School partnership: St Austell
Published: 5 January 2022
As we head into the third year of our partnership, we feel like we have already achieved such great things that have really made an impact on the way we deliver and share science within our primary schools, even with the restrictions of the past 18 months.
Although trips and collective events have not been possible, we have been able to run a virtual science busking session for our Year 6 science ambassadors, building their confidence and communication; we have invested in science books across our partnership so we can develop new clubs and cross-curricular activities; and we have developed EYFS science provision to really capture the imagination of our young pupils. Our virtual science fair was physics-focused and created a swell of excitement and friendly competition across the schools; it connected our pupils and teachers as they learnt through their own practical activities and investigations which were then shared across our partnership schools and the local community. Our virtual busking sessions and year end science fair have now been embedded into our partnership as activities that can be sustained into the future with little or no funding.
Our partnership participation in the Ogden Phizzi CPD has been a well-attended success. It has provided an opportunity for the attending teachers and TAs to learn easy, engaging, and practical applications of primary physics-based science, removing the barriers sometimes associated with teaching a subject not in their field of study. The lesson plans and resources that accompany the training have been brought back to each school and disseminated in staff meetings, where feedback has been incredibly positive across the partnership. Teachers feel well-prepared and confident to teach something they otherwise felt intimidated by.
The overall impact I have witnessed from our partnership is confidence in science across our schools – that is teachers delivering science and pupils participating in science! There is an enthusiasm to explore and investigate, and to talk about science using scientific vocabulary. As a partnership we are working to develop a consistency in the way we teach science throughout our partnership schools through networking, internal moderation and the sharing of good practice and ideas. We will continue to raise pupil’s science aspirations and science capital in our schools and the local community by providing opportunities for parental involvement and the encouragement of wider community participation. We are now working to introduce our pupils to more science-based careers so they can see that science is about so much more than just a person in a lab coat.
Partnership co-ordinator, St Austell Partnership (2019- )
Teacher and STEM Coordinator, St Stephen Churchtown Academy
Five years of funding
A local cluster partnership can apply for up to £2,500 per academic year for the first three years and up to £1,000 in the fourth year for partnership activities to enhance the teaching and learning of physics. A further grant of up to £250 is available as partnerships move into their legacy phase. In the first year, partnership co-ordinators are awarded a time buy-out giving them half a day a week to build relationships across the cluster and establish the partnership.
An established collaboration partnership (ie a MAT) can apply for up to £2,000 per academic year for the first three years and £1,000 in the fourth year for activities to enhance the teaching and learning of physics. The partnership lead is eligible for up to two years of time buy-out to support the partnership
Teachers at all partnership schools can access CPD from Early Years Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 3. Partnerships work across primary and secondary schools to build links for transition and progression and are part of a supportive wider network of Ogden partnerships, advisers and experts.
Partnerships normally comprise four or more schools and can be a mix of maintained schools, academies, free schools and independent schools, across the primary and secondary sector. We welcome applications from any schools in England but are especially keen to work with new partnerships in rural and coastal areas, as well as schools based in areas of social deprivation.