T1. Do all pupils enjoy science and maths? How do teachers inspire and engage all pupils?

Why this is important

  • School lessons should be enjoyable and interesting to pupils and capture their imaginations – teachers play a huge role in inspiring pupils.
  • Pupils who enjoy a subject are more likely to try to achieve the best results possible, continue with that subject through their education and see its relevance in their lives.

Benchmarks

The 2011 TIMSS report surveyed Year 5 pupils’ interest in science and maths in English schools.

Science results:

  • 79% of pupils liked or somewhat liked learning science.
  • 91% of pupils were classed as engaged or somewhat engaged in science lessons.
  • 29% of pupils were not confident in science.1

Maths results:

  • 81% of pupils liked or somewhat liked learning maths.
  • 92% of pupils were classed as engaged or somewhat engaged in maths lessons.
  • 19% of pupils were not confident in maths.2

Asking questions used in the TIMSS report will allow comparison to these benchmarks, or your school may wish to carry out its own survey and compare answers across years and groups of children.

Ideas for improvement

If pupils are not enjoying science or maths, increasing the range or quality of their hands-on work might help (see question C3 and the Resources and environments section).

Pupils may also enjoy science and maths more if they engage with them informally, for example through extracurricular activities, such as clubs and school trips (C4).
Pupil enjoyment can also reflect teaching quality. See T3 and T4 for ideas for improvement.


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