Primary Schools Outreach Events Summer 2017

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4 July: Holymead Junior School, Bristol

The Bristol ChemLabS team visited this local Brislington school for the third time to work with the Year 4 pupils as part of their curriculum learning on States Of Matter. The 90 children enjoyed a Demonstration Assembly by Alison Rivett on the topic of 'Solids, Liquids & Gases'. Afterwards the three classes were very excited to work with postgraduate chemists Mary Okoh, Amy Foulds and Harriet Bray to make Slime and their very own Polymorph to take home. Afterwards the organising teacher, Naomi Courtenay, said "A fantastic event again, thank you!" The school was pleased to receive a small grant from the University of Bristol's Widening Participation fund to help towards the costs of the day.


29 June: Fairlands Middle School, Cheddar

As part of this Somerset school's Communities Week Alison Rivett delivered a Demonstration Assembly to the 250 Year 5 & 6 Pupils all about Gases In The Air. The event was sponsored by EDF Energy's Inspire Education programme. Afterwards the Deputy Head, Kate Persaud, said "It was a great afternoon of whizz bang science" and the school tweeted a short video here: and a photo here:

27 June: St Philip Evans RC Primary School, Cardiff

A team from Bristol ChemLabS returned to this Welsh school for a special Science Day. The 228 KS2 pupils enjoyed a Demonstration Assembly about Gases In The Air delivered by Alison Rivett & Jonny Furze. The 58 Year 4 children then took part in two practical workshops with Alison, Jonny, Mary Okoh and Joanne Sparks exploring some sticky slime and the reaction between a metal and an acid.

20 June: Chilton Trinity School, Bridgwater

The Bristol ChemLabS team returned to this Somerset school for the 6th time to help deliver a Science & Maths day for visiting Year 5 pupils from local feeder schools. The 68 children and accompanying teachers took part in two hands-on workshops led by postgraduate chemists Lina Mohammed, Mary Okoh & Joanna Sparks and then all enjoyed a Demonstration Assembly by Alison Rivett on the theme of Gases In The Air. The primary schools attending were: Puriton, Westover Green, Eastover, Wembdon & Otterhayes and the day was funded by EDF Energy's Inspire Education programme.

13 June: Grove Junior School, Nailsea

The Bristol ChemLabS team, led by Alison Rivett, visited this North Somerset school to deliver a Science Day with a whole school Assembly for 240 KS2 children and Chemistry Workshops for the 72 Year 6 pupils.

The postgraduate Chemists assisting Alison were Lina Mohammed, Jonny Furze and Steve Street along with lecturer Dr Chris Adams from the School of Chemistry. The event was fully-funded by a grant from the Royal Society of Chemistry for rural schools.

Afterwards the organising teacher Carl Bates said "Thanks again for a very good day - feedback all very positive from staff and children alike. The younger pupils all really enjoyed seeing science brought to life by a 'real' scientist and were totally wowed by all the experiments! The Year 6's benefited greatly from having the hands-on experience in the workshops which reinforced their science curriculum learning and allowed them to practice some key practical skills which they will need at secondary school next year. There are lots of photos on our website here: "

08 June: PSTT/CLEAPSS Sponsored Science Day, The River School, Worcester

Bristol ChemLabS delivered the science assembly ‘Gases in the Air’ to 28 pupils in years 2-8 and 3 staff at this very small Worcestershire independent school. A workshop for a total of 16 pupils in Years 3-6 was also delivered during the day. Tim Harrison led the visit. He was assisted by Postdoctoral chemists Kelly Butterfield and Steve Street. The event was part of the prize for winning the 2016 CLEAPSS Primary Science and Technology competition.

…many thanks Tim for your visit to The River School as part of the school’s prize for winning the CLEAPSS primary science and technology competition. The school has been in touch with me and said how overwhelmed they were by the amazing day and that they were incredibly grateful.’ Jason Harding

Bristol ChemLabS worked with Fiona Whittaker from the school and Jason Harding from CLEAPSS in the organisation of this event. The Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) and CLEAPSS sponsored this visit.​

6 June: Bishop Road Primary School, Bristol

Alison Rivett visited this local Bishopston primary school for the 7th time to deliver two Demonstration Assemblies to the 680 Year 1 to 4 pupils who were thrilled to learn more about the Gases In The Air. There is an article on the school's blog with lots of photos here: and the organising teacher commented afterwards "The children were amazed by what they were seeing and were talking about it long after the assembly."

