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Getting Parents Involved in Science

20 February 2014

Our Science Evenings in Primary are very popular with both our students and their parents, giving them a great opportunity to work positively together on a project.

Our Primary Science Co-ordinator, Helen McMullen, was inspired to start these events at BISS Puxi from an experience she had when she was at school herself:

“When I was at primary school we had a Science Evening which my mother and father took me and my sister to, and it’s the only time I can remember us working together as a whole family in school. It provided us with a unique opportunity to be in school where the whole focus was on positively learning and working together, and not about feedback and review. The hands-on project we did also meant that I, as an 8 year old, contributed ideas that my 40-something parents complimented and used.”

Miss McMullen has been running the events since she started at BISS Puxi and they have been an outstanding success.

“When I became Primary Science Coordinator I was determined to provide our families here at BISS Puxi with the same opportunity as I had, especially considering the engineering backgrounds of a lot of our families here. We started offering it to Year 6, but I somewhat underestimated demand and so we had to extend the event to two evenings. Due to this success, and after some bullying from younger siblings, we now offer it to all Key Stages and it continues to be very popular. I hope they offer our families here the same kind of evening I had years ago.

As I teacher I love seeing the students putting into practise all their scientific skills and being able to lead a project with their families. I think it’s a lovely demonstration of many of the attributes we foster here at BISS Puxi and is a wonderful way for them to showcase their knowledge and confidence.”

Our latest event was a Year 3 and 4 evening this week on Monday. It was a Sochi Winter Olympics inspired evening, where the teams were given masking tape, marbles and pipe insulator to build a bobsleigh track. Various obstacles had to be overcome: the piping was very flexible, the marbles rather nippy and getting enough speed up to get a marble round a loop needed a very tall parent, but everyone worked well together to build successful tracks with minimal marble injuries!

Miss McMullen said of the evening:

“It was lovely to see so many people there and the atmosphere in the room was amazing. It was great to see children so engaged with their learning, testing out their ideas and improving their designs to create a successful outcome. A huge thank you to all the families who came along.”

Rosie Whytock from 3P said:

“I had a great time trying to get the marble down the half tube. It was harder than I thought it would be to stop it flying off, but it was lots of fun. It was important to see where it landed and to make sure the sides of the rubber tubing didn’t get too close together so the marble got stuck.”

And it's not just the children that love them, one of our families that came along told us:

"These evenings are organized to perfection by Miss McMullen whose passion and enthusiasm for teaching and science are easily discernible by both children and adults. They are everything we know science to be - fun, creative, practical and stimulating. The whole family equally enjoyed Monday night - even boys aged 7, 10 and over 35! When is the next Science Evening? You can sign us up already."

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The British International School Shanghai, Puxi

111 Jinguang RoadHuacao TownMinhang201107Shanghai


金光路111号华漕镇上海市 闵行区201107

Nord Anglia Education

4th Floor, Nova South
160 Victoria Street
LondonUnited Kingdom

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