Whiteboards, wonder walls, wizards

7th January 2005 at 00:00
The AstraZeneca Teaching TrustTESPrimary Science Teaching Awards recognise innovative teachers. Hilary Wilce interviews this year's winners.

Amine Williams, 40, teaches at Stechford primary school in inner-city Birmingham. She believes the hardest thing about good science teaching is getting children asking questions. "Children these days don't get their heads up and look around. So much is handed to them. So much comes to them through television or PlayStation. You have to get them asking why." To do this, she keeps a "wonder wall" in her classroom where children post questions that interest them. They decide which ones to investigate.

Winning lesson Based on the skeleton and muscles, pupils looked into whether bones grow at different rates by measuring people "to see if the tallest person had the longest bodies". "You have to let children explore first. You have to trust in them and let them lead you. And give them things to play with. You can get so much work, for example, out of a packet of balloons."

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