Leeds for Learning

4 April 2019

Last week, 60 teachers arrived at the Leeds for Learning Primary Science Conference. The conference celebrated all aspects of science in Leeds and was organised to support and inspire primary schools in their approach to teaching the subject.

Aimed at primary science subject leaders and teachers wishing to develop their knowledge and understanding of primary science education, the conference agenda was designed to provide an insight into current science-related themes including subject leadership and influencing others.

The keynote speaker was Dr Sarah Earle from Bath Spa University. Sarah leads the Teacher assessment in primary science (TAPS) project funded by PSTT and spoke to the audience about the TAPS pyramid tool. The pyramid tool has been developed to provide a valid, reliable and manageable system of primary school science assessment which will have a positive impact on children’s learning.

A range of hands-on workshops throughout the day ensured that delegates left with practical knowledge and new ideas they could take straight back in the classroom.

Fran Varley (Kippax Ash Tree Primary) and Amy Cowley (Allerton Bywater Primary) from the Ogden Leeds East Primary Partnership delivered three workshops on Fantastic Forces and Fabulous Friction with Ogden regional rep, Devinder Gill. The workshops provided lots of practical, hands-on ideas for delivering physics at primary level, and involved jelly and oil, hovercrafts, push meters with ramps and shoes, folded argos catalogues, pencils in bottles of rice! The sessions addressed common misconceptions and showcased lots of activities to enable the children to FEEL friction, making this abstract concept much more concrete.

"The Primary Science Conference is always a great way to network with other passionate leaders in different schools. This year was lots of fun with all the practical workshops, and the raffle prizes get better every year! The forces workshop by the Ogden trust was really good and made it easy to see how the tricky topic of forces can be covered in an exciting, cost effective way to engage the children in school. The hovercraft balloon CDs were my favourite!"
Jennifer Lynsdale, Sharp Lane Primary School, Leeds
"Enjoyed listening to the purpose of The Ogden trust and all it has to offer"
"Really inspiring use of budget resources"
"Lots of ideas to teach forces"
"Fun, relatively low cost idea"
"Brilliant hands-on session, simple and effective. Very interested in The Ogden Trust"
"Practical activities with curriculum links – exploring ‘tricky’ physics concepts"

As well as workshops and presentations, delegates could gather ideas and resources from the conference marketplace – which featured lots of goodies and giveaways alongside interactive exhibitions from primary science organisations, commercial companies and local providers.

“We were delighted with how well the conference went and with the positive feedback from delegates,” said Bryony Turford, one of the conference organisers. “There was a real buzz for the whole day and delegates were obviously engaged and enthused. We wanted to ensure that teachers left with new ideas and confidence about delivering science at their schools – equipped with up-to-date information about primary science, reinvigorated from a day of networking and laden with goody bags and raffle prizes. The overwhelmingly positive feedback suggests that this was achieved!”

“We were hugely grateful The Ogden Trust and teachers from one of our local primary partnerships were able to support a fabulous forces workshop which was really well received. We are already now planning for next year’s conference and have 31 March 2020 firmly in the diary.”

The winners of the five Ogden Phizzi electricity trays were:

  • Quarry Mount Primary, Leeds
  • Lady Elizabeth Hastings Primary, Thorp Arch
  • Foundation Primary, Leeds
  • West Oaks SEN College, Boston Spa
  • Wykebeck Primary, Leeds

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