Aims of the project
The main aim is to extend the three schools’ existing science provision in Year 8 through the reinforcement of scientific thinking and the opportunity to carry out experiments in fully-equipped laboratories. Other aims include providing strong teenage role models, including female science students and encouraging more pupils, especially girls, to opt for science.
All the schools in the partnership agreed that there was a need to inspire Year 8 students, especially girls, to opt for science at GCSE and carry on with it in the sixth form.
The critical factors are the careful preparation of the course by a gifted teacher and pupils, the trust built up between our schools over several years, the successful delivery of the course and the availability of our sixth-formers and the partner schools’ Year 8s on Friday afternoons.
Background and goals
The project came about following discussions with representatives from the partner schools about how to encourage more of their students, especially girls, to study science and how to share our science facilities. The opportunity was identified by the representatives of the schools in the Wimbledon ISSP at our termly meeting. The project was established in 2014-15 and is still going strong.
Well-equipped laboratories, transport for the Year 8 pupils, teachers to accompany them.
The course takes place at King’s College School.
It uses teaching staff and support staff in the King’s science department.
One full-time member of staff every Friday afternoon throughout the year. Support staff on some Fridays.
There is considerable invisible expenditure in terms of staff time as well as a small budget for equipment, funded by King’s.
A questionnaire at the end of each six-week course and ongoing discussion of the project with partner school representatives.
12 sixth-formers from King’s and around 90 Year 8s from the partner schools each year. All are mixed.
Frequency and duration
Two six-week courses per year of six lessons lasting about 90 minutes each.
This is the second year and it is likely to continue for as long as there is a need for it.