We are extremely proud and excited to have developed our Future Minds programme. The unique syllabus targets children as young as Reception and Key Stage 1 students, and also encourages parental and community involvement. The content crosses all curricular subjects, such as science, literacy, art, maths and PHSE. It’s designed to promote problem-solving and teamwork, and in addition, stimulates a love of learning. Children often don’t realise just how much technical detail they’re soaking up as they become detectives and solve the mystery! Fun and engaging, our Future Minds programme fosters young children’s natural curiosity and desire to explore.
The programme covers a full week; all resources, worksheets, teachers’ notes and guidance are provided. Our staff deliver workshops on the first day and introduce the children to the concept of solving a mystery. A full kit is then left with school, and over the following days, the children (led by their teacher) are tasked with solving a second mystery, based on Goldilocks and the three bears. As the story unfolds, the children use scientific processes and equipment to eliminate suspects and lines of enquiry.
The easy-to-follow kit is specially-designed to be delivered by teachers, parents or volunteers; no specific skills or prior knowledge is necessary. It’s divided into various modules and interactive workstations, covering a range of subjects, which offer clues and evidence towards the final outcome.
The final day affords a unique opportunity to raise the school’s profile within its community. Schools can invite parents, school governors, local councillors – perhaps even the local press – to view the progress the children made on the ‘case’, the experiments they conducted, and work they produced.
The feedback we’ve received from schools about this unique programme has been staggering. Teachers have told us that the impact of Future Minds lasts for weeks after the programme ends; the children continue to talk about it, and it provides a foundation for numerous ‘spin-off’ projects across a range of subjects – a real boost for lesson-planning.
SCIENCE SHOULDN’T BE BORING…
Introducing science in a formal setting, e.g. when children are older, can lead to assumptions that it’s an application based solely on the learning of facts. Broaching the subject of science at an earlier age allows them to apply their explorative nature, instinct to probe, and first-hand investigative experiences; this enhances and stimulates their interest earlier – and commonly, for longer. Teachers can’t pass on ideas: children should be encouraged to create and construct them as much as possible.
Think Forensic Ltd
The staff found the programme so easy to use; everything was well planned and there was no additional work for them to do. We had more parents involved than ever before, and some parents are continuing with school engagement now. We had our local councillor and press along, which gave us really positive exposure for the school.
It was great to see the children – and the parents – so animated during Future Minds. The programme was age-appropriate and engaged the kids at their own level – they were still buzzing long after the experts collected the kit. It gave us, as a school, lots of ideas for follow-on lessons, and I’ve lost count how many kids have said they want to be scientists when they grow up!