Sir Michael Wilshaw has my hopes up

michael-wilshawI have to say that I don’t often listen to politicians and think ‘this person gets it’ – in fact I can’t really think of another time I have – but reading this commentary from Sir Michael Wilshaw has my hopes up.  He is talking about a report from 2014 that can be read here, so it’s about time someone took notice and I can’t think of anyone better.

The statistics are a bit frightening, and the speed that science was dropped after the removal of SATs raises lots of questions. But anyway, we’re here now and it looks like we might be starting in the right direction.  Hearing someone at the top talking about what is getting missed at Primary is music to the ears of people working in Primary Science – we are few and far between by all say the same thing: Why miss out a subject that has so many benefits?

The benefits of teaching science in Primary extend across the curriculum and beyond, maintaining children’s curiosity is hugely important and sadly lacking from the curriculum as a whole.  Science also teaches young children to use evidence and discriminate between useful and useless information – skills that will be far more vaulable to them than learning facts in our interenet enabled world.  Hopefully with influential people like Michael Wilshaw starting to notice, we might be able to start moving in the right direction (hopefully not one with loads more SATs for different subjects though).

If you are in doubt about science in your school, the recommendations from the original article revolve around upskilling teachers in Science, they original document even goes so far as to give suggestions how this could be done…

  • The UK should champion primary science.
  • Primary schools should have access to science expertise.
  • Primary science should be well-resourced.

And, as it suggests that you should have access to science expertise, what better time to remind you about the free support we offer through our facebook group here!

About the author: Matt Stanford

Matt Stanford
Matt has been working in education for 10 years, teaching science to all ages from preschool to degree. Before he became a teacher he studied chemistry at Masters level and completed his PhD at The University of Warwick. It was during his time at university that he got involved in outreach work in local primary schools and found his passion for inspiring learning.


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