On 18 June the University of Brighton’s School of Education, working in partnership with the Mathematics and Science Learning Centre at the University of Southampton hosted its annual Primary Science Conference.
Over 50 teachers attended the event at the university’s Falmer campus with the overarching theme of ‘Making Changes’.
The starting point for this year’s conference was the 2013 Ofsted science report ‘Maintaining Curiosity’, which highlighted six factors that could promote high achievement in primary science. These were outlined during the conference, offering ideas and activities for schools to engage with.
In addition to the keynote speech presented by Debbie Eccles from Primarily Science, attendees were able to select from a range of workshop sessions delivered by Debbie and Kate Blacklock. These included sessions on assessment without levels; working scientifically; pupil progress; links between literacy and science and raising the profile of science.
The sessions included some short practical activities such as dissolving Maltesers; mystery objects; inflating sandwich bags and ‘sucking power’ with extra long drinking straws!
There was plenty of time for informal discussion over coffee and lunch, as well as browsing the exhibitors’ stands and final year students’ SciArt projects and notebooks. The conference was very positively evaluated by attendees:
“‘Very practical and easy to do back at school. Great that presenters always refer back to classroom practice.”
“This has been a fantastic day; really inspirational and definitely the most worthwhile and useful training I have attended in ages!”
“Very helpful resources, honest advice.”
“Terrific presentations. Wonderful practical, easy, fun ideas.”
“Re-igniting interest/passion for science and raising its profile. Making it more fun and investigative. Direct links between science and art.”
A date has already been set for next year’s conference, so please put Wednesday 29 June 2016 in your diaries!
The School of Education also offers in-house CPD for teachers during the year as twilight sessions here at Falmer campus. These short courses are presented by senior lecturers in primary science covering: ‘Creative teacher assessment’; ‘Working scientifically with different types of enquiry’ and ‘Working scientifically with creative contexts’.