Woodford Primary School embraces science initiative

Science teacher David Atkinson with Woodford Primary School pupils Josh James, 11 (left), Harvey Considine, 11, Adam Crowe-Owen, 11 and Patrick Mill, 10. 140903DW31 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

Science teacher David Atkinson with Woodford Primary School pupils Josh James, 11 (left), Harvey Considine, 11, Adam Crowe-Owen, 11 and Patrick Mill, 10. 140903DW31 Picture: DAMIAN WHITE

WOODFORD Primary School is offering specialised science lessons to pupils after recommendations from a leading Australian scientist.

The school has received funding to pay for specialist science teachers, equipment and resources and principal Daniel Watson said it had been an outstanding success. 

Mr Watson backed recommendations from Australia’s chief scientist, Professor Ian Chubb, to increase the nation’s emphasis on science, technology and maths skills in early education.

“I couldn’t agree more,” Mr Watson said.

“I think that the passion for science starts in primary school. 

“Recent research from Australian and international studies show that Australian students are not achieving their full potential in science. 

“From my own observations and experience, science is taught by a generalist primary school teacher with very good intentions but often falls flat in the quality and depth of learning that occurs.”

Mr Watson said Woodford was one of four Warrnambool and district primary schools taking part in the Victorian government’s science specialist program that aimed to provide high-level science lessons to pupils.

Specialist teacher David Atkinson is taking the classes.

Warrnambool West, Allans-ford and East Warrnambool primary schools are also linked to the initiative.

Mr Watson, a Victorian Principals Association councillor, said he supported recommendations announced this week to build Australia’s competitiveness by supporting high-quality education and training, starting in primary school.

“(Our) school’s close proximity to the Merri River will be a major part of the curriculum, with plans to involve a variety of local science experts to develop our own learning programs and engage with our local environment.”

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