‘Hands-on’ science teaching proves popular at Portsmouth school

EXPERIMENT Some of the Ark Ayrton Primary Academy pupils
EXPERIMENT Some of the Ark Ayrton Primary Academy pupils
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Aschool has become one of the first to use a new ‘hands-on’ system for learning science.

Teachers and pupils at Ark Ayrton Primary Academy in Southsea are some of the first in the country to be trying out the new Empiribox system.

The system provides science teaching components in 12-week cycles, after which the equipment is then collected from the school and the next consignment is delivered.

Tracey Woods, Ark Ayrton’s science co-ordinator, said: ‘The provision of all the equipment and documentation necessary, plus the growing confidence of our teaching staff in delivery thanks to the regular training included, has directly resulted in the increased enthusiasm and excitement our pupils are now displaying for the whole subject.

‘The opportunities we now have for doing more hands-on learning through regular experiments, combined with the reporting of results, is accelerating our KS2 pupils’ progress by making them more engaged and receptive to learning about science while also improving numeracy and literacy – even when dealing with quite difficult concepts such as particle theory.’

Empiribox provides practical science lessons every week of the year over a four-year cycle for Key Stage 2 pupils in Years 3 to 6.

The success of the trials has involved more than 50 schools and the system will now be made available to all primary schools throughout England and Wales.

Former secondary school science head Dan Sullivan, founder and creator of Empiribox, said: ‘Primary school children respond much more positively to doing science rather than just being told how to do it.’

‘Our Empiribox system helps ensure all pupils move on to secondary school with a solid skills set and grounding in practical science, while also improving their numeracy and literacy.’