Headteacher Interview – The Mother Nature Science – After School Science Club
Interview with Lynne Sumner, Headteacher The Breakspear School, and Mother Nature Science.
Q: Hi Lynne, can you believe the club has been running now for eight years, after such a long period of time why did you (the school) not take a break and why you think parents have continually kept enrolling their children term after term?
A: The school was extremely happy to continue working with Mother Nature Science as we always found them to be both personable and professional – always taking the needs of the children into account as well as respecting the ethos and expectations of the parents and school.
The children really enjoyed the interactive and highly practical and informative sessions; these, in turn, reinforced and added to the learning both at school and home. The sessions were extremely well planned, delivered and the instructors took time to really get to know the children and cater to their individual needs and interests.
The club was so well received that we were able to increase the provision from 1 session a week to 3 sessions a week!
Q: As you have discovered, our science club caters for children ages 5-12 of all abilities, can you think of a specific example where a child became more inspired and confident in their regular classes due to our club?
A: I can think of 2 children, in particular with very different needs. One child who was wary of changes in routine and experienced anxiety with establishing new relationships found the lessons very interesting and highly enjoyable. This child was, through the successful working partnership of the School and the Mother Nature Science instructor, able to access a great learning experience which supported his intellectual as well as social and emotional needs. The other child responded well to the sessions as they promoted his self-esteem as well as providing him with mentally stimulating activities. For both children the sessions stimulated their natural curiosity, promoted their self-confidence and provided an opportunity, outside the school classroom, to both learn and establish effective relationships with other children and adults.
Science Club Quick Rate Questionnaire:
And finally Lynne, please could you quickly ‘rate’ the following key club elements:
Q: Educational content?
A: Children were always excited by the topics and enjoyed both the investigative and practical aspects.
Q: Classroom management?
A: Instructors had very good behaviour and class management skills/strategies.
Q: Tidiness? (i.e. state we leave your classroom)
A: High respect given to the space provided.
Q: Entertainment value?
A: Children enjoyed the novelty as well as the fun aspect of the teaching – making learning visible and purposeful.
Q: General safety?
A: Instructors well trained in this respect.
Q: Communication with your school?
A: The club has always communicated with school in a professional and understanding manner. An excellent partnership has been established.
Q: Would you recommend a Mother Nature Science Academy to other schools?
Thank you again for taking the time to speak with us.