05 June to 03 July: Loanable Library of Equipment, St John the Evangelist CE Primary School, Clevedon, Somerset

This North Somerset school borrowed the Forensics Box to use with 90 Key Stage 2 pupils as part of their Activities Week. The original boxes were created by a grant from the AZSTT (now PSTT).


26 May: Tickenham Primary School, Clevedon

Alison Rivett visited this rural North Somerset school as part of a special off-timetable Science Day as the children had particularly requested a chemistry show. All 84 Reception to Y6 pupils enjoyed the 'Wow' assembly about 'Gases In The Air'.

Excerpt from very detailed feedback: ’ Every single child in the audience was captivated. The children were immediately inspired by what they saw and in my next lesson one child exclaimed that he was definitely going to be a scientist when he grew up! I noticed that during the investigation that I taught as part of the science day, the children were much more focussed and were using the learning points and vocabulary which Dr Alison taught them in the assembly in their discussions and observations. The whole school was buzzing all day about science and in the playground the main topic of conversation was the assembly and the science they were learning about – what a way to raise the profile of a subject?!’ The Science Coordinator, Gail Cooke said afterwards "Dr Alison made us think about the everyday in a completely different way. We returned to our classes inspired and ready to find out more about science. One child exclaimed that he ‘wants to be a scientist now!’ and all the children I taught had a new vigour, understanding and desire to discover more science. It really was a wow assembly and the best I've ever seen as a teacher!! " You can read a longer article in the School's Newsletter here:

The school was very pleased to receive a grant from the Royal Society of Chemistry to sponsor the visit.

26 May: PSTT Assemblies, Clifton Primary School, Balsall Heath, Birmingham, Midlands

Tim Harrison, assisted by postgraduate chemist Steve Street, delivered three science assemblies for 480 pupils and 16 teaching staff in Years 4-6 at this and 2 local schools. The other attending schools were Arden Primary School (Sparkhill) and The Rosary Catholic Primary School.

Both children and staff were blown away by the science knowledge that you managed not only to get into the session, but to explain in a way that the children could engage with. Your energy for the subject of chemistry really did shine through in all three lectures, and this transferred a genuine curiosity into the children; in our last Ofsted our children were described as having little confidence in speaking, however I was impressed by the level and confidence of the questions they posed at the end of the year 6 session. The other two schools that attended were Arden and Rosary. As they left, one of the children from Arden said, "I didn't really like Science before today, but I love it now!" True praise indeed!’ Organising teacher.

Bristol ChemLabS worked with PSTT College Member Kate Redhead in the organisation of this visit. This event was sponsored by Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT).​

25 May: Bristol ChemLabS Science Discovery Assembly & Day, King’s School, Gloucester

Tim Harrison performed the demonstration assembly ‘Gases in the Air’ to 322 pupils from years 5 and 6 from state and independent schools in north Gloucestershire as part of a full science day organised by CHeMneT member (and deputy head) Saskia O’Sullivan. 26 primary teachers also enjoyed the event.

For my part: 'the lecture was the Crown Jewels of the Science Discovery Day - pupils were treated to a wide variety of demonstrations, the science of which was explained in an accessible, accurate, and humorous way. Pupils were gripped for the hour and fifteen minutes, discovering and learning more about the gases in the air around them; Tim not only explained the Chemistry behind his demonstrations, but invited pupils to consider how they might become more involved in finding out about the what and why of life - that wonderful endeavour we call Science.' Saskia O’Sullivan

The schools attending were: Berkhampstead Primary School (Cheltenham, 36 pupils and 2 teachers), Edward Jenner School (Gloucester, 13 pupils and 2 teachers), Hopelands Preparatory School ( Stonehouse, Gloucs 32 pupils and 3 teachers), Kingsholm C of E (Gloucester), 90 pupils and 4 teachers), King’s Junior School (Gloucester. 82 pupil s and 5 teachers)), St. Peters Primary (Gloucester, 60 pupils and 4 teachers) and The Richard Pate School (Cheltenham, 15 pupils and 2). The assembly was partly sponsored by a widening participation grant held by the Science Faculty at the University of Bristol and via a portfolio of NERC grants held by the Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group (ACRG) also at the University of Bristol.

