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Joining the Phiz Lab family

The Phiz Lab for the Kent North Coast Partnership is officially opened.

Published: 23 May 2022

There’s a real fizz of excitement at St Peter’s Junior School, Broadstairs, following the official opening of their ground-breaking Phiz Lab. The purpose-designed hub in the school grounds enables children to enjoy a broader hands-on experience when it comes to exploring the world of science.

St Peter’s School is part of the Ogden Kent North Coast Partnership and the Phiz Lab funding was awarded following a successful first partnership year. At the official Phiz Lab opening, children explored a range of experiments and activities with parents joining in to broaden their learning horizons.

“It was great to see parents learning alongside the children as that helps the learning to extend beyond the classroom,” said Sonia Teruel, Programme Officer for the Ogden Trust who visited the school for the grand opening. “Every child should be taught practical physics as a way to gain a deeper understanding of how the world works.”

a female pupil in a white lab coat is conducting a science investigation whilst a grown up looks on closely

The Phiz Lab will be used for lessons by St Peter’s pupils and those from partnership schools; staff professional development and a range of community science events will also take place in the lab. Other local schools that are not in the Ogden partnership will also be able to access the facility.

Nathan Williams, the school’s award-winning science lead and a Year 3 teacher, said feedback from the opening had been fantastic and children and staff are looking forward to exploring a whole range of learning opportunities in the hub.

He said: “It was great to see the science conversation between parents and their children.  The activities at the opening were all physics related – magnets (balancing hex nuts on the side of a glass), floating and sinking (can you make a ball of playdough float) and flying a vortex aeroplane (how far can you throw it.).”

St Peter’s has its own team of pupil science ambassadors in their smart lab coats. Their ongoing role is to help raise the profile of science within the school community, to deliver playground science activities at lunchtime, hand out resources and support children to complete enquiry-based science. When the Phiz Lab was being planned, the ambassadors gave their ideas about what was needed, and they will now help maintain the lab and the science resources in the school.

Children and grown ups around a table looking at science investigations

Headteacher, Tim Whitehouse believes the Phiz Lab will help expand the fantastic work that already takes place in their classrooms.

“Children have the opportunity to talk and experiment in our very own mini laboratory, preparing them perfectly for science at secondary school,” he enthused. “Our mini lab means that our mini scientists may well grow into the scientists of the future – who knows what innovations and advances they may invent.”

Mr Whitehouse praised the determined, innovative and enthusiastic work of Nathan Williams who last year received a Primary Science Teacher Award from the Primary Science Teaching Trust. Mr Whitehouse said: “He has brought science to life at St Peter’s and this new Phiz Lab gives the children a special place to carry out their investigations in a fantastic scientific environment.”

“I genuinely believe everyone can be a scientist and I hope we are inspiring the next generation of science leaders at St Peter’s.”
Nathan Williams

a group of children in lab coats are pictured in a group outside with two grown ups

The school science ambassador team with Sonia Teruel (Ogden Programme Officer) and Mr Williams.

Want to form your own school partnership?

St Peter’s is one of 10 schools in the Kent North Coast Partnership working collaboratively to develop the physics teaching and learning in all schools. The schools include a mixture of primary and secondary schools in Canterbury and Thanet. Ogden partnership funding can be used for staff professional development and science capital opportunities for all children in the cluster.

Applications open annually between September and February. You can visit our partnership pages to find out more about the programme and how to apply.

Thinking about developing your own primary science lab or forming a primary science ambassador team. We have resources that can help you. Search our resources site for ideas and inspiration.

Two people pictured at a desk - a grown up and a child in a white lab coat doing an experiment

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