A school where everyone teaches science

20 Oct 2018

Author: Niall Byrne – Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science

Photography: Prime Minister’s Prizes for Science/WildBear

Video:

Brett Crawford received the $50,000 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Primary Schools for creating an environment in which every teacher is engaged in science. He is the lead science teacher at Warrigal Road State School in Brisbane.
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Brett Crawford has transformed science teaching at Warrigal Road State School in Brisbane. All the school’s 50-plus teachers now actively teach science in their classes.

Warrigal Road is a large primary school in Brisbane with more than 1,300 students. The students are from 54 cultures, English is a second language for 60 per cent of them, and there’s also a cohort of hearing-impaired children.

The local high schools have recognised that Warrigal Road students come to them curious about the world and ready for secondary science. Test results back that up, showing the school’s science performance is well above national averages.

Crawford is the lead science teacher at the school. He believes that science teaching in primary schools is easy.

Primary school students are curious about the world. You can engage them with simple, inexpensive experiments.

But he also knows that many primary school teachers are anxious about teaching science.

So, at Warrigal Road he led a program in which he spent two days every week mentoring his fellow teachers.

The results speak for themselves and other schools are now picking up his ideas and programs.