Things have got off to a ‘whizz-bang’ start in Pre-Prep this week as we join Prep in celebrating all things science! I was never a huge fan of science as a child in school but as a teacher of young children it is one of my favourite things to teach, as seeing discoveries through their eyes and being drawn into their excitement is quite infectious!
The benefits of learning about science for young children are enormous. Firstly, it involves a lot of talking and listening to others and helps develop patience as science results aren’t always instantaneous. Science also helps build the skills of perseverance and problem-solving; children have to think about what could happen and create a hypothesis in their mind. The next step is to try out their idea and they quickly learn that not everything works the first time. Sometimes it all goes wrong and you have to question what went wrong and put it right before starting all over again. Science also develops the skills of researching; it can encourage children to be healthily sceptical about what they are told and to form their own opinion rather than take what they are told for granted. These might seem quite ‘big’ skills but are evident even in Nursery when a child is trying to work out how to get a ball to roll down a length of pipe and land in a desired location or when a child in Year 1 is working out how to make a ball of plasticine float by changing its shape.
To celebrate the week our assembly this morning focused on some amazing famous scientists who all asked lots of questions to puzzle things out. We read a really beautiful picture book story called, ‘On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein’ by Jennifer Berne, which inspired us all to remember, “The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.” This was followed up with the first of many experiments we are planning to show the children this week which we hope will leave them excited, inspired and filled with a good dose of awe and wonder about the world around them. We hope too, they will ask lots of questions and realise we can all be scientists!