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Rickmansworth Park Junior Mixed and Infant School

Science - Kate Tamayo

How long have you been the subject leader?


I have been Science Subject Leader for over 10 years.

What are your strengths as Science subject leader?

My main strength as Science Subject Leader is my love of the subject, my many years of teaching Science from Reception to Y6 and my enthusiasm.


Give examples of the impact you have had on the quality of teaching and learning/ standards?

My impact has been to ensure that Rickmansworth Park is teaching a full and balanced Science curriculum throughout the school. I scrutinise planning to make sure it shows development and I undertake work scrutinies to look at the quality of work the children are producing.

Through pupil voice, the children are able to feedback what they think of Science and the way Science is being taught in the school. I then pass their comments onto colleagues so that their views can help us in our planning. Children’s comments are usually very positive – they love the fact that teachers at Rickmansworth Park go ‘above and beyond’ to make sure Science is practical and fun.

As Subject Leader, I attend regular CPD to keep up to date with current developments in the curriculum through STEM.

We belong to the Enthuse Partnership – a consortium of 8 local schools that was created when we applied for and were awarded £12,000 from the government to promote CPD and closer working relationships between schools in the area. The Science Leads meet every half term, together with a STEM ambassador, to discuss different aspects of teaching Science, whether it be making, resourcing, assessment or attracting more girls to take STEM subjects at secondary school.

The Enthuse Partnership has been so successful in promoting Science to the children in our school and as a resource for inspiration, that the 8 local schools involved have decided to continue a similar programme from now on so that the children coming through our school now will continue to benefit.

What are the key strengths in this subject?


Our key strength is that our teaching is very good, our enthusiasm for the subject from teachers and children is amazing and the ENTHUSE Partnership has enabled us to show other schools what we do really well and in turn learn from them and share resources.

E.g. Lecture given by STEM Ambassadors on Literacy in Science – looking at how cross curricular Science can be.

Women in Science (WISE) day for Y6 girls to promote careers in Science.

What areas for development have you identified in this subject?


As mentioned, our one area for development was not using resources effectively within the local cluster. This was overcome by the formation of the Enthuse Partnership - completed in July 2019. As we start September 2019, I, along with my fellow local Science Leads hope to develop even stronger partnership links with each other to have greater access and support from local secondary schools to inspire and challenge children in our Primary schools

How do you know how well pupils are achieving?


Children achieve very well in Science at Rickmansworth Park. Class teachers undertake assessments at the end of a unit of work and results are recorded termly. I examine the data to ensure children are making expected progress or better.  As I mentioned earlier, I am sure the high level of achievement in Science is due to our amazing teachers who spend much time planning exciting and innovative lessons. The positive reactions from the children when they take part in a lesson that inspires them is the best reward for all of us.

All staff have regular CPD in different aspects of Science to ensure their knowledge is up-to-date and relevant.

How does the school meet the needs of all groups within this subject?


Children work independently, in pairs or in small groups when working in Science. This ensures all children have opportunities to carry out practical work. Writing in Science is much less than it used to be which appeals to children who do not find writing easy. Photographs, diagrams and graphs ensure children are able to demonstrate their knowledge just as efficiently.

What knowledge do Governors have about your subject? How have they been involved in your subject?

I have presented Science updates to the Governors during their Full Governing Body meetings to explain how we have embedded the new Science Curriculum and how Enthuse has been benefitting our school. The Governors are always very interested and will come in for our Curriculum mornings and class assemblies where they can see Science and foundation subjects are being taught.

I am a Teacher Governor and as such will always promote Science at every opportunity.