Childcare Expo Midlands 2016

I was lucky enough to be in attendance at the Childcare Expo Midlands on Friday and Saturday.  My legs are still feeling a little sore from being on my feet all day, but it was amazing to meet so many lovely people interested in what we were up to! Having just posted a blog about sharing online, it was really nice to meet up with so many wonderful people to share some thoughts in 'real life'.  Not only that, but there were a handful of actual … [Read more...]

Sharing (Ideas) is Caring

In my opinion, the one thing that really helps teachers professional development is sharing.  Sharing anything is helpful, from lesson ideas to a ride home - but there hardly seems time in the day to even fit in a cup of tea with staff that don't happen to teach in the room next door, so what can we do? Our courses all make time for sharing ideas, it's an important part of learning after all, but that doesn't help people who don't get a chance … [Read more...]

5 Ways LEGO can help STEM Learning

LEGO can help STEM learning - it has been around for a long time now, and yet it is still as popular today as it has ever been, maybe even more so in fact.  It has also spawned a large number of similar products from competitors which is always a sign that they must be getting something right! While there is no doubt that LEGO is a toy, it is fantastic for helping eager young minds develop STEM skills that are heavily in demand in the world of … [Read more...]

Creative Thinking in Science

How many uses can you think of for a shoe? (That isn't a trick question)  How did you get on?  Did you think of using it as a hammer?  How about using it as a coffin for a dead hamster?  No?  Then maybe your creativity just isn't flowing.  And you're not the only one... During a recent practical activity with some Year 1 children, I asked them 'How can you bounce this bouncy ball as high as possible?'  The creative thinking I got was not … [Read more...]

Maths ‘Mastery’ Method explained!

So, if you 'have' to teach Maths to anyone under the age of 11, how did the news of having to change the way you do it sound?  Wonderful?  Or not particularly fun at all? I have been telling anyone that will listen (so nobody that has known me long then!) that I find the fact that it is OK to say 'I'm just not a Maths person' utterly depressing.  In fact I wrote a blog about Maths a while ago, and deliver a whole course about why everyone … [Read more...]

Sir Michael Wilshaw has my hopes up

I have to say that I don't often listen to politicians and think 'this person gets it' - in fact I can't really think of another time I have - but reading this commentary from Sir Michael Wilshaw has my hopes up.  He is talking about a report from 2014 that can be read here, so it's about time someone took notice and I can't think of anyone better. The statistics are a bit frightening, and the speed that science was dropped after the removal … [Read more...]

Introducing Scientific Language

I was on a primary school visit recently, and as usual I was interested to find out at what age 'scientific' language for practical work was introduced to the children.  The answer, as it always is, was to slowly introduce the odd word until by year 6 children have a grasp of the correct language to use. I pointed out, as I always do, the need to include this language from the beginning - what is the point of keeping this language from a 5 year … [Read more...]

Evolution of children’s Education

From September, evolution was finally added to the Year 6 Curriculum.  Have you taught it yet? Let me know how you got on in the comments if you have - and if you've been saving it for the summer term (it's more important to prepare for SATs, right?) then come along, get on with it! (Don't forget you can ask for help with it here!) But why are we saving delaying one of the most elegant scientific theories until children are aged 11?  Why are … [Read more...]

Making Film Canister Rockets!

I was lucky enough to spend two days making rockets with children from all over Solihull this week.  A fantastic time was had by all with children from St Alphege Juniors (who were wonderful hosts), Widney Juniors (thank you for the pictures) and Sharmans Cross among others. The year 4 students were asked to build film cannister rockets and got to launch them around the room.  We made a bit of a mess but that was a perfect use for the Phiz Lab … [Read more...]

Website Launches For Primary Practicals

We are delighted to launch our new website for Primary Practicals. Primary Practicals is a Primary Science training provider offering curriculum and Continuous Professional Development (CPD) training courses for schools across the Midlands and beyond. The new website is packed with fantastic features that we will be adding to over the coming months, including an upcoming resources section!  To stay informed about all these changes as well as … [Read more...]