Mr Simon Smith is the acting Deputy Head Teacher and Head of Science Department at Kells Lane Primary School in England, United Kingdom. He was the recipient of the Primary Science Teacher of the Year Award in 2011, as well as the supervisor of the science project awarded the Rolls Royce Science Prize in 2009.
During his attachment, he conducted Master Classes that advocated the use of scientific inquiry approaches. Armed with resources and strategies, he encouraged primary science teachers to experiment what he had shared in their classrooms. Teachers were also shown how they could be more innovative by optimising the use of the objects and spaces found in and around the school as teaching resources, as well as referring to common, everyday occurrences and actions to demonstrate the relevance of science concepts.
As part of the OEIR programme, Mr Simon Smith visited Temasek Primary School, Tampines Primary School and Anderson Primary School. He had the opportunity to observe lessons conducted by our teachers, after which he engaged in a dialogue session on pedagogical strategies, and the challenges and solutions to the teaching and learning of science. Teachers were particularly keen to find out how professional development was structured for British . teachers, as well as the similarities and differences between the teaching of science in Britain and Singapore. Through these dialogue sessions, Mr Smith shared how teachers can spark a vibrant sense of curiosity and inquiry through well-designed activities or references to real-life phenomena.
Mr Simon Smith had a dialogue session with officers from Sciences branch in CPDD. He also had the opportunity to meet a senior lecturer from Natural Sciences and Science Education (NSSE), National Institute of Education (NIE). He noted that science teachers in Singapore were well-supported with ample resources for teaching and learning of science, as well as rich professional development opportunities. Our CPDD colleagues appreciated Mr Smith’s sharing of the science process skills development map, which detailed the student learning outcomes in a progressive continuum of science-related skills.
During Mr Simon Smith’s attachment in Singapore, many educators were very impressed by his personal passion for scienceand his innovative approaches in making science learning both meaningful and interesting for the students.