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Lamberhurst St Mary’s CEP School

3 years ago

Less time planning, more time teaching

Complete science support for primary school teachers

Caroline Bromley– Headteacher at Lamberhurst St. Mary’s CEP School, near Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Reducing teacher workload is a priority for primary school leaders everywhere. As staff struggle with work-life balance, Headteachers are looking for new ways to free teachers to focus on what matters: inspiring pupils.

Science can present a challenge for primary schools. Many teachers simply don’t have the time to plan practical lessons which meet curriculum goals. Others lack confidence – particularly if they come from a non-science background.

Empiribox helps schools to overcome this by providing a complete primary science solution.  From resources and curriculum-matched lesson plans to training and support, Empiribox reduces planning time and boosts confidence, empowering teachers to simply teach.

Lamberhurst St. Mary’s Church of England Primary School in Kent has been using the scheme for several years. Headteacher Caroline Bromley shares their experience and explains how Empiribox supports teachers, saving the school both time and money.

Raising the profile of science

Lamberhurst began using Empiribox four years ago. The school was looking for a solution to boost its science provision and had considered employing a science teacher.

“I looked at recruiting a science specialist – but could see that this wasn’t a whole school solution. I started to think more widely about science subject leadership in primary school and Empiribox was a perfect fit.”

Raising the profile of science and building pupil enthusiasm were priorities for Caroline.

“I wanted the children to start building scientific knowledge and to be taught science with passion – because then they would be passionate themselves about the subject.”

Caroline was also keen to broaden the appeal of science and to encourage more girls to enjoy it.

“I was particularly concerned about girls. In a classroom setting girls sometimes don’t take risks or get involved practically. I was looking for something which would draw this out and inspire them. I wanted to raise the profile of science for girls – and this is something that Empiribox does.”  

Helping teachers to become science experts

Inspiring pupils means teaching with confidence. Knowledge and preparation are key. Empiribox schools benefit from high quality training and support which builds expertise on every level. A complete CPD programme upskills teachers in each year group, removing the need for a single science expert. At Lamberhurst the impact has been significant.

“The quality of the training has upskilled every teacher. Empiribox means that I no longer need a science subject leader in my school. Every member of staff has been trained and the CPD is of a very high quality. Even the teachers who studied A-level science benefit, because they receive the latest, up-to-the-minute knowledge.”

Caroline also sees her teachers growing in confidence and says that they feel supported by the Empiribox scheme.

“Teachers can always reach out to Empiribox for advice. The team are quick to offer support and to answer questions.”

Supporting work-life balance

Alongside high-quality training and advice, Empiribox schools receive everything they need to teach engaging, practical science – switching children on to learning, and letting them have fun. The scheme delivers complete resources for over 280 exciting experiments plus easy-to-follow curriculum-mapped lesson plans – removing the need for teacher planning. This has made a huge difference to staff at Lamberhurst, as Caroline explains.

“Staff wellbeing is a huge responsibility for headteachers. So many teachers are leaving the profession because they are overwhelmed. I want to make sure that my staff have the right work-life balance. I don’t want them spending weekends or evenings trying to plan a science experiment, with lunchtimes spent scrabbling around for resources”

Empiribox investigations are carefully created to explore basic 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.

“Empiribox removes the pressure to lesson plan in science – the expectation that teachers will do more and more outside of classroom teaching. With Empiribox it’s all done for them.”

Value for money

A complete primary science solution which removes the need for teacher planning might sound expensive, but Caroline disagrees and is quick to point out the value.

“You have to look at the wider implications, versus the traditional option of sending one teacher on a yearly science course. With the traditional option schools pay for the training and supply cover. The teacher feeds back to the school but if they aren’t a science expert, how good will the feedback be? The school still needs to buy expensive science equipment, and someone needs release time to formulate a teaching plan. It’s a huge cost.”

Empiribox pulls each of these strands together, giving Lamberhurst a complete ‘off the shelf’ solution which supports staff and inspires pupils. From training, to planning and equipment – everything is covered.

“Empiribox guarantees the consistency and quality of our science provision. It gives us the plan. It gives us the equipment. It gives us the training. It gives us the scientific knowledge and expertise. It’s guaranteed. To have all of this in one package really is value for money.”