An Ogden partnership in Hackney is working to embed Science Talk and Phizzi CPD across the partnership schools.
Published: 19 October 2023
In 2022, the Primary Advantage (PA) Federation of eight primary schools, based in Hackney, east London, joined the Ogden partnership programme as an established collaboration. In their first year, partnership funding has been used to increase the visibility of science across the schools with trips, visits and enrichment activities. Whizz Pop Bang magazine has been introduced across the Federation, and partnership money has been invested in new science libraries and science corners: perfect quick wins to raise the profile of science.
Building teacher knowledge and confidence in delivering primary science underpins the activities that have been delivered – helping to ensure that there is substance to the science and that the children are building their science knowledge and their science capital. Sandra Gaudan is the PA Learning, Development and Partnerships Manager, she has been reflecting on their recent EYFS Science Talk ‘Day of Inspiration’ Inset CPD and looking at how they can make the most of the partnership Phizzi CPD on offer. Sandra explains more.
We are lucky to have a leader for early years across the Federation; she can drive through improvements for the eight schools and can make changes, with her EYFS teams, to the curriculum plans for the year. Following our Ogden Trust Partnership EYFS Science Talk CPD last year, she has taken the books, resources and activities and mapped them into the curriculum for the early years at our schools. We were able to launch this initiative at our annual Early Years Inset Day of Inspiration in September 2023. Communication and language are always an early years’ priority and we have been able to weave the Science Talk activities into our provision – enabling and supporting teachers to do a few things differently, but not adding any additional burdens.
More than 60 early years teachers and staff attended the Science Talk Day of Inspiration, and we had a really brilliant, interactive morning practising some of the investigations; we had teachers underneath tables looking at constellations, crawling into tents to investigate light and dark – really getting to experience the activities that we can share with our pupils. Our early years practitioners went away full of ideas and inspiration, and, importantly with a practical plan for how these ideas can be delivered across the year.
“Lovely practical activities and science investigations – fresh ideas that show me how to use science as the context for developing pupils’ curiosity about the world around them and to inspire communication and vocabulary development opportunities.”
This year, we will be ensuring that we embed and evaluate Science Talk in the early years, creating a solid foundation which we can then build on across the key stages with Phizzi CPD. We don’t have a science lead across the Federation, but our early years lead has a science background and will be leading our Ogden Trust partnership this year. We hope we can take some of the lessons learnt from the EYFS Science Talk implementation to cascade and embed our Phizzi learning and resources more effectively for KS1 and KS2 too.
Phizzing with ideas
In our first partnership year we received an absolutely brilliant Phizzi Earth and Space CPD day delivered by the Ogden Trust which was attended by our school science leads and some other partnership teachers too. The CPD was brilliant at deepening the subject knowledge and it was a real luxury for teachers to have a whole day focusing on science, and actually very specifically on Earth and space. The Ogden trainer had great depth of knowledge and it was really inspiring.
The teachers went back full of inspiration; topped up with knowledge! We have tried to find ways throughout the year to thread back to the Phizzi CPD, build momentum and embed the learning – we built CPD sessions into our partnership activity plan and provided twilight sessions, but it has definitely been a challenge. It is such a luxury to have these high-quality resources and training sessions, so we are determined to ensure that they are used; and we are already looking forward to this year’s Phizzi Electricity.
One of the things I like about the Ogden Trust partnership is that it lasts for five years; you can’t just change everything you want to and have the impact straight away. You have to keep working at it, building a culture, building familiarity – teachers in our schools all know The Ogden Trust now, which makes a massive difference and will help us to better embed the Phizzi learning and help to ensure the resources are well-used. The Ogden Trust provides a great network of support and we will hopefully be able to take better advantage of that this year now that we are established.
We are already bringing more science into our CPD sessions – and not just Phizzi CPD, we have already had a twilight session this year on ‘A scientist like me’ – which I heard about at the Ogden partnership conference last year. We have a diverse cohort of children at PA and we want to promote science and break down barriers so that they see science as a subject and a career for them. ‘A scientist like me’ is a great resource to support this.
“I am excited to show children lots of different scientists and represent those in the classroom.”
With our Ogden Trust partnership funding, we can work more closely together across our eight schools, share good practice, weave more activities into the school timetable and build a better culture of science; in my role as Partnerships Manager I meet with our headteachers every fortnight so I can make sure I keep science and The Ogden Trust on the agenda with school leaders and I can support our partnership lead to deliver on our plans.
Ogden school partnerships
The Ogden School Partnerships programme provides five years of funding, support and CPD for schools who want to work together to enhance the teaching and learning of physics. Partnerships which include a primary school can apply for Phiz Lab funding of up to £2,500, in their second partnership year. Applications for new partnerships open each year between September and February.