profile of science?
- Can science work always be displayed in the school entrance hall?
There is no doubt that Science Weeks are motivating, enriching and great science learning experiences for all concerned. Enjoy British Science Week – and your own School Science week, and use what you learn from it to make sure that every week in your school is a Science Week!
Snap Science series editor
Cultivate a spirit of enquiry in your pupils with Snap Science, practical exploration and investigation activities to inspire the whole class.