Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI science initiative to bring Primary School Teachers to their senses

01 July 2014

Course to help teachers bring science to life in their classrooms

RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) will host a five-day science course for 25 primary school teachers, from around Ireland, that aims to ignite passion teachers for the subject; something they can pass on to their students. The RCSI ‘Come to Your Senses 2014' programme will run until Saturday 5th July.

This course uses the theme of the human senses to enable primary school teachers to develop their interest and enthusiasm for teaching science with direct relevance to the primary science curriculum for Social Environmental and Science Education (SESE). The programme puts an emphasis on learning through doing and provides teachers with alternative, hands-on and fun ways of teaching science to children, without the need for expensive materials or equipment. Previous participants had this to say about the course: ‘I feel very informed after doing this course and will use a lot of what I have learned this week in the classroom, it has definitely sparked more of an interest for me in science' and ‘ the best summer course I have ever done, really enjoyed the week'. 

The 2014 Primary Science group!

Professor Hannah McGee, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at RCSI said, ‘At RCSI, we are committed to advancing healthcare education and research, building on a core of scientific training. Enthusiasm for science begins at primary school. The ‘Come to Your Senses' course is a novel way for our academic staff to work across the educational sectors by supporting primary school teachers to develop their science teaching skills. This course provides on activities and experiments for use in the classroom and in doing so, inspires the next generation of primary school leavers to value and maintain an interest in science subjects and careers in science and healthcare. This is the 6th year of a very successful programme run by our colleagues from Foundation Year, Junior Cycle, and the REACH office which always has excellent feedback from teachers and I complement our staff on the on-going success of the programme'.

‘Come to Your Senses' is part of RCSI's Primary Science for Teachers Initiative (PSTI) which supports the teaching of science in the classroom. The initiative is a component of the REACH RCSI programme which promotes Recreation, Education and Community Health. It is approved by the Department of Education and is fully funded by RCSI. The RCSI PSTI team are Dr Jacqueline Daly, Dr Marc DeVocelle, Dr Kenny Winser, Ms Maria Kelly and Dr Maria Morgan. Mr Eric Clarke will also introduce an RCSI Moodle site to the teachers as a platform from which they will receive continuing support and resources when they return to their schools in September. 20 per cent of the places on this course were reserved for schools that are part of the DEIS (Delivering Equality of Opportunity in Schools) programme.

Dr Jacqueline Daly, Director of the Primary Science Initiative, RCSI said ‘As well as providing an important opportunity for teachers to network and share experiences with their peers, the ‘Come to Your Senses' course empowers teachers to bring new techniques back to their own school and pass these valuable skills on to their colleagues.'

REACH RCSI works in partnership with primary and post primary schools, youth and community groups together with the local community on the design and delivery of educational initiatives including Homework Clubs, Science Workshops, Sports & health programmes and an Education Information Service.

RCSI is a not-for-profit health sciences institute which focuses on education and research to drive positive change in all areas of human health worldwide. RCSI is headquartered in Dublin and is a recognised College of the National University of Ireland. In 2010, RCSI was granted independent degree awarding status by the State, which enables the College to award degrees alongside its traditional powers to award licentiates.