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

RCSI programme to help teachers bring science alive in Primary School classrooms all over Ireland

01 July 2015
RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) will host a five-day science course for 25 primary school teachers, from all around Ireland, that aims to ignite a passion for science in primary school teachers so they in turn, can pass to their students. The RCSI ‘Come to Your Senses 2015' programme will run from Wednesday 1st July until Tuesday 7th July.

Participants of the 2015 'Come to Your Senses' programme

The course, now in its seventh year, 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.

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. Enthusiasm for science begins at primary school so the ‘Come to Your Senses' course is a unique way for our academic staff to work across the educational sectors by supporting primary school teachers to develop their delivery of the science curriculum. This course provides instructions 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 programme is run by our colleagues from Anatomy, the Division of Biology, Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics, Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry, Physiology and Medical Physics, and the REACH office and always has excellent feedback from teachers, so for that I complement our staff on their on-going success."

‘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. 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. Teachers on the course will also take part in ‘Science in Action' sessions where they will visit RCSI Researchers to see firsthand how important and influential the passionate teaching of primary science is in developing researchers of the future."

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 among the top 50 most international universities in the world (Times Higher Education University World Rankings, 2014-15). It is a not-for-profit health sciences institution focused 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.