In July, the Standards and Testing Agency (Department of Education, 2017) released the key stage 2 science sampling results for 2016 across 1900 schools, which showed that:
77% of 11-year-olds were NOT performing at the sufficient level in science and only 23% were at the sufficient level.
This figure has decreased from 28% in 2014.
Both figures are concerningly low and as a result, many year 6 students struggle to keep up when they begin Science in Secondary School.
Ofsted (2011) have reported that Science in Primary Schools needs much improvement and reports from The Wellcome Trust show evidence of a general decline in primary school science (2014).
This is partly due to the removal of a Statuary Science test at the end of KS2 which prior to 2009, defined the Science curriculum. When these tests ceased, schools had more freedom and opportunities to develop Science but surveys found that Science is often viewed as less important than Maths and English which take priority is school curriculum and resources (Primary Science: Is It Missing Out?, 2014).
In 2013 Ofsted warned that weak leadership underlies the decline in Science, reporting that leaders of about half the schools visited in their 2013 review “no longer saw science as a priority.” Research shows that there is a distinct gap between schools that value and invest in Science and those that do not.
Why is Science Important at the end of KS2?
Towards the end of Primary School, children start to develop perceptions about whether Science is ‘for them’ or not. Without Primary Schools providing experience that makes Science inspiring and that builds understanding of the value and place of Science in their lives, pupils from this early stage can dismiss scientific subjects and consequently careers due to lack of interest.
Pupils can also begin Secondary School with little understanding of Science and consequently can quickly fall behind in scientific subjects in KS3 and KS4.
At Accelerate Learning we offer Science tuition for KS3 and KS4 in order to assist Secondary students in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
However, we recognize that there is a need to offer Science tuition for Primary School pupils, especially those that are soon to enter Secondary School so that they can better prepared for the advances in the curriculum.
We strongly encourage our students to continue with tuition through the summer holidays when possible, in order to keep the brain active and use the summer break constructively. This time is ideal to prepare for the challenges that pupils face when they move into the higher year.
We are considering putting on fun, transition science lessons in the summer in order to bring pupils up to speed in Science and ready to start their new course in September.
If you are a parent of a year 6 pupil, would you be interested in your child attending?
We are grateful for you input and helping us develop a service which will assist you and your children as they prepare for Secondary School.
If you would be interested in more information or to register your interest for your child to attend the course, please contact the reception on 0151 203 0115 or email email@example.com
Galton, M, Gray,J. Ruddock,J et al , (2003) Transfer and Transitions of schooling (7-14) continuities and discontinuities in learning DfES Research Report 443 , London
Department of Education (2017). Key stage 2 science sampling 2016 Methodology note and outcomes. London: Standards & Testing Agency, p.6.
Manchester: Ofsted, p.5. Available at: https://ofsted.gov.uk/resources/maintaining-curiosity-survey-science-education-schools
Ofsted (2011). Successful science. London: Ofsted.
Ofsted (2013). Maintaining Curiosity: A survey into science education in schools.
Primary Science: Is It Missing Out?. (2014). 1st ed. [ebook] London: The Wellcome Trust. Available at: https://wellcome.ac.uk/sites/default/files/primary-science-is-it-missing-out-wellcome-sep14.pdf [Accessed 23 Mar. 2018].