Primary Physics CPD "catch-up" sessions

Teachers build circuits and use a physical model, made of a rope inside plastic tubing, to explain their observations

Teachers build circuits and use a physical model, made of a rope inside plastic tubing, to explain their observations

The CPD strand of the Science for Life project offers our partner teachers free high-quality subject-specific CPD. In the first year, the primary topics offered covered the physics parts of the primary science curriculum. The plan was to then offer the chemistry topics in the second year (2018-19), and biology topics in the third (2019-2020).

However in the SfL end of year evaluation, Science Leads requested that the physics topics be offered again, so that teachers who could not make the CPD days in the first year (for instance due to changes of staff and changes of year groups) could benefit from them. The plan for this year was therefore updated to include physics CPD “catch-up” sessions - compressed half-day versions of last year’s whole-day sessions.

Our first physics “catch-up” day took place on Wednesday 21st November 2018, with a morning focusing on electricity and an afternoon on light and sound. It was a jam-packed day, incorporating subject knowledge development as well as a focus on finding out and addressing children’s misconceptions through the use of practical experiences and models.

A camera obscura, an excellent practical demonstration for teaching children how the eye works

A camera obscura, an excellent practical demonstration for teaching children how the eye works

Whilst the SfL CPD days and catch-up sessions are free to our partner schools, they have to meet the cost of covering teachers to attend, as part of their commitment to SfL.

Feedback from a teacher who had attended a SfL CPD day last year, and had enthused about it to colleagues

The feedback was very positive, and encouragingly teachers who attended SfL CPD last year fed back that it had made a big difference to the way they teach science. One teacher in particular enthusiastically described how they now start topics completely differently, and that it has had a significant positive impact on children’s engagement and learning in science!

There were some useful suggestions for future CPD sessions, for instance looking at sequences of lessons and longer-term investigations. Here are some of the reflection and evaluation forms that teachers filled in:

The next CPD sessions are in January, and will be on the topics of materials (aimed at Y1 and Y2 teachers) and rocks (aimed at Y3 teachers).

Carole Kenrick