BGS hosts The University of Manchester's Annual Primary Science Conference

BGS hosts The University of Manchester's Annual Primary Science Conference

Bury Grammar School was delighted to host the prestigious and exciting University of Manchester’s Annual Primary Science Conference organised by Dr Lynne Bianchi (SEERIH) on Thursday 1st November.

‘Let’s get Physic-AL’ was a bespoke teacher conference with special focus on primary Physics and Arts-infused learning. 121 Primary teachers from across Greater Manchester attended this sponsored one-day conference which drew on partnerships with The Ogden Trust, BASF, Curious Minds and The Derby High School. Our local MP James Frith said he was "very proud" that the conference was brought to Bury this year, a sentiment we share completely.

It was our pleasure and privilege to welcome the conference keynote speaker, Professor Tim O'Brien, the Associate Director of Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics and Director of Teaching and Learning in The University of Manchester School of Physics, to school. Professor O'Brien, who is regularly seen on television on programmes such as Stargazing Live and who has been a contributor to Radio 4's The Infinite Monkey Cage, spoke about "The Search for Extra-Terrestrial Life" to inspire teachers about contemporary research and how this can form the basis for their own and children’s questions. This insight into the search for other planets from such a well-regarded physicist proved a great start to the day.

A series of workshops followed with sessions based on enhancing teaching and learning in the mainstream curriculum based on Earth and Space, Electrical Circuits and Light as well as Primary Assessment, Engineering and use of the Outdoors. Three workshops were led by representatives from The Ogden Trust and participants gained confidence in the use of enquiry-based learning in challenging Physics concepts. After a lovely lunch provided by our own catering team, the conference moved to the Infants' Hall where teachers explored how arts-based approaches can aid in the teaching of primary science. Delegates also had the opportunity to browse stalls from providers such as The BBC, the ASE, Curiosity Box, STEM Ambassadors, YPO and Catalyst Science Discovery Centre.

One participant, Dave Senevirante, Science Subject Leader from Alexandra Park Primary School in Stockport, described the conference as being, "even better than last year. Lots of practical ideas, great collaboration and all at a great venue." Conference organiser and Director of SEERIH, Dr Lynne Bianchi, said that the conference had, "worked outstandingly well, assisted by the commitment and vision of the science department staff and school who have gone out of their way to support the team in ensuring teachers received a high quality CPD experience. We hope to develop our partnership with Bury Grammar School as we look to establish a Bury-wide primary science network."

Overall the event was a great success, with the outcome of developing high quality science teaching, learning and assessment well and truly met. BGS and in particular its Science Faculty are proud to have been associated with the conference and look forward to future collaborations, such as with the Great Science Share for Schools on 18th June 2019. For further information about how to get involved with SEERIH please visit their website or contact fascinate@manchester.ac.uk.