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School partnership: Lewisham

"The Ogden partnership has allowed us to build a collaborative teaching community in which non-specialist primary teachers have gained a real confidence in the delivery of the physical sciences."

Published: 29 June 2022

The Ogden partnership has allowed us to build a collaborative teaching community in which non-specialist primary teachers have gained a real confidence in the delivery of the physical sciences. The enrichment opportunities offered within our community have increased science capital; and science, in particular physics, has been made more relevant and more accessible to the students and their parents. Joining The Ogden Trust has raised the profile of physics and a lot more students are seeing science-related careers that they would like to pursue far earlier in their learning journey.

At the start of our first year in 2020, we formed a partnership of five secondary schools with no primary school involvement. Although this initial partnership did involve some positive collaborations around evidence-based sequencing of lessons as well as the CPD offered by The Ogden Trust, the partnership didn’t really take off. This was largely due to the pandemic and other internal pressures within the partner schools. At the end of the first year, we decided to change the focus of the partnership, and invited our local primary schools to join instead.

Entering our second year in September 2021, five of our primary feeder schools joined in place of the secondary schools. From the outset, the collaboration between the schools was positive. The science co-ordinators within each primary feeder school are all non-science specialist and the support we offer has been met with enthusiasm.

To mark the start of this new collaboration we organised a launch event. Students from our primary partners hosted ‘Science Busking’ stalls, performing ‘magic’ science tricks using the Marvin and Milo resources provided by the IOP. The idea was to present to parents and the local community, but this was not possible due to covid restrictions. Our Year 10 students and members of our teaching staff provided the audience instead. Students and staff at Bonus Pastor also showed science demonstrations and answered questions at the event.

Students gathered in the playground for an event

Throughout the year, we have supported teachers in some of our primary partnership schools in the delivery of lessons to ensure progression of skills and understanding. Some of the team at Bonus Pastor have visited primary schools to participate in learning walks. As science specialists, we are able to offer advice but we also gain insight into primary science which we are now using to inform transition.

We continue to work with our partnership schools to ensure that primary teachers have the resources and knowledge to deliver the primary physics curriculum. A big part of this is the Ogden Phizzi CPD that we get as a partnership. The light and sound CPD delivered by our Ogden regional representative, Clare Warren, has been enthusiastically received by all the schools in the partnership.

Following the February half term, the partnership schools decided they would all deliver the Space topic; some of the schools were able to link this with the James Webb Space Telescope and the Deep Space Diaries, which provide a fantastic, engaging learning resource. During our Science Week (w/c 28 March) we welcomed astronomy author Colin Stuart into partnership schools and offered additional outreach activity. We brought schools to Bonus Pastor using our minibuses for hands-on science activities in our labs, and we hosted a planetarium which pupils from our partner schools visited.

Two girls taking part in a science investigation

Primary school visits to our labs for outreach activities have in fact taken place throughout the year, amid much excitement from the visiting pupils! We are now working with our primary partners on plans for effectively using our Phiz Labs on Wheels – primary science resource trolleys funded by The Ogden Trust. The Bonus Pastor science ambassadors are also planning visits to the primary schools in our cluster to help the younger students engage in hands-on physical science, improving their own confidence and science communication skills as well as building primary pupil science capital.

“Thank you for all the organisation and effort that has gone into creating so many fantastic experiences for our pupils. They had a great week, with so many inspiring and thought-provoking opportunities. The speakers, the workshops, the planetarium, the lessons, the visits to Bonus, the minibus rides … absolutely everything was amazing! Thank you so much – particularly to Everton for your co-ordination and for driving this forward. You are a star!”
Sharon Lynch
St William of York School, Headteacher

Everton McClymont
Lewisham Partnership (2020- )
Lead Practitioner, Bonus Pastor Catholic College
(June 2022)

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