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Whitehouse Common Phiz Lab Opening

Whitehouse Common Phiz Lab Opening
Staff and children at Whitehouse Common Primary School celebrated the opening of it’s brand new Phiz Lab this week. Wendy Cox, National Primary Science Consultant from the Ogden Trust, who funded the initiative, cut the ribbon to officially open this exciting new facility. The Phiz Lab has been developed by the Sutton Coldfield Science Partnership – a group of 10 local schools working together to improve the quality of teaching and learning of primary science.

Wendy Cox was delighted to be the guest of honour at the event. She explained the rationale behind the Phiz Labs and why the Ogden Trust support them “Primary schools very rarely have dedicated science labs. The lessons have to be very teacher-led and are restricted by the availability of resources. With a Phiz Lab, the science resources are all stored in the room in units accessible to the children. When practical investigations are the focus, the lesson then becomes more child-centred with the children selecting what they would like to use to explore different elements of science. The profile of the subject is raised as the children have a specialist classroom which they are excited to enter, putting on their lab coats and being fully immersed in science!

Not only is a Phiz Lab used for the benefit of the children, but it becomes a training centre for local teachers; a specialist facility where outstanding 'Physical Processes' CPD is delivered by exceptional Ogden Teacher Fellows. Phiz Labs aspire to be centres of excellence, offering local, supportive networks to primary teachers. They make much needed 'physics' CPD accessible, and increase primary teachers' subject knowledge and confidence. The end result: engaged learners, passionate about the physical processes of science”

Sarah Greenwood, Science Co-ordinator was responsible for creating the Lab and filling it with creative and stimulating science resources. Debbie Allen, Head Teacher said “We feel very priviledged to host this fantastic facility on behalf of the Partnership schools. The room used to be a kitchen and we have seen a total transformation. It is really exciting that the Phiz Lab will be used by pupils across the whole school and from the partnership schools too. It offers so many opportunities for children. The facility has already had an impact and made a huge difference to teaching science. Miss Greenwood and her team have done a brilliant job. We are really pleased to be working alongside the Ogden Trust as well as the Primary Science Teaching Trust. Their passion, enthusiasm and commitment to science in schools is really evident”

The pupils put on a fantastic performance to commemorate the day. Yr 5 children performed a song about the solar system, whilst children from all year groups talked about their thoughts on the Lab.

“We have lots of fun learning about liquids, solids and gases and finding out about particles” Jaya (Year 3)

“I like having a science learning environment” Aine (Year2)

“I enjoy the experience of going to use the equipment and seeing how science really works” India (Year 4)

“It is really fun and I like having resources that are linked to our science topics” Charlotte (Year 5)

“My favourite topic is electricity because I like making circuits” Zebedee (Year 5)

“My favourite part is having lots of scientific resources and a hands on experience” Oliver (Year 6)

The Sutton Coldfield Science Partnership is made up of 10 local schools who work together to develop an interesting and engaging science experience for their pupils. The Partnership is supported by the Ogden Trust and the Primary Science Teaching Trust. The primary schools involved are Coppice, Four Oaks, Hillwest, Little Sutton, Hollyfield, Mere Green Moor Hall and Whitehouse Common working with Arthur Terry Secondary school.