Primary schools newsletter November 2018


The newsletter that's an essential source of information and inspiration for teachers and anyone with an interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) engagement in Wales.


STEM news

Local events

Funding opportunities

Teacher Awards

Ask a STEM Ambassador to visit your school

A STEM Ambassador's involvement can engage and enthuse both students and teachers. If you are interested in asking a STEM Ambassador to visit your school you can make your request here or contact See Science directly here

Give us your Ambassador feedback

If an Ambassador has visited your school, or if you have met an Ambassador at an enrichment activity, we would be very grateful if you could fill in our teacher feedback form. Please encourage colleagues to respond.


ASE Cymru Conference - Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum of Wales

Over 90 delegates attended 'STEM and the New Curriculum' conference at St Fagan's National History Museum on 13 October despite the ferocious weather. A partnership event between the ASE Cymru and Amgueddfa Cymru National Museum Wales.

The keynote session featured a useful and informative panel discussion on preparations for the new Curriculum in Wales. The panel included Tom Crick, Chair of National Network for Excellence in Science & Technology; Sue Quirk, Education through Regional Working; Andrew Jones, Ysgol Glan y Mor; Elaine Stockdale, Tongwynlais Primary School and Sharon Pascoe, Fochriw Primary School.
The discussion received very positive feedback including:

“Very interesting workshops and new ideas for teaching the new curriculum”
“Engaging speakers with excellent ideas for practical work”
“Really impressed by National Museum’s Resources”

Teachers were then provided with an opportunity to attend breakout sessions to allow in-depth discussions focusing on primary, secondary and sector-wide STEM learning.

This was followed by lunch and an opportunity to visit the exhibition area, where there were displays by Data Harvest, Hodder, Timstar, Gratnells and the Royal Society, together with other local exhibitors.

Hands on workshops in the afternoon were very popular and provided teachers with lots of ideas and resources for the classroom. The plastics workshop by Lewis Brown, National Marine Aquarium Association, involved participants becoming part of an ocean food web. Glen Gilchrist, Consortium South Central, lead a popular workshop
about the role of Practical work in science lessons which provided food for thought. Other participants enjoyed the creative chemistry of 'Let's Explore' with Dayna Mason from the Royal Society of Chemistry. A coding workshop with Andy Harper, University of South Wales, provided opportunities to learn how to code robots. Heather Jackson, National Museum Cardiff, and Debbie Syrop, Cardiff University School of Engineering, led a practical session on how schools can plan a mission to Mars. Finally, participants braved the weather with Ieuan Donovan, St Fagans National History Museum, and explored how to use scientific surveys in a creative way.

The new Atrium building at St Fagans National Museum of History provided an excellent space for the creative and informative discussions and workshops that helped make this year's conference a success.

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Teen Tech City of the Future at Ysgol Islwyn, Blackwood

Over 200 students from 7 Primary schools shared their ideas for the TeenTech City of
Tomorrow in the first 2018 showcase day for young people in SE Wales.
The project invites students to apply bold thinking to creating the ‘kinder, safer and smarter’ world they would like to live in whilst surfacing some of the ‘invisible’ jobs which these young people will be doing in the future.

Young people are inspired to consider careers they may not have realized existed and given the confidence to believe that they can shape the future.

A team from Trinant Primary with their People's Choice Award winning building, 'Happy Hippo's Office'

TeenTech provide schools with inspiring resources to lead the project which is designed to
be versatile so schools can run it independently or form a ‘cluster’ where secondaryschools acting as the hub co-ordinator for feeder primary schools .
Year 7 students from Islwyn High School worked with younger student in 7 primaries,
(Cwmfelinfach, Rhiw Sir Dafydd, Bryn, Penllwyn , Pontllanfraith, Trinant, Ynysddu) to
produce 64 buildings which re-imagined everything from the future home to the future
transport hub, the future entertainment centre to the future hospital. All buildings have to
be made from recycled materials.
The showcase day hosted by Islwyn provided an opportunity for the young people to meet
judges from across industry who provided feedback on their models and for them to
progress ideas for the internet of things by participating in a TeenTech workshop led by a
game designer. CEO TeenTech and former Tomorrow’s World presenter Maggie Philbin who hosted the day said, “It was great to hear feedback from students and teachers on how much students (and teachers) enjoyed the project. It’s designed to be very easy for a non-subject specialist to lead whilst providing plenty of opportunities for schools to go into considerable depth if they wish. Students quickly see how creative the world of science and technology can be and how it really makes a difference to our lives. The world of work is changing very quickly and it’s vital for students to see how they might want to be part of this. The project brings the world of science and technology to life.
‘We want to say a massive thank you to the students, teachers, industry ambassadors and
to Islywn School especially who worked so hard to make this happen. A team from each of
the schools will be now chosen to participate in the national showcase at The Emirates
Stadium in London on April 2nd 2019.
Schools across Wales can register here to receive all the resources they need to participate in the project.

