Up - Skilling in Practical Science: Bristol ChemLabS and the N3 Bristol Primary Cluster Project

 

Structure of the Project

The project will initially make use of Bristol ChemLabS’ national award winning Outreach capacity for primary schools and a loan library of practical equipment and chemicals will be created. Having surveyed the attitudes towards science of their pupil’s teams, ChemLabS will visit each school in the cluster and deliver a full school demonstration assembly to launch the project and then work with two classes from each school in practical workshops. The pupils will be resurveyed on completion of the workshop.

Following a teacher CPD conference, additional workshops will be delivered by the class teacher but supported by a research chemist. A further workshop will be delivered by the class teacher without assistance from the researcher.
Teachers who wish will then work with Bristol ChemLabS to develop further workshops which they will trial. Lastly, the students and teachers will once again be surveyed at the end of the school year.

This project will be sustainable because the workshops will be available for subsequent years in each school at only a small cost needed to replenish chemicals.


Timeline

September 2010: Initial project meeting with the project team to construct a timetable of visits, to order equipment and chemicals, and to develop internal appraisal methods. A project website will be launched.

October 2010: Initial surveying of pupils attitudes to science and initial workshop visits to begin with surveying of pupils (and their teachers) attitudes to the workshops.

November – December 2010: Initial workshop visits to continue with corresponding surveying of pupils (and their teachers) attitudes to the workshops. Reports by the pupils will be added to the project website.

January 2011: A half day conference for science coordinators to include the delivery of aspects of practical training with regard to the new requirements of pupil appraisal. This will also be the opportunity to run through subsequent practicals that the teachers will lead themselves supported by the research chemist.

February – March 2011: Primary teachers to run at least one session of additional practicals supported by a research chemist. Additional reports by the pupils will be added to the project website.

April – May 2011: Primary teachers to run at least a third session of additional practicals supported by a research chemist if requested.

June 2011: Working with the project team local teachers will develop additional practical investigations. Any additional equipment will be subsequently ordered. A poster defence competition by participating primary schools will also be held.

June – July 2011: Teacher developed practicals will be trialed and added to the project website. Pupils will be surveyed as to their present attitudes to science. The teachers will also be surveyed. A poster presentation session for teams from participating schools will be hosted by the University of Bristol.

August 2011: The researcher will analyse the findings of the questionnaires and will work with the project leader and others to produce articles and the project report.

Post August 2011: The cluster will continue to make use of the loanable science materials. The funding for the items used by the schools will ensure that the project is sustainable for many years to come and provide opportunities for large numbers of pupils and their teachers. This project will therefore have a material legacy as well as an up-skilling legacy.