Thursday, September 27, 2012

Misconceptions in Science

27th September: Nicky Waller (and Tanya Shields) led a workshop focussing on Misconceptions in Science

Some lively group work took place in the session this morning. Nicky invited the visitors to produce a 'mind map' about a science topic they usually teach in China - and to include a deliberate 'misconception'. This was to help demonstrate how easy it is for children to  pick up misconceptions about science. An example everyone agreed on was that many children think that air is 'nothing'.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Visit to Woodthorpe Primary School, York

Tanya Shields accompanied the visitors from Nanjing to Woodthorpe Primary School

Once again the visitors were able to observe how a typical primary school in the UK teaches science. They were involved in a Year 3/4 lesson where the SMart science resource was used. They were able to study the resource in depth after the lesson.
They also had an opportunity to share ideas with the science subject leader at Woodthorpe, Sharon Allen.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Practical IT session

Monday 24th September
Nicky Waller and Tanya Shields ran an IT session this morning.
Today the primary teachers had a go at the kinds of ICT we use in primary schools in the UK, from data-loggers and electronic microscopes to blogs and educational websites. This session was held at the National Science Learning Centre.
Two of the challenges for the group included finding the perfect material for an eye mask and deciding which materials kept a baby's bottle warm.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Setting Science in Context

Gayle Pook and Joy Parvin ran a primary practical session on Day 5 of the Nanjing visit.

The session on Friday 21st September about teaching science within a context that children understand proved very popular.

There were several animated discussions to consider some 'real life' contexts that pupils would be familiar with in which to set science investigations.Firstly packaging was considered as a starting point. The visitors produced beautiful mind maps which showed all the strands that children could investigate - the environmental footprint of waste packaging was a prominent strand.

Gayle set a challenge involving foam production! After looking at CIEC's new web resource Science of Healthy Skin the visitors were provided with basic equipment and asked to measure the foam they produced. Great fun was had and the conclusion was that shaking detergent and water produced much better foam than whisking!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Visitors from Nanjing make a local primary school visit

Gayle Pook reports on Day 4 of the Southeast University, Nanjing, visit:

Our Chinese teachers from Nanjing visited Wilberfoss Primary and Woodthorpe Primary schools in York this morning. In Wilberfoss they had the opportunity to observe Year 2 pupils in a literacy lesson, Year 4 children carrying out research in the ICT suit and then later solving maths problems, and science in year 6 focused on the Earth and Space.  There was also time for a tour of the foundation stage classroom where the children had been making cakes and our visitors were also enthralled by the assembly which focused on Christian values.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Teachers from Southeast University, Nanjing visit York

Primary teachers from Nanjing district, China, attended two primary sessions this morning where they participated in some typical CIEC primary science activites.
Some of the topics included testing paper towels for 'mopping up' properties, counting seeds in various fruits and seeing how quickly a block of ice melts.
More unusual activities included becoming a human bar chart and  a human line graph!