23 May: Science Assembly, Pentwynmawr Primary School, Newbridge, Gwent, South Wales

Tim Harrison performed the science assembly ‘Gases in the Air’ to 55 pupils in Years 3-6 and 3 teaching staff. Tim Harrison worked with headteacher Jackie Nash in the organisation of the visit.

I would like to thank you for the outstanding assembly that you delivered to our Key Stage 2 pupils. You captivated pupils and staff from the start with an amazing array of chemicals and a huge variety of visual chemical reactions. The assembly was very well resourced and provided learning experiences that, as a small primary school, we were unable to deliver. It was very well structured and ensured that pupils used a range of scientific skills in particular the skill of close observation. Pupils gained a clearer understanding of chemical changes, physical changes and sound changes. It also challenged pupils thinking, especially with regard to temperatures in particular the boiling points of chemicals. Pupils thoroughly enjoyed this assembly. Several pupils stated that they wished to be chemists when they were older. One pupil said it was the best day he had ever had ever in his life! Staff stated that they wished they had had such inspirational teachers when they were in school. Staff and pupils would like to say a huge thank you and I would highly recommend Chemlabs and the Outreach Programme to all schools.’ Headteacher

The event was sponsored by a small outreach grant from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) to work with rural schools in the region.​

16 May: North Somerset Enterprise and Technology College (NSETC), Weston College Academy, Weston-super-Mare

As part of EDF's Inspire Education programme Alison Rivett gave two Science Assemblies for local primary schools hosted by this 14-19 free school in North Somerset. In the morning 75 Y3-6 children from Haywood & Winscombe Primary Schools attended, followed by 180 Y1-6 pupils from Ashcombe & Herons Moor Primary Schools in the afternoon. The all enjoyed learning more about the 'Gases In The Air' and seeing lots of exciting science demonstrations. You can see a couple of pictures from the event on the College's Twitter feed here:

Fri 12 May: Minehead Middle School & Danesfield Middle School, Somerset

Alison Rivett returned to these Somerset middle schools for the third and fifth times respectively to deliver a Demonstration Assembly at each, sponsored by EDF's Inspire Education programme. The 'Chemical Rainbow' presentation was watched by all 140 Y6 pupils at Minehead and at Danesfield by all 85 Y6's plus 10 lucky Y7's, who gave the colourful chemistry experiments an enthusiastic response after a busy SATs week. Afterwards Minehead School commented "A great way to end the week for the Year 6's" and Danesfield tweeted "Fantastic way to end SATS week. Thanks to Dr. Alison Rivett from Bristol University @BristolChemLabS". You can also see some photos on their twitter feed here:

15 May: Science Assembly, Kingswood County Primary School, Wotton-Under-Edge, Gloucs

Tim Harrison returned to this rural primary school after an absence of 4 years to deliver the science assembly ‘Gases in the Air’ to all 110 pupils in Reception to Year 6. Six teaching staff also enjoyed the demonstration.

Many thanks for visiting us last week and sparking our children into a greater enthusiasm for science and chemistry in particular. The session had a great impact with children across the school. Our Reception class have now installed a laboratory in their outside play area and have been mixing and separating materials in new test tubes and scientific flasks that we have bought for them in response to their enthusiasm after the session with you. At the other end of the school, our Year 6s are champing at the bit to have access to the chemistry labs at KLB next year. We are also looking, as a whole school, to increase the amount of practical investigations in science and have drafted this into the School Development Plan for 2017-18. Once again, many thanks - we appreciate you coming in to see us and demonstrating that what you do is "science, not magic"!’ Headteacher

The event was sponsored by a small outreach grant from the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC).

05 May: Science Assembly St Patrick’s Primary School, Corsham, Wilts

Tim Harrison of Bristol ChemLabS delivered a sponsored science assembly at the Wiltshire School for pupils in Years 2-6. 150 pupils and 6 teachers saw the assembly.

