British Science Week 2023 - getting ready
British Science Week will soon be with us again.
January is a good time to start planning for British Science Week which takes place from 10 to 19 March. The theme this year is Connections and the British Science Association has produced a themed pack for primary children and another for Early Years. This theme is very broad, and your school could focus on all sorts of connections: connections such as how humans, animals or plants connect with each other; how human organs are connected, or the connection between human actions and climate change.
You do not even need to have connections as your theme. It is up to your school and there are lots of resources to help you. For example, the Primary Science Teaching Trust’s Whistlestop Science Weeks offers themed suggestions for short activities and challenges, and ESERO-UK has a booklet on how to run a themed space week. The NFU’s Farming STEMterprise would also make a great science week providing a range of cross-curricular, practical and DT tasks related to running a farm shop business.
Once you have chosen your theme, think about inviting scientists like STEM Ambassadors to come and work with the children, challenging stereotypes about what and who a scientist is. Explorify’s Celebrating Scientists strand gives you a range of current and historical scientists that children could learn about.
Whatever your theme, Explorify will be there to help teachers with great classroom talk activities, subject knowledge support for teachers, and ideas about how to develop the learning further in the classroom. We are holding an online support session about using Explorify to enhance whole school events on Tuesday 7th February at 16:00. This will also be available as a recording.
Two of our new Have You Ever activities focus on our senses which we use to connect with the world around us: Have you ever heard your neighbours in the next house or flat? And Have you ever smelt something that made you happy?
Other tips for making the week a success:
- Hold a meeting for staff before half-term, to introduce the theme to everyone and to give teachers the chance to plan the week. Be clear with teachers what you want them to do during the week: it is a great opportunity to give the children more time to focus on enquiry skills.
- Think about how you can involve parents and your local community during the week. You could have a family science evening linked to your theme. This will give parents who work the chance to come along, and you could get your older primary children to help demonstrate the different activities.
- Run a competition which encourages families to get involved. It could be as simple as designing a poster about a scientist, to making an invention/model out of junk linked to the week’s theme. These could go on display after school for everyone to see.
How will you celebrate the children’s great science at the end of your science week? You could hold an assembly that parents are invited to, or a science fair. Alternatively, turn the school into a science museum for the morning/afternoon. Children could showcase the science enquiry they have done in their classes, which families could visit. At one school, half the children were the curators, while the other half rotated around each of the classrooms learning about what other children had done. Half way through they swapped over. Inviting the Mayor to visit, as well as families, made it a much more memorable week for everyone.