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Me an Engineer?

See Science are keen to involve local teachers and STEM Ambassadors to develop
3 different hands on bilingual workshops centered around three Engineering topics that have either had an impact on Wales or are key to the future of Wales. For example, one of the workshops may focus on bridges in Wales, and the engineers who designed them. A program of lesson plans and materials will be developed around each topic and STEM Ambassadors from engineering backgrounds will be recruited to assist in the delivery of the workshops. If you are interested in being involved in the development of these materials please contact

Meetings will be held at 4.30pm in
Cardiff 28 November: See Science 8 St Andrew’s Crescent. CF10 3DD
Swansea 29 November: Bay Campus, Swansea University
Bangor 3 December : Department of Engineering

See Science are also keen to recruit 3 clusters of schools (1 secondary and up to 8 primary schools) where the workshops will then be delivered. Pupils will also be asked to record the learning digitally by producing an i movie or a short film or animation reviewing their experience of participating in the project and its impact on their school.
All clusters will be encouraged to hold a "Celebration event ' at the secondary schools where they will be encouraged to present the project.
An ‘engineering’ market place will also be a key feature with all schools hosting a stall as well as local Engineering Companies
If you are interested in being involved in the project please contact to express interest

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Become part of the Royal Society Schools Network

The Royal Society Schools Network comprises practising UK teachers, technicians and classroom assistants from schools and colleges across the UK involved in 5 – 18 years education.

Those within the network will receive a regular email newsletter highlighting support, events and resources for those teaching science, mathematics and computing to ages 5 to 18. Teachers who are part of the network benefit from early booking for selected events such as the Summer Science Exhibition, additional financial support to attend continuing professional development (CPD) events, and access to subject specific resources. They also have the opportunity to be involved in pilot projects and policy consultations on STEM education.
For more information and to sign up to be part of the Network, please visit the Society’s website.

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Proven Impact of CREST Awards

Are you considering running CREST Awards but are not sure of the impact they could have on your pupils? A 2016 Evaluation by the British Science Association of the impact of the CREST Silver Awards on Science scores reported the following main findings:

  • CREST students were more likely to have achieved stronger results at KS2 across all subjects
  • Higher attainment was also reflected in their results at GCSE; students who undertook Silver CREST had higher average GCSE grades than those who did not do Silver CREST
  • Students who took CREST achieved half a grade higher on their best science GCSE result, compared to a statistically matched control group
  • Greater positive impact on students eligible for Free School Meals: The CREST students eligible for FSM saw a larger increase in their best GCSE science score (two thirds of a grade) compared to a matched control group of other students who were also eligible for FSM.
  • CREST students were therefore 21% (or 14 percentage points) more likely to take a STEM AS level than students in the control group. For students who had been eligible for free school meals this difference was larger (38% or 21 percentage points).

For a copy of the full report, or for information on running CREST Awards at all levels, contact Llinos at

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Tomorrow’s Engineers Week Nov 5–9 2018

It’s not too late to get involved in Tomorrow’s Engineers Week! Returning for the sixth year Tomorrow’s Engineers Week (#TEWeek18) takes place from 5-9 November 2018 and aims to change perceptions of engineering among young people, their parents and teachers and to inspire future engineers. More details here:

If, however, you have missed out on TEWeek this year don’t forget that you can carry out Engineering based activities in your classroom at any time! There are some great ideas here:

Local events

Swansea Science Festival, 3-8 November

Swansea Science Festival title

This year, Swansea University’s science festival, the largest free festival of its kind in Wales, promises to take visitors on a journey of discovery as researchers explore the depths of the sea, land, air and space with events taking place across a series of themed zones. Master the magic of medieval medicine, discover hidden worlds with virtual reality, experience Jurassic times and explore ancient Egypt at Swansea Science Festival. Get the chance to put a recent dream into pictures with the help of Swansea University’s sleep laboratory; and become marine explorers by taking a tour of the University’s research vessel, the RV Mary Anning.

Over 16s Events 7-8 November at LC, National Waterfront Museum, and Swansea University

This year, Swansea University's science festival will showcase talks, performances and shows suitable for an audience aged 16+ which will run on Wednesday 7th and Thursday 8th November. Come and join renowned author and broadcaster Professor Alice Roberts as she delves into archaeology, history and genetics to reveal the amazing stories of three animal species that became our allies. Get involved and join in discussions around the dark side of social media, self–harm and mental health, led by Swansea University researchers. Come along and enjoy a free theatre performance with 'Flux' - a show with extraordinary puppetry and an electrifying set of shadows, lights and music. We are also running workshops in the LC - a new feature of this year’s festival - on the latest research around healthy pregnancies.

For more information visit the Festival website here.

