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1106 Science - 28 June 2011

At the beginning of June I questioned teachers on the science topics they were teaching at Kaikohe East School.

What is happening now?

7 classes were undertaking general science experiments. Some connected to a theme, others based on weekly investigations.

How confident are we in teaching science? On talking to the teachers most are happy or ‘OK’ with teaching science. They enjoyed taking the subject but were not confident they were doing it well.

How do we teach science? Some teachers taught science through units of work usually lasting a few weeks, while some used weekly investigations on different topic or theme. The weekly experiments were supported through the literacy programmes as well.

What science have we taught so far this year? 2  teachers have covered topics based on the ‘Living world’ or ‘nature’ using Matariki and growing mould and fungus. Other teachers have focussed on ‘physical world’ strand ( cells and circuits) and floatation with bubbles. Kinetic energy and  tornados (‘Material world’) has also been covered this term.

What have we got planned for the rest of the year? As mentioned in last years report apart from the garden teachers did not have science topics planned for next term nor term 4. Although with the Junior class trip to Auckland Zoo in September there will be topics on the ‘living world’ covered.  
How good (or bad) are the school resources? Most commented on a need to have resources that matched the topics they were expected  to be covering. The use of National library and on line facilities are always available too.

What would we like to see happen?

Decide what our children need to know. Inquiry learning is our focus at the moment and by identifying what are our students needs and interest are we should then conduct a series of school wide experiments.  We have had discussion on a science fair, but this still needs more development and conversation to take this further.

Lift the profile of science. Literacy and Numeracy have been heavily developed in the school. Most teachers agreed that the profile of science subject needs to be lifted as it has taken rather a back seat within the curriculum. 

Decide what good science teaching looks like. To bring in facilitators from TEAM solutions. To use specialists from the Intermediate and Northland college to raise staff awareness of investigation and the study of teaching science. Perhaps teachers could also try a unit and report back on how it went. 

Be familiar with the resources we already have and decide what we need? This would need to be discussed  on what we are going to teach.

Science Budget to 20 June 2011 There is no budget for science this year. This needs to be planned for 2012 so that appropriate resources and topics can be accommodated.