Close the science learning gap, caused by school closures, for only £1 per child

Over the last year, the education system has had to face an unprecedented overhaul, as teaching swiftly moved from the classroom to the home with the global pandemic causing schools to shut for most children.

Whilst maths and english continue to be the focus subjects in home learning for primary school pupils, the subject that has arguably been the hardest to teach outside of a classroom environment is science. Consequently, a gaping education gap is increasingly growing as lockdown measures continue, especially for disadvantaged pupils. The Department of Education has even warned the attainment gap could widen by 75% as a result of the school closures.*

When schools closed, practical science lessons were instantly challenging to deliver on a remote basis for children learning from home. The exciting experiments that take place in the classroom, that are integral for instilling curiosity and understanding for primary school children, vanished overnight. This is inextricably linked to the development of critical skills that are honed while planning, collecting and analysing data and evaluating a scientific investigation. So, while children are missing out on knowledge, they are equally missing out on developing their critical thinking skills and thus, slowing down their overall developmental process.

Closing this learning gap is Empiribox, a science education specialist provider, that is helping create those ‘wow’ moments for primary school pupils at home, in a safe and engaging way, by launching a new and already twice award-winning digital service**, Empiribox @ Home

Empiribox @ Home is an innovative service that provides access to a complete library of curriculum-aligned and engaging interactive science lessons that include interactive videos, supporting resources and adaptable hands-on activities, even if schools aren’t open.

For teachers, this means they can assign any lesson to pupils to complete using readily available materials found around the home. For parents and carers, it means they have access to their very own dedicated science teacher at home.

Pre-lockdown, Empiribox continuously achieved its goal of equipping its teachers with the skills, knowledge and confidence to deliver outstanding practical science lessons by including all the equipment, curriculum materials and support services that schools and teachers need as a complete solution. With only 3% of teachers having higher than an A-level in science, this has been an invaluable resource for many in delivering the utmost excellence in science teaching.

In today’s education environment, Empiribox is helping both teachers and parents give primary school children the toolkit they need to learn science in the most supportive way. This is achievable for as little as £1 per day for schools signing up to the Empiribox @ Home programme. For individual parents signing up, the cost is £59 for a year’s full access to the programme.

The government’s Standards & Testing Agency recently published a report on Key Stage 2 science sampling which revealed that only 25% of pupils are achieving the expected standard. It also identifies a drop in the standard achieved from 2016. With these figures published in pre-Covid times, it is a stark reminder that pupils will need more support now than ever to help them achieve their expected education goals and to keep science interesting and fun.

Empiribox CEO, Richard McGrath comments:

“As we, the general public, witness first-hand the vitality and importance of science in handling the effects of Covid-19 in research, vaccines, implementation and development, let this not be a moment where we forget that today’s primary education age children are the scientists of tomorrow, and should be treated as such, by ensuring they have access to the best science education now more than ever. Empiribox has created the full resource to enable any education provider to easily deliver a fun and engaging curriculum-aligned programme – whether you’re a parent home-schooling to a multi-academy trust responsible for numerous schools.”

While this opens a wider discussion of the state of the primary education system as a whole – with organisations such as the Royal Society calling for a change in education “creating the conditions for a broad, balanced and connected curriculum” – the most important immediate action is giving primary school children the chance to a better science education from home now, which Empiribox @ Home has made possible.

                                                                                                           www.empiribox.com


*https://schoolsweek.co.uk/coronavirus-attainment-gap-could-widen-by-75-dfe-official-warns/

**Empiribox won Best Crisis Communications or Response Campaign for delivering science lessons during Covid-19 at Global Agency Awards 2020 and Best Global Education Campaign at Global Marketing Awards 2020.


                                                                                                                          Ends


For more information contact Lallie.fraser@downing.co.uk


Notes to editor


About Empiribox

Empiribox recognise that only a small percentage of primary school teachers have a science background and that many often lack confidence teaching this subject. With the new National Curriculum asking schools to teach the scientific method as well as the basic science knowledge, many teachers feel at a loss as to what to do in classes. The Empiribox system addresses these issues by giving full CPD accredited training to teachers each term, designed to increase confidence and understanding of science. Every term we supply all the equipment and teaching resources to ensure that teachers have the tools at their fingertips to easily do engaging and inspirational science throughout the year. Our system is cost effective and means no more storing, purchasing or time spent lesson planning. www.empiribox.com


ABOUT DOWNING VENTURES

Downing Ventures is an evergreen fund investing in seed to Series A companies, with the possibility of follow-on investments. We invest in a variety of technology sectors including Healthcare, Deep Tech, Industry 4.0/Mobility, FinTech and Enterprise. We have a portfolio of 71 companies as of September 2020. We work alongside a number of investment partners and accelerator programmes and incubators, including the London Co-Investment Fund. www.downingventures.com 

Date published:

21 Jan 2021

Practice Area:

Enterprise

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