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Development of the School Science Club at Cardiff University

Blaxland, James, Thomas, Rhys and Baillie, Les ORCID: 2021. Development of the School Science Club at Cardiff University. Research for All 5 (1) , 86–100. 10.14324/RFA.05.1.08

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Challenges faced by schools include how to make science interesting, relevant and engaging for their pupils. This can perhaps be made more difficult by staff members not having direct experience in many areas of the science they are tasked to teach, and therefore lacking the confidence to teach in these areas ( Murphy et al., 2007). Within the higher education sector, there is demand for researchers to actively engage with the local community ( Linder and Spear, 2003; Wynne, 2006). Working with eight schools, we co-developed a programme that both highlights academic research and complements the Key Stage 2 national curriculum with the aims of improving science aspirations, knowledge and confidence in Key Stage 2 (Year 6) children, supporting teachers in the delivery of areas of the curriculum identified as challenging, and increasing science communication and engagement within the university. We delivered two separate sessions with all eight primary schools, interacting with approximately three hundred and fifty pupils. Overall, the project had a positive impact on teachers, children and academic staff. Key findings indicated that 92.9 per cent of 348 children surveyed felt that they had learned something new, while 85.7 per cent surveyed felt they were more interested in science, and 14.3 per cent reported no change in their feelings towards science. The School Science Club represents a collaborative engagement project which highlights the requirement of accurate co-development and outcome settings from both the university and school in order to have a positive impact on all those involved. Findings suggested improvements in planning and delivery for future such endeavours.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Pharmacy
Additional Information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licence (CC BY) 4.0 licenses/by/4.0/
Publisher: UCL IOE Press
ISSN: 2399-8121
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 15 March 2021
Date of Acceptance: 13 October 2020
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 10:02

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