New science formula helps Wickhambreaux pupils excel

Year Five and Six pupils at Wickhambreaux C.E. Primary School in Kent are some of the first in the country to be trying a new ‘hands-on’ approach to learning about science.

Pupils at the OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ school have been quick to catch the bug for science by using the system for the last three terms which enables regular and varied practical scientific experimentation in the classroom, even at home.

“Imagine attempting to investigate and learn about Sound if there is only one tuning fork to share among a whole class? Now we have sufficient materials to allow pupils to work in pairs every week of the school year and conduct a whole range of exciting experiments to help us explore the wonders of chemistry, biology and physics,” said Linda Lodge, Science Coordinator at Wickhambreaux Primary.

Added Linda Lodge, “Our new ‘Do It’ approach to science fits well with the culture of Wickhambreaux but is only made possible by it being affordable in the first place, even by a small school like ours, and ensuring there is sufficient equipment and materials to go around. We have already seen how Empiribox helps better prepare our pupils for moving on to KS3 science at secondary school as well as aid numeracy and literacy.”

Suffolk Science Head sees benefits beyond the science

Blundeston and Corton Primary schools in Lowestoft have been using the Empiribox practical science teaching and learning system for four terms.

Ed Davey, Science Coordinator at Blundeston, has already identified a number of important benefits: “Our 100 KS2 pupils are learning much more than before as the system is increasing their knowledge and skills through more practical experimentation and investigative work, with enough equipment to work in pairs or small groups every week. It will be a tremendous help to our pupils as they approach secondary school as they are developing a richer vocabulary, greater reasoning, and improved numeracy.”

Added Ed Davey, who has spent over 10 years in teaching science at primary level and has a formal science background, “In my previous teaching experience it had always been a struggle due to a lack of appropriate science resources but Empiribox provides all the equipment and materials in one place and the training provided gives teachers added confidence, even if they don’t have a science background.

“Parents too are able to be involved at home with some of the experiments and I have already received positive feedback from several at our parent teacher meetings.”

Primary science scheme released

A “hands-on” system for teaching science is being rolled out to primary schools across the country.

The Empiribox Primary Science Trust package says that it provides all the “essential” science teaching components for key stage 2 pupils.

It includes equipment and materials for conducting 280 experiments over four years, regular face-to-face teacher training and mentoring, lesson planning and documentation.

This month’s national launch follows trials in more than 50 schools, including academy chains such as Ark and Academies Enterprise Trust.

Jennifer Iwantschak, a year 6 teacher at Ark Globe Academy in London, was observed in a science lesson during an Ofsted visit while using the Empiribox system.

“Not only was it clear that the students had knowledge, but they were also able to explain what they were doing to the inspectors who were amazed by the experimental and investigative skills the children had.”

The system costs less than £40 per pupil, per year.

Visit empiribox.org to register your school.

Pic: An Ark Tindall Primary pupil using a balloon car from Empiribox in a science lesson

 

http://schoolsweek.co.uk/primary-science-scheme-released/

Leicester primary school tests new science formula

Dovelands, one of Leicester’s largest primary schools, has awarded Empiribox a glowing first year report since joining the hands-on science teaching and learning revolution.

“We have been using the Empiribox science resources this last year and we have loved using them,” said Sara McAdam, Head Teacher of Dovelands Primary, one of the city’s largest primary schools. “The children have had some great opportunities to use practical resources and carry out experiments such as making rockets. I think that the access to the resources and the expertise is something that other primary schools would really benefit from.”

“Delivering experiments is really easy because everything is so well organised,” added Tom Houlton, Science Coordinator at Dovelands Primary. “It is quite literally going to the trolley, taking off the tray for the relevant lesson and bringing it to the classroom.  Everything is there that you need – you don’t even have to scratch around for Sellotape or Blu-Tack! We are able to deal with a range of experiments that would normally be outside the scope of a primary school, because some of the equipment is quite specialist.”

Merseyside Primary

Merseyside primary thinks ‘out of the box’ for better science    

Thanks to Empiribox, pupils and teachers at the OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ St Vincent de Paul Catholic Primary School in Liverpool school are now enjoying regular and varied practical scientific experimentation.

“With Empiribox everything is ready for teachers to use right out of the box,” said Phil Stewart, Head Teacher at St Vincent de Paul. “By having sufficient materials and equipment to allow working in pairs every week of the school year to conduct a whole range of exciting experiments, we will be more able to nurture a keen interest in the wonders of science which will help our pupils excel as they head for secondary school.”