Well, there is such a buzz around the school today, THANK YOU so much for the most amazing fun you can have with a Bunsen burner! You were absolutely brilliant with the children, we all loved your fun sense of humour, gruesome descriptions, loud bangs, and your incredible knowledge of and passion for your subject. Your presentation created masses of excitement but also, and most importantly, so much discussion of all they had seen and learned. You brought Science to life for us, in the most engaging and exciting way. You have definitely inspired many future Scientists today, and there is no price-tag that can be put on that. ‘Teacher Libby Oborne.

Bristol ChemLabS worked with teacher Libby Oborne at the school in an event sponsored by a small outreach grant from the Royal Society of Chemistry.

03 May: Science Assembly, Ightenhill Primary School, Burnley, Lancs

In celebration of the establishment of. 'Phiz Lab' at the school Tim Harrison presented the science assembly ‘Gases in the Air’ to 200 pupils in Years 2 to 6 and to 8 teachers during the afternoon. Bristol ChemLabS worked with PSTT representative Michelle Grimshaw in the organisation of this visit.

I really can't thank you enough for making the long trip upt'north to bring us your wonderful demo. The two schools you visited are very challenging. The impact you had was amazing! The staff and pupils at Ightenhill were absolutely buzzing and you have done more for the promotion of science than any of the usual school visits and visitors that these schools have access to.’ Michelle Grimshaw

 The event was sponsored by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT).​

03 May: Science Assembly, Whittlefield Primary School, Burnley, Lancs

Tim Harrison presented the science assembly ‘Gases in the Air’to 180 pupils in Years 1 to 6 and 6 teachers during the morning. Bristol ChemLabS worked with PSTT representative Michelle Grimshaw in the organisation of this visit. The event was sponsored by the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT).

02 May: Science Assembly, Eact Academy, Ilminster Road Primary School, Knowle, Bristol

Tim Harrison visited the school in the south of the city to give a science assembly on 'Gases in the Air' to 200 pupils from Year 1 to 5 and 8 teachers.

'Today's science assembly was incredible. At a primary level we have neither the expertise or resources to create such awe and wonder with the children. Tim's assembly was engaging and fun for all. He had well over 100 children (and adults) on the edge of their seats. Our school is in such a high area of social and economical deprivation that some of our children can have very low aspirations. To see chemistry at its finest left our children with lasting and wonderful memories. Children returned to class enthralled and inquisitive. It leads beautifully into our STEM week on the weeks commencing 5th June. We would be more than happy to work with Tim and the university again to enhance our science teaching and learning. As a staff we will now go away with questions and activities to plan for STEM week. An hour's assembly has made a science footprint at Ilminster Avenue. We can't thank you enough' Fliss Hawkins, Science Coordinator

The event was sponsored by a portfolio of NERC research grants held by the Atmospheric Chemistry Research Group at the University of Bristol.


25 April: Minerva Primary Academy, Bristol

The team from Bristol ChemLabS returned to this Fishponds school as part of their Science Week activities. The day started with an exciting assembly by Alison Rivett entitled 'A Chemical Rainbow' for the whole school, 325 Reception to Year 6 children. Afterwards postgrads Harriet Bray & Lina Mohammed ran 3 workshops for the 92 Year 4 & 6 children, who worked together on two experiments with sticky slime and thermochromic paints.

The school tweeted afterwards "What a great start to Science week! Children enjoyed an assembly by Chemlabs this morning and are fired up about the week to come." and you can also see a photo from the assembly here:

24 April: Bromley Heath Junior School, Bristol

Alison Rivett returned to this north Bristol school for the fifth time to once again kick off their Science Week with an exciting Demonstration Assembly. All 240 KS2 children enjoyed finding out about the chemistry of light and colours in the new 'Chemical Rainbow" presentation.

 Afterwards the organising teacher said "Thank you Alison for yet again an amazing assembly on Monday. Both the children and staff were raving about it! I think it was pitched perfect for our children and the staff agreed." You can also read about the "super assembly" in the school's newsletter here and see some pictures in their online gallery here:

Bromley Heath Junior School

The event was partially sponsored by Bristol University's Widening Participation Fund.

04 April: Easton CE Academy, Bristol

Alison Rivett returned to this local school to deliver an Assembly on the theme of 'Gases In The Air' as part of their Science Week activities. The 400 Year 1-6 children gave all the demonstrations a very enthusiastic response! You can see some pictures on twitter here: The event was partially sponsored by Bristol University's Widening Participation Fund.

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