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Pupils phizing with excitement as new lab opens

Pupils could find themselves at the cutting edge of science education after the school opened its brand new Phiz Lab recently.

Hillcroft received funding from physics education charity the Ogden Trust to equip and maintain a specialist unit, aimed at improving the quality of science teaching, raising its profile in schools and encouraging student and parental involvement.

Guests at the opening included representatives of the Ogden Trust, school governors, the local Rotary Club and also teachers from other schools in the Caterham area. They were treated to a guided tour of the facilities by some of the Hillcroft pupils who will be using them, as well as seeing experiments being conducted, before the new lab was officially opened by the Trust’s national primary science consultant Wendy Cox.

“To have a facility like this here at Hillcroft is absolutely wonderful for the whole school,” said Tom Holloway, Hillcroft’s maths leader and a former winner of the Primary Science Teacher of the Year award.

“Not only is the equipment itself as good and as up-to-date as you can get, but all the science resources are grouped together in one place, which really helps with genuine child-led inquiry. For the children it’s wonderful, and for us as educators, it couldn’t be better.”

Hillcroft is a member of the GLF Schools trust, a multi-academy chain which runs more than a dozen schools across the south east of England, and has an on-going partnership with the Ogden Trust. Indeed the Trust is building close ties with the GLF group, having also opened similar Phiz Lab facilities at two more GLF schools recently – Danetree Primary in West Ewell, and Cordwalles in Camberley.

“The Trust is really determined to do all it can to raise awareness of and enthusiasm about the teaching of science in primary schools, so we’re really privileged that they’ve chosen Hillcroft as one of the schools they want to work in,” added Mr Holloway.

“But the fact they’ve chosen to embrace the whole GLF group like this is an even bigger sign of encouragement for all the member schools, and we look forward to sharing the benefits with them.”