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Phiz Lab for Fylde Coast

Westminster Primary Academy officially open their new Ogden Phiz Lab.

Published: 1 October 2021

Last week, Westminster Primary Academy, part of the Ogden Blackpool Partnership, officially opened their new Ogden Phiz Lab. Teachers from across the partnership came together to explore the new lab, getting hands-on with the resources and talking about the opportunities that this new science classroom will bring to the area.

The lab has been created in a classroom at Westminster Primary Academy, and thanks to funding from the Trust it has been equipped with a super selection of science resources and accessible storage to encourage child-led science investigations. The walls feature displays showing inspiring scientists, science vocabulary and the children’s own investigations.

The Phiz Lab will be a hub for science at the school and across the partnership – plans are already in place for partnership Phizzi CPD to take place, using the lab to bring teachers together to develop their practice in physics pedagogy. Exciting activities for children from across the whole of Blackpool are also being planned and the lab will be used as a community resource for science.

“As a school in a deprived area and with over 70 per cent Pupil Premium it is inspiring that our school has the only Phiz Lab in the area,” enthuses Debbie Powell, Science Lead at the school. “It has already had a major impact on the ‘buzz’ about science around school and on our pupils’ aspirations in viewing science and technology careers as a viable option.”

“Having a Phiz Lab is an amazing opportunity,” continues Debbie. “Any partnership school should apply for one if the chance arises. The process was straightforward, and I was supported and encouraged the whole time by everyone I had contact with from the Trust.”

Programme Manager, Paul Sapple visited the school for the Phiz Lab opening. “It was great to be able to see the new Phiz Lab in Westminster Primary Academy and to hear about the partnership’s exciting plans for how the lab will support teaching, enrichment and CPD across the town,” says Paul.

A photo from the Phiz Lab opening - seated around the Phiz Lab sign which is on a table
l to r: Debbie Powell (school science lead), Paul Sapple (Ogden Trust), Michele Yates (Ogden regional rep) and Mhairi Mitchison (partnership co-ordinator)

“Phiz Labs provide an excellent opportunity for partnerships with primary schools to create a dedicated science space to engage pupils and support teachers,” he continues. “Not only does our Phiz Lab programme provide funding to develop and equip a special place for science, but it also comes with a structured package of support and ongoing evaluation, to help maximise the benefits and to integrate the facility into school’s own strategic plans for science.”

“This is the first Phiz Lab on the Fylde Coast which I am sure over the next few years will encourage many students across the area to develop a love of physics, successful careers in science and engineering – ultimately building a better understanding of the wonderful and fascinating world we live in.”
John Topping, Fylde Coast Academy Trust (FCAT)
Westminster Primary Academy is part of FCAT

Learn more about forming a partnership and how to apply

Applications for new school partnerships are now open. After a successful first year a partnership (if eligible) can apply for funding to create a primary Phiz Lab.

Partnerships normally comprise four or more schools and can be a mix of maintained schools, academies, free schools and independent schools, across the primary and secondary sector. We welcome applications from any schools in England but are especially keen to work with new partnerships in rural and coastal areas, as well as schools based in areas of social deprivation.

Find out more about our partnership programme and submit your expression of interest now to form a new partnership starting in September 2022.

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