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Teacher Workshops

Norfolk Primary Stem Festival – June 2019

This brand-new event organised by the Food and Farming Discovery Trust (FFDT), NFU and Diocese of Norwich, was a day packed full of speakers and workshops aimed to help schools enrich the STEM provision for their school.

We were given the opportunity to share the SAW cross-disciplinary approach and enthuse teachers to design their own SAW activities.


Primary Science Conference, Norfolk and Suffolk Science Learning Partnership – April 2019

We were pleased to be invited back to deliver a SAW training workshop at this annual event that is designed to help teachers and leaders inspire pupils, develop cross-curricular approaches and tackle the science curriculum.

We presented our jam-packed workshop twice during the day and offered free SAW lesson plans to those inspired by the initiative.


Steeple Morden primary school virtual teacher training – March 2019

We made our first venture into online training!

After a teacher from Steeple Morden Primary School in Cambridgeshire attended a SAW training workshop in the Autumn she was keen to set up a whole-school SAW week.  Intent on getting her colleagues equally inspired and excited about SAW, she enquired about the feasibility of having a mini SAW training session for all staff for an hour after school. As much as we like getting out and about, a 160-mile round trip for an hour session seemed a bit crazy and we have to consider our environmental impact! So, with the teachers as willing participants, Jenni presented an introduction to SAW via Skype.


Viscount Nelson Education Trust (VNET); Science Community – March 2019

Hosted by the Food and Farming Discovery Trust (FFDT) at the Royal Norfolk Showground, the event welcomed science leads from schools across Norfolk. During our short workshop we gave an overview of the SAW initiative and a snapshot of some SAW lesson plans and science leads were given the chance to experience some hands on activities used during SAW lessons.


Learning Competency; Project based learning conference, Shanghai – November 2018

We were invited to present at the Learning Competency; Project-based Learning Conference in Shanghai, where we rubbed shoulders with experts from education sectors from around the globe.

Many thanks to Crystal Rodriquez (teacher from West Earlham Infant School) and Catrin Parry-Jones (Head Teacher from West Earlham Junior School), two experienced SAW practitioners, who co-presented with Jenni.  Thanks also to Gong Min, head teacher at our hub school in Shanghai who also presented on their experiences in embedding SAW in their school curriculum, enabling us to give a well-rounded view of what can be achieved from SAW project conception through to implementation within schools.


Saw training workshop hosted by Jingge Techonologies – November 2018

On our latest visit to China we were invited to run a SAW workshop by Jingge Technologies, a vocational education training software provider in Shanghai.  We presented SAW training workshops to Jingge employees and to school teachers from across Shanghai.

The aim of the workshops was to aid participants in understanding how they, and others, can deliver SAW lesson plans and activities within their own classes/organisations and help spread the SAW approach.



Norfolk County Councils early years and childcare conference – October 2018

This year we were lucky enough to receive an invitation to exhibit at Norfolk County Council’s Early Years and Childcare Conference, that took place at the John Innes conference centre.

With most of our existing work being designed for Key Stages 1, 2 and above, we eagerly attended the event with an aim of making connections with early year foundation stage practitioners and begin to develop suitable resources using the SAW initiative.

We attended with our giant peapods and were given a warm welcome by all of those who visited our stand. The day was full of imaginative, creative and inspiring ways of engaging with youngsters and we managed to make some good connections, one of which is with the Chestnut Nursery School based at the Norwich Research Park. So watch this space – SAW could be coming to a nursery near you! 


International Collaborative Learning Conference 2018 – March 2018 

With colleagues from the International Schools Programme at Norfolk County Council and from the School of Education and Lifelong Learning at the University of East Anglia (UEA) we set up an international collaborative learning conference at the UEA.  The conference welcomed headteachers, senior leaders and teachers from across the globe to exchange ideas and best educational practises.  We were delighted to be joined by SAW supporter, Professor Emerita of the School of Education, Salem State University, USA, Louise B. Swiniarski, Ph.D. gave the keynote presentation.  A group of teachers from the Xuhui Education Bureau in Shanghai presented as well as education professionals from Norway, Belgium and Berlin. 

In the breakout sessions, SAW gave a presentation joined by guest teachers Sam Phillips and Crystal Rodriguez (West Earlham Junior & Infant schools) on how the methodology has been developed in UK schools, and subsequently taken on by colleagues in China and the US.


SAW Training Workshop Series, University of Edinburgh – Spring 2016, 2017 & 2018

As part of our work with Openplant, a synthetic biology programme between the University of Cambridge and the John Innes Centre and Earlham Institute in Norwich we wanted to share best practise with scientists at other synthetic biology research centres across the UK.  We developed a SAW workshop to enable dissemination of the initiative and in April 2016, the University of Edinburgh hosted the first one of a series for a group of scientists from SynthSys and the UK Centre for Mammalian Synthetic Biology. 

Artists, poets and teachers from areas around Edinburgh were invited to join the session.  Participants worked together on practical science, poetry and art activities that have been tried and tested in school SAW projects to see how their research themes can work in this format.  Teams of scientists, artists, writers and teachers were then formed to develop new SAW projects that have since been delivered in Edinburgh schools.

It has been great to see the SAW initiative building up in Scottish schools since our first workshop!


 Lunchbox Science teacher training at the Royal Norfolk Show, 2016

In 2015 we ran a series of projects that were collectively called ‘Lunchbox Science’ in partnership with the national organisation Farming and Countryside Education (FACE).The projects used the SAW model of practical science, creative writing and visual arts to explore the links between science and agriculture.

Each project focused on one ingredient from a typical lunchbox and was designed by a research scientist working in collaboration with a professional artist and a professional writer.  The projects were trialled in Norfolk Primary Schools with Key Stage 2 children in the summer term 2015 and the schools were then invited to present the outcomes of their projects at the Royal Norfolk Show.

We then transformed the projects into a series of lesson plans to enable teachers to run them as 'in house' activities.  To launch the lesson plans we ran a one-day teacher training workshop at the Royal Norfolk Showground on Friday 6th May 2016.  The workshop was a mix of presentations and hands-on activities to enable teachers to have a go at the practical elements of the projects.


Horace Mann Lab School; Teacher training workshop, Boston - 2016

In 2016 we were invited back to run a SAW project for Linda Connell’s class at the Horace Mann Lab School where student teachers came along to observe and join in.  We worked with a delightful group of children in the third grade with a project all about food webs, photosynthesis and evolution.  We always have a wonderful time in Linda’s class, she has great enthusiasm for SAW and has used it in her own teaching for many years so it’s nice to go and exchange ideas!



Yorks and Humber Science Learning events 2008/ 2009

We helped provide resources for a set of Primary Science Conferences for teachers run by the Yorkshire and Humber Science Learning Centre in partnership with the Association for Science Education, the Regional Stem Partnership and Local Authorities. Events took place at Woolley Hall, Wakefield, in Hull, Huddersfield, and Ripon.



National Science Learning Centre, York, March 2007

SAW founder Anne Osbourn ran a workshop for teachers, educational advisers and scientists at the National Science Learning Centre in York. The primary aims of the course were to:

  • develop confidence to inspire children about science,
  • explore new and innovative ways to develop children’s enquiry skills,
  • consider creative approaches to science, including cross-curricular links, and
  • share best practise.