The oxford cluster
A PSTT Cluster Network in Oxford
The five village schools are part of a local partnership (WOSP – West Oxford Schools Partnership) and have worked together for over six years. Recently, they have joined the PSTT Programme to facilitate the further development of science, the children and the teachers through their Cluster.
Cluster Lead: Jules Pottle
The five, current, participating schools are listed below. Please complete the Contact Us form if you wish to discuss any potential involvement with this Cluster.
Cumnor C of E Primary School
Oxford Rd, Cumnor, Oxford OX2 9PQ
Appleton C of E Primary School
Church Rd, Appleton, Abingdon OX13 5JL
Elms Rd, Oxford OX2 9JZ
West Oxford Community Primary School
Ferry Hinksey Rd, Oxford OX2 0BY
St Swithun’s CE Primary School
Grundy Cres, Kennington, Oxford OX1 5PS
Leading a core subject, which can often have low priority in the school development plan, can be rather daunting. Science is often seen as noisy, heavy on the preparation and not as important as English or Maths. Additionally, many teachers lack confidence in the subject knowledge and avoid teaching it as a result. Many feel that the preparation required is overwhelming. All this negativity can make it hard to lead the subject. We want to support our local group of schools in this process.
In addition, the research seems to show that children make their decision about whether science is ‘for them’ whilst they are at primary school. Our area is close to Oxford University and the associated science parks and yet there is a huge disparity in the amount of science capital that these children have. For some children, their experience of science in their everyday lives is huge. For others, it is limited to what they experience in the classroom. It should be possible in our area to utilise the science around us to extend the children’s experience and give them greater science capital and, at the same time, improve their experience of hands-on science in the classroom to give the children the best introduction to science in those important primary years.
- Provide support for one another by meeting, sharing expertise and planning together.
- Provide training for teachers to promote the inclusion of hands-on activities in science lessons.
- Release teachers for training so that the process becomes a joy rather than an extra burden.
- Raise the profile of hands-on science skills in the school so that all teachers become aware of the kind of skills that children should be taught, how to plan for the teaching of these hands-on skills and how to plan ahead for the assessment of these skills.
- Raise the profile of hands-on skills beyond the school by engaging the parents and local science organisations in the process.
- Raise the science capital for children in our schools.