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1206 Science - 26 June 2012

A questionnaire was sent around to teachers to investigate what science topics they were teaching at Kaikohe East School. We also had pupil questionnaires forwarded to Robyn Boswell, our science facilitator.

What is happening now?

Most classes were undertaking general science experiments based around the theme on the Whitebait connection. All classes have been on field trips to assist them with findings and investigations. Some classes look at weekly investigations based on a variety of topics and discussions.

How confident are we in teaching Science? 

The questionnaire shows that the majority of teachers are confident and enjoy taking the subject, with a positive response of the fact that the children love it too.

How do we teach Science? 

Some teachers teach this subject through Inquiry, several through a cross curricular format or integration and a few as a stand-alone specific item of the curriculum. Such investigations are also supported by follow up literacy programmes too.

What Science have we taught this year? 

Topics covered so far this term have included the investigation of bugs, whitebait and fresh water invertebrates. Sound, bending light, kaleidoscopes, floating, sinking and moving things.

What have you got planned for the rest of the year.

Topics planned include: Seasons, environmental study of gardens and insects, plants in different environments, change using chemicals. Experiments with magnets and weather. We have had 2 PD meetings and more planned for term 3 and at Teacher only days in the coming term break. These will include Science investigations and practical ways of getting Science going in your classroom.

The aim of the professional learning and development is to ensure that the science teaching in New Zealand is responsive to the needs of all students.

·      It will build teacher confidence and capability in science.

·      Focus on learning science through the science strand – learning how science ‘works’ with a focus on ‘doing’ science not just ‘learning’ about science.

·      Build teachers’ understanding of the overarching aspects of the nature of science.

·      Build support for science learning by acknowledging, valuing and respecting the differing cultural experiences and world views that communities hold.

·      Develop scientific literate students with a focus on ‘citizenship science’ for all students, as well as more career focussed science. The support will be based on meaningful, authentic contexts appropriate for each community.


How good(or bad) are the school resources? 

Light boxes and magnetic kits have been purchased. Most teachers feel that the resources are getting better and are suitable for the topics we are covering, although there is scope to obtain more specific items. With the purchase of more IT equipment in the classrooms,  on line resources are always available to reinforce information .

What would we like to see happen?

Decide what our children need to know.

 We have been focussed on the Inquiry model this year and what the needs and interests of our children are. Teachers would like fun activities and through the PD planned we hope this will give us lots of ideas.

Lift the profile of Science. 

Again through our PD this will be forthcoming. Numeracy and Literacy are subjects that demand constant development, so cross curricula programmes could be the way to develop the profile of science taught.

Decide what good science teaching looks like. 

We have started to bring in a facilitator to help teachers with planning  and guidance. We also plan to work with the Intermediate and Northland College to raise awareness of science practice. Class and school visits and reporting back at staff meetings is also a suggestion.

Be familiar with the resources we already have and decide what to teach. 

Programmes we are going to teach will be discussed at our planning days.

Science Budget to 28 June 2012. 

This year’s Science budget is linked to the Inquiry programme and is still well resourced to date.

Report prepared by F. Jarvis 20.6.12