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Renishaw workshops for primary schools

For students at primary (yrs 5&6) and secondary schools throughout South Wales, Renishaw's education outreach workshops provide an exciting hands-on experience of real-world engineering. For teachers, they offer an ideal opportunity to pro-actively engage classes in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects.

Held at our state-of-the-art Fabrication Development Centre (FDC) in Miskin, our half-day and full-day workshops are completely FREE and can even be tailored to meet the needs of individual school curricula

More information here

It's a Christmas Cracker - ASE Meeting

6th December 2018 4.30pm -6.30pm

Coedcae School, Trostre Road, Llanelli. SA15 1JF

Join primary and secondary teachers to share ideas about projects and ideas and lots of top tips that can be used in the Science Classroom . Ideas for STEM Clubs as well as plenty of resources for you to take away.

Everybody who takes part will receive a free Book at the event.

Sue Quirk, ERW will discuss how to build an authentic learning experience within the Science and Technology AoLE whilst still meeting the requirements of the current curriculum at FP, KS2 and KS3.To book go to:

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ASE Cymru Meeting - Physics for the Non Specialist - 13 November. 2018 4.30pm Techniquest Glyndwr Wrexham

This workshop will introduce ideas for teaching Physics at primary and secondary level.Would you like to understand some of the misconceptions students have, and how best to address them?

This twilight has been designed to focus on the key principals needed to teach physics effectively through the use of stimulating practical activities and demonstrations. We will explore and refine the understanding of key topics like electricity, magnetism, energy and forces. We will look at cutting edge research that will link the learning to students' everyday lives and look at scaffolding the learning to show rapid and sustained progression
This workshop will be presented by Graham Perrin, Keith Jones, Cerian Angharad and Anthony Clowser - Supporting Physics Network in Wales. To book go here

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National Education Show - City Hall Cardiff 16 November 2018

NAtional Education ShowThe National Education Show, returning to Cardiff City Hall for the second year, is Wales' biggest education conference. It aims to raise standards of education in Wales and bring a host of teachers, school staff and educational specialists under one roof for an all-day showcase and exhibition.

With over 50 seminars, 100 exhibitors and 4,000 visitors, the event is ideal for INSET days and teacher training days covering a range of topics such as mental health, leadership, SEND and much more.

More seminar descriptions and speaker biogs here For help or advice when booking, or to book a large group of people, call 02922 400382 or email here

Hands on Chemistry National Museum Cardiff. CF10 3NP. Saturday 24th November 2018. 11:00 - 16:00

RSC logo

Join scientists to celebrate National Chemistry Week.

Whether you know it or not chemistry has a huge effect on your day to day life. Do you like well risen bread? Like breathing?! All down to chemistry!

More information can be found here.

Funding opportunities

British Science Association Kick Start Grant
Applications for our British Science Week Kick Start grants are now open! If you're working in a school in challenging circumstances and would like to take part in next year's British Science Week taking place from 8-17 March 2019, you can apply for financial support to help run an event.

Grants of £300 and £700 are on offer. Details of how to apply can be found here, as well as further information on how to get involved. The deadlie to apply is 12 November 2018

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Royal Society Partnership Grant - What will you investigate?.

Apply for up to £3,000 to run an investigative STEM project in your classroom through the Royal Society’s Partnership Grant scheme. Grants have to be applied for in partnership with a STEM professional who will work with you and your school during the running of the project. The online application process will open at the beginning of February 2019 so now is the perfect time to begin forming your partner relationships and thinking of topic ideas. The scheme is open to both primary and secondary schools. For further information about Partnership Grants and how to apply, please visit the Royal Society’s website.

Teaching Awards

Become a Registered Scientist, Technician or a Chartered Science Teacher. Cardiff 11 December 4.30pm

Have you thought about registering as a Registered Scientist or a Chartered Science Teacher. Are you a technician with lots of skills and experience - then join us for an informal discussion about the Awards. There will be information on how to apply, how to find the correct evidence and how to fill in the forms. If you have improved as a teacher, have a science degree, qualified teacher status and have been teaching for a minimum of two years then consider applying for a Registered Scientist Award (RSci). RSci is a formal stepping stone to show improvement in your standard from qualifying.

Find out more about the benefits here

Book your place here.

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Professional Teaching Awards Cymru

Do you know an outstanding teacher that deserves recognition? Is there someone at your local school that needs celebrating? Are your teaching staff leading the way in technology or science? The Professional Teaching Awards Cymru are back for 2019! Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams is looking for the very best education professionals that Wales has to offer and those that have made a real difference to their school or education setting.

If you’re a teacher, student, parent, employer or colleague and know someone that would be worthy of a Professional Teaching Award you have until midnight on 30 November 2018 to make a nomination online here .

Latest CPD from your Science Learning Partnership

To find out more about the latest CPD from your Science Learning Partnership click here