Winning School Profiles.
Saint Michael’s BNS, Saint Mel’s Road, Longford town, Co. Longford
I believe that Discover Primary Science and Maths supports teachers in teaching Science and links Math and Math skills into the lessons. It promotes the child centred SESE curriculum. This programme has encouraged the hands on approach of the teaching of Science in our school. Teachers no longer rely on text books to teach Science. They have become more creative in their teaching of Science. It also has encouraged curricular links and integration in planning and teaching as each science activity contains suggestions for links to other strands of the science curriculum and suggestions for integration across the primary curriculum.
I like the activities from the forces section of DPSM especially the electricity section. The students can develop their knowledge of circuits to make and design many projects. I have started off with The Lighthouse activity and, using this knowledge, students enjoyed making The Electric Quizzes (the quiz is usually linked to math) and traffic lights. Last year the students in my class loved the Lava Lamp activity. I think this was due to the chemical reaction and the end result of the experiment.
I organised a facilitator from DPSM to come to the school to deliver a workshop for the staff. This was part of Croke Park hours and took place after school. The facilitator was excellent. She clearly outlined the structure of the awards and presented experiments for the staff to carry out. I believe that by doing the experiments themselves and enjoying the hands on experience they were encouraged to implement DPSM in their classrooms, on a more regular basis.
Top tips for success in AoSME are:
- At staff meeting in September explain and remind teachers of the AOSME, so that they plan to include DPSM in their yearly plans and that they match activities to their class.
- When you have decided what activities you are going to do with your class, make a list of everything you will need. Ask the children to bring in as much as they can.
- Check http://www.primaryscience.ie for new activities.
- Plan out the steps for the awards in the first term e.g. what Discover Centre you plan to visit.
- Invite your principal or colleagues to visit your class to see a presentation of the activities.
- Take photos of each experiment as evidence for your Discovery Log.
- Make out a blank report template for the students to record their work after each experiment.
- Assign one member of staff responsibility for compiling the Log Book.