Ignite bright sparks

19th January 2007 at 00:00
Who went?

Elizabeth Jarrett, Year 1 teacher at Langbourne Primary, Southwark, London.

What course?

Creating a Buzz. Run by the Science Learning Centre in London.

What did it do?

It offered advice and ideas for planning a science week for key stage 1 and 2 pupils.

Why go?

I have just been appointed science co-ordinator and organising a science week is one of my priorities. You cannot always fit much practical work into normal lessons, but setting aside a special week gives you the chance do more exciting investigations.

Message, motto or mantra?

A science week does not have to be expensive, and it does not need fancy equipment. The best experiments are often the simplest ones.

Handouts or hands-on?

We tried and tested some activities, like building the highest possible tower out of straws and marshmallows. Great fun - and it gets you thinking about gravity.

Something I liked

It was held at the Science Museum in London - and we got a free tour. That in itself gave me plenty of ideas.

Something I learned

The key is organisation. A lot of primary teachers are frightened of practical work because it is not easy to manage the children's behaviour.

You need to ensure the activities are meticulously planned and that colleagues have all the materials they need.

Has it made a difference?

We are going to have our first science week in the summer term. It should be exciting and I want to get whole families involved.

The verdict?

If you have not organised something like this before, then the course is perfect. It will give you confidence and ideas Interview by Steven Hastings

Coming soon

Creating a Buzz is being repeated on February 7 and June 13. Cost pound;100. www.sciencelearningcentres.org

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