How about a completely different primary science SCITT training?

The Quirky Teacher

I should probably have blogged about what I’d do with maths first, but I got into a thing with this morning’s post about how children end up not really knowing much science at the end of KS2, so here are my thoughts on how SCITT science days for primary teachers should be run.

  1. Challenge misconceptions

I think the very first thing that should be done is to educate new teachers on how exactly a scientist is made. To get them to understand that scientists don’t go into their field of research because they really like doing things with micropipettes and liquid nitrogen in labs is the main order of the day. Teachers need to know that scientists are keen to research (which happens to involve experiments) because they want to KNOW more about that particular aspect of science, not because they want to blow stuff up. Then, of course…

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No Easy Answers

I’m free to be whatever I
Whatever I choose
And I’ll sing the blues if I want

–  Whatever by Oasis *

There are many great freedoms in school.

  • Freedom to have an education
  • Freedom to listen to teachers’ explanations
  • Freedom to be in a calm environment trying one’s best
  • Freedom to learn about the greatest that has been thought and said by humankind
  • Freedom to learn good habits towards hard work

And these freedoms give rise to other freedoms

  • The freedom to choose to study at university
  • The freedom to enter the world of work with good qualifications and habits
  • The freedom to enter the great discussions that are part of what makes us human
  • The freedom to build upon the knowledge of what we have learned at school

School is a truly wonderful place.

There is a price to be paid for these freedoms

  • Discipline so that…

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History’s Superpower

The Grumpy Teacher

“A man acquainted with history may, in some respect, be said to have lived from the beginning of the world, and to have been making continual additions to his stock of knowledge in every century.”

That’s David Hume’s answer to the question posed by Mark Enser (@ensermark) about the superpower conferred by studying a subject. I suppose it’s mine too.

There are genius teenage chess players, and musicians, and mathematicians. Some talented teenagers are celebrated for their achievements in the arts, and in business, and in sports. But there are no genius teenage historians. There are no celebrated works of history written by teenagers. CV Wedgwood was in her mid-twenties when she published her biography of Strafford, and (doing no more research than thinking off the top of my head for a quarter of an hour) I don’t think many younger historians can have written a book which has entered…

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Teaching is a privilege

Yesterday was my last day working as a teaching assistant at my secondary school, and I now can look forward to starting my new job as a trainee history teacher. I had only been there for less than a year, and so I didn’t expect any huge fanfare upon my leaving. I was therefore taken by surprise and hugely touched by the farewell messages and the bountiful gifts I received from my colleagues.

Source: Teaching is a privilege

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Why the KS2 science sampling results are so terrible

The Quirky Teacher

I couldn’t think of a witty title, so went for a ‘does what it says on the tin’ approach. Anyway, this post puts together a few of my thoughts, as a relative outsider to teaching who has a degree in science, on why barely a quarter of children meeting the standard in science at the end of KS2:

Too many ‘experiments’ and not enough listening, reading, writing or regular testing of science knowledge.

There, I said it. It’s like I’m the worst sciencey person ever, right? Do I want children to die of boredom or something?

The reason I have such an issue with experiments in primary schools is that they tend to be used to help children discover their science facts rather than consolidate. Further, experiments seem to trump all other activities such as listening and note taking, reading and answering questions or even just watching a demonstration…

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TDRE Boss Blog: Voice of Islam: Interviews about RE and Faith Scho…

TDRE Boss Blog: Voice of Islam: Interviews about RE and Faith Scho…:   “Voice of Islam Radio is a new Digital DAB 24hr radio station which offers news, views, discussion and insight on Islam’s Perspe…

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Coherent curriculum

Creating a coherent curriculum is all the rage now. I mean, everyone’s doing it: youngsters are jiving coherently in the music halls, German monks are writing coherently in the vernacular, and I hear in Rome there’s a coherent coronation of a new emperor. Facetiousness aside, I can understand why, for some, the new clothes do indeed bear a striking resemblance to the emperor’s birthday suit. But I do also see, whether in schools or through the social meedz, a heck of a lot of noise and incoherence, at least in my own, battered subject.

In ever more ridiculous attempts to make subjects more relevant, engaging, fun or, seemingly, bearable, coherent curriculums are thrown overboard, with the tiger remaining hidden beneath the tarpaulin. Little do the captains of these now rudderless ships realise how unnavigable their seas become: the North Star is lost and to Bermuda they unwittingly sail. Episodic incoherence…

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