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Science spark

Published: 5 July 2019

Our 2018/19 cycle of partnership Phizzi Electricity CPD will be completed this month. More than 540 teachers and teaching assistants from more than 440 schools across the Ogden partnership network will have taken part in 54 training days throughout this year’s CPD programme: nearly 85 per cent of the primary schools involved in our partnerships will have completed the training.

The Ogden Phizzi CPD has been developed to improve subject knowledge and uses numerous practical demonstrations, problem solving activities and investigations to develop working scientifically across all year groups. In addition to a day of subject-specific training on electricity this year, each school has received a teacher guide with 10 investigations and a Phizzi Electricity box with the resources needed for classroom practical work.

“Investing in teachers is key to maintaining high-quality physics education, and inspiring and engaging students of all ages,” says Jackie Flaherty, Teaching and Learning Leadfor the Trust. “It is always so pleasing to see the reaction from teachers to our training and to see the resources and investigations being used in primary science at the schools.”

“I was lucky enough to take part in the hugely engaging Phizzi Electricity training alongside science teachers from the Isle of Wight Partnership. The Phizzi Electricity boxes have proved hugely successful across all year groups in our school, who have used them to develop problem-solving skills and scientific enquiry. The boxes enabled me to run lessons with ease, as I had access to the detailed lesson plans and was then able to have the resources ready in a matter of minutes.

At a time when science opportunities may be lacking, these aspects of the Phizzi boxes are really important because they do not negatively affect workload and allow the children to be really successful. Both I and the children were delighted to have enough equipment that worked and due to these high quality resources, behaviour improved and the children could work more successfully in their groups.

The children also took great pride in using the guide to ensure all the equipment was stored in the correct quantities and slots in each box; this simple touch gave them a sense of responsibility and made tidying up so much easier! We have loved the Phizzi Electricity boxes on the Isle of Wight!”

“Final preparation is now underway for the 2019/20 Phizzi Forces CPD which will launch next academic year,” continues Jackie. “We have been working with a focus group of teachers to revisit and revise our forces CPD training and resources to reflect the latest changes in the national curriculum, Ofsted curriculum review and teacher subject knowledge,” she explains. “We will begin our ‘train the trainer’ sessions in July to ensure our team of more than 20 trainers will be ready to deliver the new material.”

The course is delivered across the network by teachers and Ogden consultants trained to provide the CPD to primary practitioners who are often not science specialists. The programme has been designed to encourage and support teachers in the delivery of hands-on science in the classroom.

All primary schools in an Ogden partnership receive the Phizzi CPD training, which covers one of the four main areas of the physics curriculum each year: electricity; forces; light & sound; and Earth & Space. In addition to a day of subject-specific training, each attending school receives a teacher guide with 10 investigations and the supporting equipment.

We have received evaluations from 199 participants in the 18/19 Phizzi Electricity CPD programme

  • 197 strongly agreed that they had been inspired (the remaining two agreed)
  • 195 strongly agree that the resources were appropriate and supported the course delivery (the remaining four agreed)

“I liked that it addressed misconceptions that children are likely to have – having taught the Year 6 electricity unit last year, I know that I will be better equipped to address these when teaching it this year. It was helpful that the resources we will receive were used in the session. This meant that we were able to familiarise ourselves with it in an investigative context. My subject knowledge has been strengthened and I have loads of fun new ideas to try with my Year 6 class.”

If you are interested in forming a partnership, you can find out more about the criteria and how to apply. The application process for new partnerships (2020/21) will open on September 1; all expressions of interest must be submitted before 1 February 2020.

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