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In Focus research

Using the ‘10 Issues in Primary Science’ report to enhance primary science in the classroom.

Published: 13 December 2021

The Trust was delighted to hear that Dr Lynne Bianchi (SEERIH), Amanda Poole (Ogden Trust) and Christina Whittaker (Science Across the City) will be giving the Research Keynote, 10 Key Issues in Children’s Science Learning in England, at the ASE Annual Conference. Based on the influential 2021 SEERIH-Ogden Trust report*, the session will stimulate professional discussion about its impact on you and your organisation.

If you are interested in the issues impacting on children’s science learning in primary science, this will be a session not to be missed. Following the conference move online, this session will now take place on Saturday February 26 at 10.30am.

You can find out more about the online conference schedule by visiting the ASE Conference website.

Creating tools

Following the positive reception of the report, developed through a collaboration between SEERIH at The University of Manchester and The Ogden Trust, the research team led by Dr Lynne Bianchi is now being supported by The Ogden Trust in a second ‘In Focus’ phase of research. This second phase will explore how the report can be used effectively to enhance the development of science education in the primary setting.

This ‘In Focus’ project is using a model of professional reflective practice to create tools for educational professionals that aim to:

  • support educators to scrutinise primary science practice
  • identify and justify the explicit needs of children within primary classrooms
  • action plan for the improvement of primary science across a school, specifically related to one or more of the 10 key issues
  • support sustained monitoring and evaluation of impact on children’s science learning experiences

The team is working with six primary schools from Tameside, Stoke-on-Trent and Coventry to look at primary science monitoring through the lens of the 10 key issues report, and to consider how monitoring might look when the focus is on children’s learning.

The team will develop micro-case studies to explain how the tools have been used in context and will gather evidence to create a narrative about the implementation and impact of the tools being developed.

Informing practice and policy

The ‘In Focus’ study seeks to inform practice and policy nationally by making the toolkit available and disseminating outcomes through professional presentations, articles and academic papers.

“We look forward to sharing the toolkit when this second phase of research is complete,” says Amanda Poole, School Culture Lead for the Trust. “In the meantime, we wanted to share some tools that have already been designed for the general monitoring of primary science in schools. They are already being used by some of the Ogden partnership schools.”

“If monitoring primary science is something which your school is focused on, these resources should provide a helpful starting point,” continues Amanda. “The link below will take you to our science leadership tools collection which includes helpful advice and frameworks for work scrutiny, focus groups, lesson observations, teacher surveys and learning walks.”

Access our science leadership toolkit.

two students hold two magnets together

*If you haven’t read 10 Key Issues in Children’s Science Learning in England, you can download the report from SEERIH Innovations.

Bianchi, L., Whittaker, C. & Poole, A. (2021) The 10 Key Issues with Children’s Learning in Primary Science in England. The University of Manchester and The Ogden Trust.

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