A spark for science

13 March 2018

Last week, 67 teachers (and teaching assistants) arrived at Eton College for an Ogden Primary Physics Professional Learning (P3L) course on electricity. Focused around this core curriculum topic, the day-long primary CPD event enhanced the physics subject knowledge of the participants who all left with a box of equipment and resources to bring the topic back to life in the classroom.

As well as sessions designed to enhance techniques for scientific enquiry, questioning and assessment for learning, the delegates enjoyed two hands-on practical sessions. Ben Wilkes, Ogden Teacher Fellow and Head of Science at Birchensale Middle School led attendees through a series of activities to encourage creativity in science, including building a Scribblebot and investigating squishy circuits.

Jackie Flaherty, Director of STEM at Chipping Campden School and the Ogden Trust National Teaching & Learning Lead, introduced the teachers to cosmic circuits with some hair raising practicals! The session covered the key concepts of circuit building and looked at trouble shooting strategies for problem circuits. The delegates enjoyed making a human circuit with a cosmic ball and investigating conducting and insulating materials using the equipment in their takeaway resource box.

“During the day, the delegates gathered and shared some amazing ideas for resourcing science in their schools,” explains Jackie. “We hope they gained confidence in sharing their new-found knowledge with colleagues and developed personal science subject knowledge.

"The P3L days aim to provide teachers with ideas for EYFS to KS2 and to improve both the physics knowledge and confidence to use practical work to inspire and challenge primary scientists. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and the delegates particularly liked the fact that our presenters are all practising teachers with current and relevant experience.”

Ogden P3L training session on electricity at Eton College in March 2018

"Eton was delighted to host the Ogden Trust primary physics day for the second time. As an institution, we embody excellence in education and high aspirations for our pupils – the day enables us to share those values, and to learn from outstanding practitioners from the outside." Tom Arbuthnott, Director of Outreach, Eton College.

Electricity is the theme for the 2018 P3L CPD programme – booking is open for the next event, which will be held at Forest School, London on 13 June. Further days will be available later in the year at venues in Oxford and London. These CPD events are ideal for both subject leaders wishing to develop and enhance the profile of science within their school or wider network and classroom teachers.

Fab CPD event! Great resources/ideas and subject knowledge support. It was good to see activities across a range of KS1 and KS2 phases. Thank you for a great day.

Many short sessions – so everything is delivered succinctly and in a way that holds your attention. Presenters who have very recent and real experience of being in the classroom.
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