A school in Portsmouth has become one of the first in the country to use a new ‘hands-on’ system for teaching science.
The new Empiribox system has been trialed by pupils and staff at Ark Ayrton Primary Academy in Southsea, The Portsmouth News reports.
Empiribox provides practical science lessons every week of the year over a four-year cycle for Key Stage 2 pupils in Years 3 to 6.
Science teaching components are provided in 12-week cycles. After each cycle, the equipment is collected from the school and the next consignment delivered.
One of the main benefits of the system is that schools using it do not have to invest in expensive equipment or worry about the storage of items that will only be used again in several years’ time.
Pupils cover 12 topics during the 12 weeks, giving them a solid skill set and grounding in practical science. Empiribox hopes this will spark their enthusiasm, inspiring them to continue studying the subject further down the line.
The program is aimed at boosting the confidence of those in teaching jobs as well as improving learner outcomes.
According to the Royal Society, over 96 per cent of primary school teachers have no science qualifications, meaning they can feel uncomfortable teaching a highly technical subject.
Tracey Woods, Ark Ayrton’s science coordinator, said: “The provision of all the equipment and documentation necessary, plus the growing confidence of our teaching staff in delivery thanks to the regular training included, has directly resulted in the increased enthusiasm and excitement our pupils are now displaying for the whole subject.”
She added that the system has boosted the progress of key stage 2 pupils, making them more engaged and receptive to learning about science, while their numeracy and literacy have also improved.
Due to the success of the Empiribox trials, which have involved more than 50 schools, the system will now be made available to all primary schools throughout England and Wales.
Posted by Charlotte Michaels