We are in our first year on the Ogden partnership programme. We are a mixed partnership of nurseries, primaries and secondary schools that work to support staff, pupils and their families in the Brixton area of South London. The opportunity to benefit from CPD Science Talk training was eagerly taken up by our EYFS staff as well as staff from our secondary special school and we had teachers from 12 settings taking part.
One of the first things that really resonated was how the session chimed so well with our focus as a group of schools on supporting children to develop a growth mindset, to collaborate, question and become resilient learners. The session showed how practical science fuels young children's curiosity and how teachers can develop thinking and vocabulary through these activities. Teachers really enjoyed that they had opportunities to get practical!
Experiencing the activities together – experimenting, collaborating, discussing – was so valuable in helping teachers to pass on the experience to children back in their settings, there was lots of lively chat and some competition going on in the room! As a follow up to the session, we had an EYFS forum meeting back in Brixton a couple of weeks later, to see how teachers are getting on with the resources. Some had already started working with small groups of children using the card activities in school – including the paint pattern making and generating static testing with balloons. Others had spent time arranging resources and activity cards ready in packs, so they were accessible for any member of staff to pick up and use with a group of children. The fact that the activities use everyday resources and have instructions very clearly marked on the cards, makes them very easy to use.
Unfortunately, the current crisis has meant we couldn't have our follow up session at the end of March, where we were going to share more of what the children had been learning with the resources and do some practical demos between us. We were also planning a Science Expo from nursery through to KS4, with the EYFS years presenting some of their experiments to older children. We hope to be able to run this event next academic year.
Partnership Co-ordinator, London Brixton Partnership (2019–)
Partnership Manager, Brixton Learning Collaborative