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Science superstars!

PGCE trainee teachers support primary science at Pitmaston Primary.

Published: 14 June 2022

Pitmaston Primary School has collaborated with the University of Worcester and The Ogden Trust to provide their staff and pupils with a science enrichment day. Pitmaston welcomed secondary science PGCE students to teach Year 4 and 5 children as they worked towards their CREST Awards.

The CREST Awards inspire young people to think and behave like scientists and engineers. They help pupils become independent and reflective learners through enquiry-based project work and with the additional support from the PGCE trainee science teachers the pupils could really immerse themselves in exciting, hands-on science.

Janinne Delorenzo, from the University of Worcester, commented that “this is a fantastic opportunity for primary and secondary teachers to collaborate. Immersion in a primary school helps the PGCE trainee teachers to have greater awareness of the abilities and motivation of primary school children.”

Rumi Choudhury–Lancaster, Science Lead at Pitmaston agreed, adding “this experience not only helped the primary staff in terms of their professional development but also enabled the secondary science specialist to engage with our primary children.”

six pupils investigating science - grouped around a table

The trainee teachers were impressed by the science ability of the primary pupils, how far they came in the day and how much they retained throughout the sessions. Insights like these into primary science are useful for transition, lesson planning and managing expectations as the children move into secondary education. Primary teachers build their science knowledge and confidence from working with the science specialists; the trainee teacher gain teaching insights and skills.

“It’s so brilliant that we get to learn from secondary science teachers, since they are experts in that field.”

“You can tell that they are passionate about their subject as they encouraged our children to become young scientists for the day.”
Pitmaston Primary teachers

The secondary PGCE students delivered a series of exciting and stimulating activities, set in real-life contexts such as flooding and how animals and humans stay warm in the Arctic. Pupils were enthused by the concepts and engaged brilliantly with the specialists. They thoroughly enjoyed the practical opportunities and felt like ‘real scientists.’ By the end of the day, pupils at Pitmaston had been successful in achieving the criteria to be awarded a Super Star Award in Year 4 and a Discovery award in Year 5.

“I enjoyed doing all the cool experiments today.”

“We were able to make different houses exploring different materials to help against flooding, which was so amazing.”
Pitmaston pupils

“It was lovely to see the enthusiasm of the children to be involved in everything. Their creativity was awesome,” commented one of the trainee teachers. Another agreed: “I thoroughly enjoyed my experience – everyone was very kind and the children were amazing. I really enjoyed seeing how the children were all so engaged – it was amazing to see. At some points it got kind of chaotic seeing almost every child with their hands-up wanting to participate. I learnt how skilful primary school teachers must be when it comes to the behaviour management of a classroom full of very excited children.”

three children working together on a science project

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