In March, both Barlow and Chapel Haddlesey schools held a Science Focus Week and the pupils across KS2 took part in a week long programme of STEM related activities to inspire our children and pique their curiosity.

The aims of the week were to help the children recognise that science underpins aspects of our lives at home and at school and work in so many ways. We also aimed to increase engagement from families and other community members in donating their time and skills in school.

The focus week encompassed many elements. The pupils, adult parent volunteers and teacher in the after-school Science Club prepared invitations to invite families to take part in a range of experiments that they had designed, prepared and evaluated in the spring term. The children in KS2 also compiled a short questionnaire for the next school newsletter to ask if any parents or other family members had careers in science or technology with a view to inviting them into a careers fair based around STEM opportunities.

As enthusiasm for the week grew, the members of the Science Club were encouraged to consider other ideas that the School Council had been collating in and around school.  One of these was to visit the National Science Museum in Bradford and this developed the programme for the week.

Mrs Marwood, the Business Manager, applied for a grant from the British Science Association to help fund the visit to the Science Museum and we were over the moon to receive £300 towards the cost of transport.

The KS2 classes from Barlow, Chapel Haddlesey and Burton Salmon Primary Schools travelled together to the Science and Media museum in Bradford. Here, they experienced lots of hands-on science in the lab and a rocket launch demonstration using a Bunsen Burner and different gases. The highlight of the visit was an IMAX film made by a group of astronauts telling the story behind the building of the International Space Station.  There was also an opportunity to explore exhibits about the history and development of science and media.

The second focus of the week was a visit by a veterinary nurse and lecturer Sarah Clark. This was a very hands-on session and the children had the opportunity to dissect a heart and an eye from a pig. The majority of children found this fascinating and all had the opportunity to touchand hold different parts of the organs.

The third focus was a visit by biologist and teacher at Fulford school Dr Holly Williams. The pupils conducted an experiment to extract DNA out of strawberries. Strawberries were crushed in plastic bags then mixed with an ethanol solution before the DNA was extracted. The chain of DNA was clearly visible in the test tube.

Mrs Smith, Science Lead across the federation said:  “The pupils were absolutely blown away by the learning this week.  The DNA extraction was quite amazing and it was fantastic to see the children so engaged and excited by science. Having such a variety of experiences and opportunities in such a short space of time was excellent and really opened their eyes to how amazing science and jobs in science can be. They are now desperate for more!”