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Creating a Science Presentation to Enhance Children's Scientific Enquiry Skills

Assignment brief

The Science assignment task is a 5 minute audio/visual presentation and accounts for the remaining 20% of the overall grade. Please see below for further information on this task.

You need to  achieve a mark of over 40% in each assessment task

You will create a presentation which can be shared electronically (e.g. a video presentation or PowerPoint incorporating timings and audio voice-over). The presentation will focus on evaluating a practical activity you have designed to engage children in developing specific scientific enquiry skills within a chosen age phase.

Design and evaluate activities to support progression in children’s scientific enquiry and process skills

You will need to think of one practical investigative activity that would be suitable for your chosen age phase. The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas-  so don’t fix on one activity too early on. Start with collecting a wide range of ideas or activities ( these do not need to be full investigations).  For each activity begin by considering which process skill or skills the activity might really help to develop. If you struggle to identify how the activity could help a child develop understanding or ability in a specific process skill then it will probably be best to cross it off your list.

The assignment is really about the idea of progression so consider what progression looks like in these specific areas (see the moodle session slides to help you).  Evaluate your activities by asking yourself how the activity or its delivery might be adapted so as to help children at different stages along the progression (e.g. by changing the type or number of variables in a fair test investigation or changing the equipment to introduce more complexity in measuring). If you are clear about how the activity might support progression it may well be a good activity to use. The grading criteria reward depth rather than breadth so presenting an activity that really effectively supports progression in just one skill is better than a presentation which talks about lots of different process skills but without any clear focus. For example, the cars down ramps experiment we covered in sessions can be used to develop lots of different process skills but this would not get good marks unless you were really clear about how specific progress in one or two skills such as measurement or planning could be developed. An activity such as observing snails might seem limited to just developing observation and questioning skills but if you can show how to do this well then the activity is just as suitable for the assignment as a more complete investigation.

Science task overview

Finally, with any remaining activities focus on whether or not it would engage and stimulate children’s interests. This is the creative part of the assignment where you can show some originality and flair. Don’t be too quick to discard those that don’t initially seem interesting or exciting. Think about how a suitable ‘context’ might bring the activity to life and make it relevant and stimulating and motivate the children. Are there any useful cross curricular links or links to popular culture or the children’s local environment? Sometimes a few creative tweaks can turn a mundane activity into something far more engaging, think about how you would enthuse children in the classroom. If you still have more than one activity in your mind then go for the one you would most like to teach!

Now you have chosen your activity …carry it out! See how it works- what practical issues arise- what new opportunities suggest themselves

The presentation.

In your ‘presentation’ introduction you will need to briefly demonstrate how the activity would be carried out in the classroom- probably best to show this in photographs or a video clip rather than try and describe it.  Identify the key process skill(s) you will focus on. You should demonstrate how you, as the teacher, might engage and enthuse the children in the activity or explain why the activity itself might be intrinsically engaging.

The majority of the presentation should then focus on how the activity would support progression. Be as specific as you can, show what the children might do or produce. Be clear about what scaffolding might be needed to support learners or how further challenge could be introduced.

In concluding the presentation you may wish to complete the evaluation of the activity by sharing some potential problems or limitations related to practical considerations within the classroom or related to assessment or other pedagogical issues.

Throughout the presentation you should demonstrate wider reading by utilising ideas from the reading provided or from wider reading you have done. For example- you may have chosen to give pupils some degree of freedom and choice in how they approach the activity: the Ofsted report ‘maintaining curiosity’ could be mentioned to justify this choice. Given the format of the assignment full Harvard referencing may not be appropriate so rather than a reference list you should provide a brief bibliography of any reading that has informed your presentation. If the activity you used is adapted from a third party such as TES or twinkle or any other source it is essential you make this clear in the bibliography ( you will not be marked down for using an idea from the internet or from a book, it’s how you use it that matters. 

Having said that do not use the cars down ramps activity we have looked at in sessions as this would not enable you to demonstrate any originality). The bibliography should be uploaded as a separate word file.

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