Plenty of Primary school teachers find the prospect of teaching Science daunting. Confidence can be improved through high-quality professional development training and efforts to develop teachers’ scientific knowledge. However, training courses can be expensive, and many schools struggle to find funding for this kind of support. What’s more, teachers are consistently overwhelmed by heavy workloads and have limited time.
Reach Out CPD aims to provide a solution to these problems by supplying teachers with free training, lesson materials and online support to teach science.
“If you’re going to single out one of the most important jobs in our society it has to be teaching,” said Professor Lord Robert Winston, Reach Out CPD champion. “We need to nurture, value and promote teachers. To give them the career professional development and support they need is so important.”
Why Reach Out CPD?
Reach Out CPD is a free online continuing professional development (CPD) resource for Primary school teachers, developed by Imperial College London, one of the world’s leading universities, in partnership with award-winning Primary Science resource Tigtag, part of the Twig Teacher Network.
Due to a considerable investment by Imperial and Tigtag, Reach Out CPD is free, accessible to all 200,000 Primary teachers in the UK and is mapped to all of the UK Primary Science curricula.
The resource provides 30 courses, covering topics ranging from plants and rocks to energy and space. Each supports teachers with core subject knowledge, fun practical activities and films. Through the films teachers learn from Imperial academics and contributors from other leading public science organisations, shining a light on some of the latest, most exciting advances in science.
Courses are designed to fit around teachers’ lesson planning, with each broken down into 20-minute units. At the end of each course, teachers can download and print out an official CPD certificate, endorsed by Imperial College London.
The Reach Out CPD website has recently been updated to enable faster delivery on mobile devices, making the resource even more accessible to teachers. Further improvements to the site include better visibility of progress through units and courses, comment boxes for teachers to leave useful tips for each other and more opportunities for sharing their progress with others on social media.
Since its launch in October 2014 Reach Out CPD has received an enthusiastic response from teachers, and currently hosts over 13,000 users.
Sam Sims, headteacher of Meadows Primary School in Ipswich says: “Reach Out CPD is a fantastic way to get knowledge fast. I’ve just taught a lesson on rocks and was able to use some of the examples I saw in the films. I’m not a science specialist so it’s great to have that information at your fingertips that you can use in the classroom that same day.”