Germoe Community Primary School

British Science Week 2021 case study

Q&A with Angie Larcombe, SENDCO/Science and DT Lead professional at Germoe Community Primary School

Tell us about your school

Germoe Primary is between Helston and Penzance, part of a small hamlet north of Praa Sands.  We have four mixed-age classes and have 61 pupils.  We are housed in an old Victorian building with three portacabins.

We have an inquiry based learning ethos, which promotes independence and resilience. We have quite high levels of SEN and many of our children receive Pupil Premium funding.

What event did you run with the British Science Week grant? How did you use the funding?

We planned a week of learning about our brains and Artificial Intelligence. Teaching focused on neuro-science to explore how our brains work, our emotions, and why we behave as we do.  We investigated Artificial Intelligence through robotics and contrasted and compared the human condition with artificial intelligence and how both affect our daily life and the world we live in.

Activity roundabouts were set up, to ensure resourcing would be equitable. Learning was multi-sensory and gave all children opportunity to learn in different ways, independently, in pairs and groups.  Learning could be shown in many different ways and children had freedom to present their learning in ways that they feel showed their learning in the best ways.

What was the lasting impact of your British Science Week events?

The Week offered lots of collaborative working, lots of discussion, offering of opinion debate and sharing of experiences. The Week supported the children with difficulties regulating emotionally, suffering anxiety and those for whom social interaction is challenging. It has enabled a lot of self-reflection and understanding to begin to crystallise.

Science weeks are always fun and this year has been no exception. Learning is meaningful and lasting if enjoyed, links are made relationally as well as within the concepts being studied, the activities are multi-sensory and hands-on and children have agency in their learning.  Science week offered all of these things and has boosted the buzz about science and STEM in school.

What tips or advice would you give to schools thinking of applying for a Kick Start Grant for British Science Week in 2022?

Do it!

If it doesn’t fit with the curricular topic at the time, have a one-off/off-timetable STEM week – it’s so special for the children and adults – there’s a real buzz around school/class. Children remember the Science Weeks for years to come and really enjoy them

Be creative and think outside the box – focus on fun and you can’t go wrong.

When initially thinking of ideas for Science Week, start with the big picture and hone down on the specific skills development and smaller concepts under the big picture umbrella. Always use lots of hands-on and ‘doing’, and make use the outdoor space/visits.

It’s better to focus the grant money on a specific age group rather than spread it too thinly to try to encompass larger groups – focus on applying for different age groups for each year.