Name: Gemma Armstrong
Job title: Foundation Stage Leader
Class Year: Reception
Number of children in class: 28
Product being reviewed: Primary Science® Wow & Wonder Set
How did you use this product within your classroom? (e.g. whole class teaching, group work, individual, child-initiated learning)
I used the test tubes as part of a colour mixing activity in a parent workshop. The parents worked one to one with their children noting the changes to the chrysanthemums and encouraging their children to write down their observations.
The bubble making set inspired a large-scale bubble investigation in our tuff spot outside that is accessed by all in our three-form reception unit and our nursery unit. We added wands and dishes that we already owned and the pipette from the wonder and wow set.
The magnet was explored as part of child-initiated learning. One child was particularly excited to independently write about her findings and others were intrigued in testing out magnetic and non-magnetic furniture/ equipment in our classroom.
How has the resource supported learning in your classroom?
The activity cards are fantastic for inspiring ideas. This is the first time that we have ever planned a science activity within our parent workshops and it was very successful. The buzz created in the classroom for testing out the different resources and gaining ideas from the children on how to use them was particularly useful for increasing their ability to talk in clear and concise sentences, and for further developing their vocabulary.
Is the product innovative? If yes, please explain how.
Yes, it is innovative in that it combines so many different aspects of scientific discovery in one set. The activity cards are a fantastic idea, and it is great that they are waterproof.
Please give some particular examples of where the product has positively affected an individual or the school?
At this time in the school year there is a lot of pressure to get lots of independent sentence writing evidence from children. This Learning Resources set was fantastic for inspiring lots of independent writing, and I have never seen so many children eager to write.
Does the resource support the work of the teacher? If yes, please explain how.
Yes, it is great for giving ideas and providing a start to the resources you will need, but if you are trying to complete some of the activities with a small group you will need to add your own additional resources in some cases. We did this with the bubble mixing activity and the magnets.
What would you say are the greatest benefits of the product, both to you as the teacher and to your students?
The greatest benefit is giving teachers such a wide variety of scientific activities to explore with their class and in turn giving the students such a wide scope for knowledge.
Do you feel this product will meet your requirements to teach the National Curriculum/Early Years Foundation Stage Framework?
Yes, this product elicited fantastic talking points, inspiration for writing, the scope to talk about measures, and to explore colour mixing. The activities are very cross curricular and cover a wide range of objectives.
Does the product offer any support for SEND pupils? If yes, please explain why.
The pipette is particularly good for children with weaker hand dexterity as it has a bulb that is large and easy to squeeze. The dish for the bubble wands would benefit from being deeper as some of our SEND children did find the shallow nature frustrating and we provided extra deep dishes to support them.
How would you rate the long-term appeal of the product, both to you as the teacher, and to your students?
There is still a lot to the set that we haven’t had chance to explore yet, so I think it will appeal year upon year. We are determined as a school to explore science a lot earlier in the school year from September 2020 as previously we have got so caught up in baselines that it has taken a back foot.
Do you feel the product is unique or different from other resources in the subject area? Please provide details.
I think this resource is absolutely fantastic for both home and school as it provides so many different resources in one box. I also like that you can buy additional products from the box individually if you want to explore the resources on a bigger scale.
How cost effective is the product in terms of the educational aims it achieves?
The set is very reasonably priced as part of a wider scientific equipment resource base.
Do you have any additional comments/suggestions about the product?
The bubble dish could do with being deeper as mentioned above. Other than that, we were very excited to test out this product and as the photos show, it was greatly enjoyed!
The final score (out of 5):
Fun Factor: 5/5
Educational Benefits: 5/5
Ease of use: 4/5