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Luminous Light and a working wall?

Luminous Light and a working wall? Intrigued? Christine Brown was. Christine is a School Governor with responsibility for Science at Birchensale Middle School and works with the Ogden Primary Science team; she went to visit Holyoakes Field First School in Redditch to find out more.

Meet Tom Birbeck, the KS2 Co-ordinator of Science at Holyoakes Field First School. He’s the one holding the frog!

Tom’s school is part of the Redditch & Bromsgrove Primary Partnership, and back in January 2017 he attended the Phizzi Light & Sound CPD session run by Ben Wilkes at the partnership hub school, Birchensale Middle.

Tom’s Year 3 class is now working their way through the exciting experiments in the Light & Sound resources box and loving every minute of it. But they use the resources for much more than their regular Tuesday afternoon science lesson. Take a look at their working wall…

It’s not just a set of vocabulary relevant to the current theme, but a vibrant and interactive display of images, books, models and items from the box that demonstrate different aspects of the theme. Not only are the pupils encouraged to touch and experiment with the items on display, but the working wall resources are used to inspire English, maths, ICT and art lessons.

Key to incorporating the current science theme across the curriculum is the carefully selected books. Tom refers to it as “book and hook” – the means by which he creates interest across the whole group. “Using the visual and verbal combination works really well,” he explains. “Especially to gain the interest of the boys and to help all pupils use the scientific vocabulary more effectively.”

Tom is personally inspired by science and believes in creating an atmosphere of “awe and wonder” to encourage all the pupils to work scientifically.

The current theme is Luminous Light which has provided vocabulary for their poems on summer, artwork incorporating reflections and shadows, and learning about Roman numerals which appear on a sun dial. All ably encouraged by the frog from the book (and Tom of course!). At the end of the topic an even bigger hook is the planned visit to the Think Tank Luminous Light Show.

The theme of the working wall changes roughly every four weeks and Tom is already planning how to celebrate science and incorporate it into the Myths and Legends theme. I look forward to visiting them again.

Christine Brown
Science Governor Birchensale Middle School