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Phizzi Curriculum pilot project

Published: 23 November 2020

This academic year, The Ogden Trust is supporting a very exciting pilot project at St Alphege Junior and Infant Schools in Solihull. A Phizzi Curriculum is being developed and tested in collaboration with the Trust to deliver a complete KS1 and KS2 science curriculum. Once fully developed, this curriculum will be freely available to partnership schools to support the development of learning and teaching of science in their settings.

In line with recommendations, the Phizzi Curriculum allows for each child in the school to have a two-hour science lesson every week which incorporates both a short, taught aspect where the teacher introduces, demonstrates and assesses the key scientific knowledge being developed, followed by an extended enquiry where pupils have the opportunity to apply, secure and deepen these scientific ideas while practising and developing their working scientifically skills.

The pilot project is being led by Ogden Teacher Fellow, Emily Fryer, who is working closely with her team of teachers across the St Alphege schools to trial and develop this new curriculum. Emily is working in collaboration with Ogden resource lead Amanda Poole and Ogden regional rep Jane Catto to develop the plans and resources.

The Phizzi Curriculum fully incorporates the Phizzi 40 enquiries which are part of the Ogden primary Phizzi CPD programme. It provides detailed planning and resources to support primary teaching of the big ideas of science as well as facilitating enquiry work in the classroom.

Two primary pupils taking part in a Phizzi electricity practical
Phizzi Electricity

The team developing Phizzi Curriculum is very carefully planning the working scientifically learning opportunities so that learners are regularly exposed to all of the different types of scientific enquiry and get repeated opportunities to develop all the specific skills related to reporting, measuring, analysing, supporting, justifying and evaluating ideas.

“The teachers have been very positive about the new curriculum as they have introduced it into their classrooms,” says Emily. “So far, our main problem has been that there is just too much to do in the two hours that are available – as we move forward, we are really tightening our working scientifically focus to develop children’s skills in one key area each week.”

Feedback from twitter of a primary science lesson based on the new Phizzi Curriculum.

The Phizzi Curriculum also aims to support the development of children’s science capital with contexts for learning being linked to real life situations so that children can see the relevance and importance of science; the plans include regular opportunities for children to learn about role models from a variety of science careers that link to their learning. It is hoped that this will raise aspirations and ensure that as many children as possible think that science is for them.

“It is wonderful to have this opportunity to collaborate across schools as we develop this new science curriculum,” says Amanda. “We are all learning so much from each other and from our experiences working in different key stages, which is helping us to really focus on the progression and development of children’s skills from Year 1 to Year 6.”

Two pupils investigate magnets as part of Phizzi forces.
Phizzi Forces

“It is a curriculum that really puts enquiry and working scientifically skills at the heart of the teaching,” concludes Emily. “It is helping to increase children’s retention of the key ideas that they need to take with them to secondary school by allowing valuable time for deeper thinking, discussion and analysis of their findings.”

The pilot will continue throughout this academic year as the curriculum plans are refined and finalised.

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