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Thanks to generous funding from the Welsh Government’s National Science Academy, the Royal Society of Biology is pleased to announce that it is developing a free online training module for teachers in Wales to support their continuing professional development.

The new online module will train teachers to deliver Gopher Science Lab days and develop their confidence and ability to teach science through engaging, easy to resource, practical activities.

Gopher Science Lab days were created and developed by the RSB in collaboration with the Biochemical Society. Gopher Science Lab activities are designed to facilitate learning by primary aged children and support their transition from primary to secondary education. By carrying out simple, hands-on activities, children are encouraged to investigate new ideas, explore their curiosity and engage with science.

Secondary schools may run Gopher Science lab days with their feeder primary schools. The secondary students are trained to demonstrate and deliver the practical activities to the primary pupils and the primary pupils gain hands-on practical experience by trying out the activities. Through peer to peer learning across age groups, pupils are able to develop their communication skills and self-confidence in completing practical science activities. In addition, all pupils gain an increased awareness of the applications of the science that they learn about.

The Gopher Science Labs project is already well-established across the UK. However, access to the new online training module will be exclusive, in the first instance, to schools in Wales. The online training module will give primary teachers in Wales the opportunity to access subject specific science CPD, at a time that is convenient to them. Upon completion of the Gopher Science Labs online training, teachers will also have the opportunity to download brand new activities and resources to incorporate into their own Gopher Science Lab day.

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