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Bringing science to life in Camblesforth

Children at a Selby primary school saw science come to life during a jam-packed Learning Through Science Week designed to highlight the subject as a basis for learning across the whole curriculum.

Learning Through Science Week was the brainchild of Camblesforth Community Primary Academy Headteacher, Bev Fletcher, who took up the headship of the school at Easter and has a huge passion for science. She has won two Rolls Royce Awards for projects involving the teaching and learning of science and outdoor learning and has recently studied courses at the National STEM Learning Centre at York University.

To kick off the week, each class teacher chose a popular book as a focus for their learning. Numerous science-related activities then followed, instantly relating literacy and reading to science. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory paved the way in to crime scene investigation, whilst finding ways to get teddy to the moon stemmed from the book Whatever Next. Amongst many other activities, the children have also investigated how different materials change, how effective parachutes were using different materials and experimenting with eggs to see if they cracked when they landed.  The school also held a Family Science Evening, an educational event where parents and children joined in with experiments and activities.

One of the highlights of the week for the children was stepping inside the ‘pop up’ planetarium developed by local energy firm, Drax. This is a 15ft high inflatable replica of its giant biomass storage domes and houses an interactive cinema experience which gave pupils the chance to discover more about forces and power, and about what happens inside Drax – the UK’s largest power station – without having to leave the school.

Mrs Fletcher says “The staff and children have had a brilliant week, it’s been very exciting and enjoyable. Through learning in a very creative, hands-on fashion, science has really entered in to all areas of our work.

“The Drax planetarium was a definite highlight, showing the children in a very exciting way how power links with the local community. We also learned about sustainability in power generation, what Drax is about and why it’s there. Our thanks go to the Drax team for giving the children such a brilliant interactive learning experience.”

Learning Through Science Week ended with a special assembly which showcased some of the children’s activities. The Camblesforth staff will now gather the children’s views about the week to help them develop a creative curriculum which everyone feels they have ownership of.

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