Imperial College London supports Bromley primary school science

PUBLISHED: 15:11 13 October 2014 | UPDATED: 10:08 20 October 2014

Imperial College London supports Bromley primary school science

Imperial College London supports Bromley primary school science


Former Hayes Primary School pupil returns to school

Imperial College London and the award-winning primary science resource have today launched a partnership to provide continuing professional development resources (CPD) aimed at supporting primary school teachers in the UK.

Known as ‘Reach Out’, the web-based programme provides teachers with resources and ideas to support their teaching and engage primary school children across the UK in the wonder of primary science.

Maggie Dallman, associate provost at Imperial College London, marked the launch of Reach Out CPD today by returning to her former primary school, Hayes Primary School, Bromley, to deliver hands-on science lessons to three classes of children based on the new Reach Out CPD resources.

Professor Dallman attended Hayes Primary School in the 1960s and is delighted to have the opportunity to return to share her enthusiasm for science with the children.

Professor Dallman said: “I’m delighted to be back at Hayes Primary School. I have very fond memories of growing up here and developing my passion for science from a young age. I always enjoyed getting stuck in with fun practical activities so it was wonderful to see the children’s faces light up as they created their own digestive system.

“At Imperial we have long been committed to stimulating engagement with science across society. Through Reach Out we hope to provide a resource that will support primary teachers to do their work – if we can help give children scientific skills so they ask the right questions of society and make the right connections to solve problems, we will be making a very long term impact.”

Jo Sharrock, teacher and science coordinator at Hayes Primary School said: “The children really enjoyed Professor Dallman’s visit. They love learning new things in science and so had a lot of fun with the hands-on aspect of the experiment! It was really inspiring for them to be taught by a former pupil of Hayes Primary School.”

According to a 2013 National Science Learning Centre report, only 5% of the UK’s primary school teachers hold a science degree. Access to appropriate training, guidance and resources is recognised as key to improving teachers’ confidence to give engaging and inspiring science lessons.

Jo Sharrock said: “Reach out CPD is a fantastic resource for teachers who wish to build upon their scientific subject knowledge as well as gaining new ideas to teach science in an engaging way. Many teachers do not have a science degree or scientific background, so this could really help increase their confidence in teaching the subject.”

Reach Out sees Imperial College London and Tigtag responding to the call made by government in December 2013 for institutions to provide materials, resources and tools to help schools inspire and motivate students to reach the required standards.

Through a substantial investment by Imperial and Tigtag, the new Reach Out online video and interactive resources for teachers are free and accessible to all 200,000 primary teachers in the UK.

Covering all of the UK primary science curricula and available anytime and anywhere Reach Out CPD is designed to be tailored around teachers’ lesson planning.

Through specialist films produced by Tigtag, teachers will learn about scientific concepts while gaining imaginative classroom ideas to inspire students and encourage them to engage with science.

Introduced by Imperial College London academics, Reach Out CPD also features wide-ranging supporters of the programme, including Olympic athlete Katherine Grainger and experts representing the Royal Academy of Engineers and the Royal Observatory. The films can also be accessed by parents in a tailored area of the Reach Out website, supporting them to teach children about science at home.

Anthony Bouchier, CEO and founder of Tigtag said: “In this country we seem to think science is only for scientists. But anyone who wants to be productive in the knowledge economy must know how to analyse data, make judgments based on evidence and have other skills that a scientifically literate education provides. Those school systems that deliver high achievement in science around the world know this and prioritise science in primary school - Reach Out helps our schools to do the same.”

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