Teacher insights

What teachers have said...

Kathryn Jagger – Science leader and teacher - Spotland Primary School

Before we took part in this cluster, the teachers of Science had a limited understanding of the five types of enquiry. We have made amazing steps of progress in our knowledge and our ability to make this real for the children. The development of the logos has enabled a shared language between our Y4, Y5 and Y6 classes and high school children, so transition, and the fluidity of teaching, can be enhanced. We have also developed superheroes for the younger children to be exposed to the language or enquiry. The work completed with the high school teachers has enhanced our subject knowledge and has given them an opportunity to understand what is possible in a primary classroom. This work has definitely seen an increase in the children's understanding of enquiry.

Donna Shaw - Science leader and teacher – Spotland Primary School

Taking part in this collaboration has had a deep impact on the way that we teach Science in our school. In the past we have never really had a strong enough focus on the working scientifically part of the curriculum. The work we have done about the five different types of enquiry has really helped us to focus on the coverage across the school. We now include the enquiry type in our planning which helps to ensure good coverage of the range of enquiries as well as ensuring that the lesson does develop the children’s enquiry skills, rather than purely building their knowledge of that particular topic. We also share the enquiry type with the children at the beginning of the lessons and we are now at the point where the older children can identify this for themselves. The approach is consistent throughout the school and I am optimistic that this will help the children in their transition to secondary school. As a result of this collaboration, I feel that my lessons are now a lot more practical and exciting for the children.

Wendy Robinson, primary teacher, Healey Primary who joined the cluster in its second year.

It has been great to be involved in the science cluster, meeting teachers from different schools and sharing ideas. Within my own science lessons I think now more into the enquiry type that the children will be involved in. I am now using this more in my lessons.

Rebecca Unwin, Science teacher, Falinge Park High School

Before taking part in our primary cluster I did not consider the skills pupils had gained in primary science and I had not familiarised myself with the enquiry types used at primary level. This was the case across the department and we assumed that we were building the pupils working scientifically skills from quite a low level at KS3. Through the work with the cluster group I gained a far deeper understanding of enquiry types and the high and far more consistent level of working scientifically skills that the pupils were leaving KS2 with. This has had a massive impact on my own teaching as I no longer assume a low level of skills and now start teaching skills at a much higher level. This is something I have now disseminated to the rest of the Science faculty and we have adapted our schemes of learning accordingly. We have also put displays up in the Science corridor and in all classrooms on enquiry types; this acts as a teaching aid for teachers to overtly use enquiry types when completing working scientifically skills with KS3. In turn, this shared language with our feeder primary schools had allowed for a much smoother transition from KS2 to KS3 Science and has informed our planning and teaching across KS3.

David Hardy, Science teacher, Falinge Park High School

Before taking part in the cluster, I did not consider specific enquiry types when planning activities for KS3 classes. All of the enquiry types were planned, but without an understanding of the discrete labels. Most of the focus was on comparative and fair testing and on improving the skills needed for this type of enquiry. This was due to the historical emphasis on GCSE coursework as 25% of the final grade.

I now consider which enquiry type we will be completing when planning tasks. I usually make this overt to pupils in Year 7 and 8. I have asked pupils about similar enquiries carried out in primary school in order to make a link with previous work. There is usually a recognition from pupils of the different enquiry types. I also try to plan a range of different types of enquiry so that all skills are developed through Key Stage 3. Previously, I did not consider the full range of skills needed across the curriculum.

Five types of enquiry in action

Click here to dowload a a presentation of children’s work linking to the five types of enquiry during year 2 of the project from All Saints Primary School in Rochdale