Davey Henson, year 5 teacher, talks about finding the wow factor in science lessons and meeting the national curriculum with excitement.
Delivering practical science can be a challenge for busy primary schools. Many teachers simply don’t have time to prepare exciting, hands-on experiments.
Empiribox helps schools to overcome this hurdle, providing teachers with everything they need to put the wow back into primary science. From preparation and equipment to training and support, Empiribox empowers teachers to deliver inspiring investigations which engage children and make science lessons fun.
Frederick Bird Primary School in Coventry has been using Empiribox for several months, and teachers are already seeing results. A new and exciting hands-on approach is transforming science teaching across KS1 and KS2.
Year 5 teacher and Science Co-ordinator Davey Henson shares their experience and explains how Empiribox brings out the scientist in every child.
Finding the Wow Factor
The school began using Empiribox after a taster lesson earlier this year. The fun practical session was popular with pupils and opened teachers’ eyes to the appeal of hands-on science.
Teachers at Frederick Bird already delivered practical science lessons but were often restricted by a lack of resources and equipment as Davey explains.
“Before we used Empiribox the children had to work in small groups. Any hands-on science experiments were in a rotation.
The children taking part last would see the experiment first, which took away the wow factor.”
Excitement & Learning Together
Providing complete resources for over 280 experiments, and enough equipment to go round, Empiribox makes science accessible for every child. Pupils can carry out investigations at the same time, working together to share findings and ideas. The impact upon learning at Frederick Bird Primary School has been significant
“With Empiribox every child can experience science investigations – and not just watch the teacher demonstrate. This embeds learning more quickly – they are more likely to remember what they have done.”
Pupils are also more motivated by this practical approach, as Davey explains,
“The children are definitely more engaged and excited to take part in science lessons.
There is a buzz in every classroom and the pupils get really excited, plus they are very focused on the practical tasks. So, it’s not just excitement. It’s excitement and learning together.”
Making Science Easier to Teach
Schools signing up to Empiribox benefit from more than just high-quality science resources and equipment. Curriculum-mapped lesson plans and regular training sessions ensure teachers are fully prepared for each scheme of work, and ready to deliver practical science with confidence.
This is important for teachers at Frederick Bird Primary, as Davey Henson explains.
“The Empiribox training explains everything clearly, providing the subject knowledge needed for each lesson. It breaks down every experiment and explains what is scientific about it while helping teachers to direct children’s learning. It simply makes science easier to teach.”
Empiribox investigations are carefully chosen to explore fundamental science concepts, while enthralling and engaging children. Taking a different theme each term, pupils have the chance to get hands-on with physics, chemistry and biology.
Year 5 pupils at Frederick Bird recently enjoyed a biology investigation based on Darwin’s Theory of Selection. ‘Darwin’s Finches’ encourages children to move grains of rice with different sized appliances, bringing the science behind Darwin’s evolution theory to life.
“The children liked the element of competition with this experiment – it really motivated them. They quickly made the link between the shape of the finches’ beaks, and their ability to eat food. Two of our pupils were so inspired that they went on to create their own Darwin presentation at home!”
Meeting National Curriculum Goals
Practical experiments like this one can spark a lifelong love of science for primary pupils. They also provide clear evidence that children can work scientifically and meet National Curriculum goals. For Frederick Bird Primary School, this was a factor in choosing Empiribox.
“We hoped that Empiribox would allow us to build evidence that our pupils can work scientifically. The only way to do this is through practical working, and the Empiribox experiments help us to record this. They also enable us to work with scientific vocabulary, introducing pupils to terminology such as ‘variables’ that we wouldn’t have used before.”
Cross-Curricular & Long-Term Benefits
As well as introducing scientific vocabulary, the Empiribox system has cross-curricular impact for many subjects. Davey Henson is surprised to see pupils building skills in other areas after enjoying practical science lessons.
“I’ve noticed that some of the experiments do motivate children in writing. We recently investigated fossils, and the children went on to create fossil fact files. They produced some great writing and drawing.”
Sparking children’s interest in the wider world is just one of the many benefits Empiribox delivers. Teachers at Frederick Bird feel that it has even greater traction, offering longer-term benefits for pupil learning and nurturing future scientists.
Discover how Empiribox can make a difference in your school. Nurture tomorrow’s scientists today.
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