Empiribox Primary Science Trust C.I.C. is a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise. As a Community Interest Company (CIC) it is committed to helping create a strong, sustainable and socially inclusive primary school education throughout the UK.

Essex pupils discover ‘wow’ factor science formula

Ahead of more stringent nationwide testing in primary schools next year, pupils at St John’s C.E. Primary School in Colchester are working in pairs or small groups.

Having subscribed to Empiribox, St John’s 120 Key Stage 2 pupils (7 – 11 year olds) can now conduct a different practical scientific experiment in the classroom every week of the school year.

“It’s a brilliant system that has been developed by teachers who know how children learn, giving us all the resources we need as well as the teacher training to provide the ‘wow’ factor in lessons,” said Nick Hutchings, Head Teacher at St John’s Primary. “Our children are really enjoying it and talking to parents about the experiments they are doing. The staff enjoyed the initial training and the lesson planning and like having all the equipment to hand so children can easily carry out experiments a number of times.”

Added Nick Hutchings, “By allowing us to effectively resource all the practical elements of science, it has helped improve the quality of provision for science in Key Stage 2, providing a clear progression through the subject with the ability for pupils to record science experiments in a meaningful way.”

A further school in Essex now enjoying the benefits of the Empiribox system is Broadford Primary School in Romford. This OFSTED ‘Outstanding’ school and recent TES Finalist is yet another fine example of how the Empiribox science revolution is taking hold across the country!

West Midlands Primaries

Empiribox gets the vote in West Midlands ‘Primaries’

Today may be Election Day but teachers and pupils at a string of primary schools in the Birmingham area have already voted for the Empiribox practical science teaching and learning system!

Among those giving the thumbs up are Ark Tindal Primary Academy, Ark Rose Primary Academy, Lea Forest Primary, Montgomery Primary, Percy Shurmer Primary and Shirestone Primary.

With more rigorous primary school pupil testing from 2016 and at a time when many primary schools are finding it a challenge to provide adequate Key Stage 2 science teaching due to lack of equipment and expertise, the system’s affordable and practical ‘out-of-the-box’ approach is proving popular with both KS2 pupils and teachers.

“Our termly Assessing Pupils’ Progress (APP) evaluation of 280 KS2 pupils has shown their level of engagement and understanding of fundamental science concepts to have measurably improved in just three terms of using the Empiribox system,” said Matthew Jones, Science Coordinator at Ark Tindal.

“The provision of all the equipment and documentation necessary, plus the growing confidence of our teaching staff in delivery from the regular training included, has changed for the better the way our pupils and teachers see and think about science. We recently did a survey and over 60 % of pupils said science was their favourite subject compared to a year ago when hardly any voted for it at all!”

Added Matthew, who does not have a formal science background and professes to have found science unenjoyable at school due to little practical content, “Increased hands-on learning through regular experiments and investigation, done in pairs or small groups, definitely is making science a much more interesting proposition. The Empiribox system also demands time spent reporting on the findings, including chart and graph making, contributing directly to numeracy and literacy which complements other core subjects.”

The success of the Empiribox field trials which has involved more than 50 primary schools nationwide including academy chains and Academy Enterprise Trust organisations means the Empiribox Primary Science Trust C.I.C. will now be making it available to all primary schools.

Empiribox Primary Science Trust C.I.C. is a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise. As a Community Interest Company (CIC) it is committed to helping create a strong, sustainable and socially inclusive primary school education throughout the UK.

Portsmouth School Trials New Science Program

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

 

http://www.teachingpersonnel.com/news/2015/5/7/portsmouth-school-trials-new-science-programme/

ARK Ayrton Primary

Ayrton Primary finds success with Empiribox ‘hands-on’ science teaching and learning system. 

Teachers and pupils at Ark Ayrton and Ark Charles Dickens Primary Academies in Hampshire are finding success with their new ‘hands-on’ formula for teaching and learning about science.

“Approximately 180 of our KS2 pupils have been using the Empiribox system for three terms,” said Tracey Woods, Ark Ayrton’s Science Coordinator. “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.”

“The opportunities we now have for doing more hands-on learning through regular experiments, combined with the reporting of results, has accelerated our KS2 pupils’ progress,” added Tracey. “They are more engaged and receptive to learning about science while also improving numeracy and literacy – even when dealing with quite difficult concepts such as particle theory!”

The success of the Empiribox field trials held at Ark Ayrton and approximately 50 other primary schools has led to the system going on general release from May through Empiribox Primary Science Trust C.I.C. This is a ‘not for profit’ social enterprise and as a Community Interest Company (CIC) it is committed to helping create a strong, sustainable and socially inclusive primary school education throughout the UK.