Community Science Experts

Reaching High
(co-creating activities with families)

Age suitability: 3-11 years

Effort required: (1=less work - 5=more work)

Pre-activity: 3
During activity: 1
Post-activity: 1

Tap into the science expertise on your playground and invite parents and members of your school community to support the learning of curriculum science topics. Don’t forget to widen your thinking to consider those careers which don’t necessarily look to be traditional ‘science’ backgrounds or jobs!

  • to develop an understanding of nature, processes and methods of science in the world around them.
  • to be equipped to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
  1. As a staff, or teaching team, consider what careers might have specific knowledge that could link to your science topic. E.g. florist-flowers, cardio fitness-heart and body or musicians-sound.
  2. Send a letter home asking for parents or family members with expertise (work or a hobby) in the topic areas to come and co-plan activities/ lines of enquiry for the children to do in school. Together outline the activity and resources.
  3. Set a date to run the session together with the expert. Use both your skillsets to draw out the scientific knowledge that underpins the activity as well as the curriculum learning around it.
  4. Offer time for the family expert to spend additional time at lunch or playtime with the pupils to further extend conversation about careers, and with the staff, to talk more about links to their curricula.
  5. Review the session with the parent using ‘Two Stars and a Wish’ with a view to making it an annual or regular commitment.
  • Dedicate time to liaise with the parent – this will need to work around your and their work schedules.
  • Be clear about each other’s role and estimated time commitment.
  • Be aware of the confidence level of the parent and offer support if necessary. They may be terrified of talking to all those children!
  • Be flexible and encourage them to be too – it’s about you both teaching at the same time, supporting each other, rather than the parent going solo.

Developed by Bradshaw Hall Primary School – Louise Bousfield and Matt Willis | Norris Bank Primary School – Michelle Chorlton.