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Friday, June 7 • 3:30pm - 4:45pm
Creative approaches in primary science LIMITED
Limited Capacity seats available

Talk 1  - Sarah Frodsham
This paper focuses on the development of creative thinking within primary school. More specifically, it examines the ways in which teachers engage with children to promote creativity-in-science-lessons. Teachers, recognised as ‘creative’ by national agencies, were observed. It became apparent they shared characteristics which could be illustrated. For example, three aspects of creative practice (namely, verbal interactions, autonomy and risk-taking) can be assimilated on a minute-by-minute basis to develop visual interpretations of the extent of creativity. Additionally, an events map can illustrate the detail of creative enactments by chronologically displaying activities, actions and pupil responses to teacher's questions and instructions. The ways that children verbally interact can also be examined and represented in a diagram. This presentation, therefore, offers three graphical illustrations created from analysing one science lesson, using the three analytical frameworks outlined above. It highlights how different analytical approaches can illuminate the many ways a teacher can nurture creativity-in-science.

Talk 2 – Rufus Cooper
How can we encourage and support children to be more creative learners in their science lessons? Rufus will share his experience and strategies for setting up a creative learning environment.

Talk 3 - John McCullagh and Andrea Doherty, Stranmillis University College Belfast
Promoting a playful approach to science within teacher education. This presentation will report on the latest outcomes of the ‘Playful Approaches to Science’ (PATS) project and provide examples of how a playful theme or narrative can enhance pupil engagement and learning.  Examples from popular science topics will be used to show how to plan, facilitate and assess pupil learning and explore the relationship between play and science enquiry. This coupling of playfulness with scientific exploration offers incredible potential to address the challenges of relevance, accessibility and progression within our science curriculum. The presentation will also report on the impact of the project on the current and future practice of participating in-service and pre-service teachers.

Chaired by Esme Glauert


Davies, D. and McGregor, D. (2017) Teaching science creatively. 2nd ed. London: Routledge.
DeHaan, R.L. (2009) ‘Teaching creativity and inventive problem solving in science’, CBE – Life Sciences Education, 8, pp. 172-181.
Frodsham, S. (2018) Demonstrating Creativity-in-Learning Through Classroom Talk: Towards A Fresh Theoretical Framework. BERA conference. 13th September 2018
Frodsham, S. (2017) Evidencing Creativity in Talk: Toward a Fresh Theoretical Framework. Poster presentation at Association for Science Education (ASE) Annual Conference. January 11th 2017.
Frodsham, S. (2016a) Interpreting pedagogical practices (concerning creativity) through visual representations of primary science lessons. Poster presentation at ASE Annual Conference. January 9th 2016.
Frodsham, S. (2016b) Generating representations of creativity in the primary science classroom. BERA conference. 14th September 2016.
Frodsham, S. (2015a) Interpreting teacher observations (concerning creativity) through visual representations. Poster presentation at ASE Annual Conference. January 10th 2015.
Frodsham, S. (2015b) Interpreting pedagogical practices (concerning creativity) through visual representations of primary science lessons. ESERA conference. August 31st 2015.
Frodsham, S. (2015c) Interpreting science teacher’s practice (related to creativity) through visual representations of their actions. BERA conference. 16th September 2015.
 Henriksen, D. and Mishra, P. (2015) ‘We teach who we are: creativity in the lives and practices of accomplished teachers’, Teachers College Record, 117 (7), No. 17947. [Online]. [Accessed 12 September 2018] Available from: http://www.tcrecord.org
McGregor, D. (in press). Chapter 8: Development of creative thinking. Ofsted. (2003) Expecting the unexpected: developing creativity in primary and secondary schools. HMI. [online]. [Accessed 12 September 2018] Available from: http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/4766/1/Expecting_the_unexpected_%28PDF_format%29.pdf Ofsted (2010) Learning: Creative approaches that raise standards. HMI. [online]. [Accessed 12 September 2018] Available from: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20141116012722/http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/node/2405 
Oliver, A. (2006) Creative teaching science in the early years and primary classroom. London: David Fulton Publishers Ltd.
Sawyer, R.K. (2012) The science of human innovation: explaining creativity. 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sternberg, R. J. (2003) Wisdom, intelligence, and creativity synthesized. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Esme Glauert

UCL Institute of Education
Dr Esmé Glauert has extensive experience of early years and primary education through her previous work as a teacher and school adviser in London, her current roles as a teacher educator supporting both beginning and experienced teachers on teacher education, Masters and Doctoral... Read More →


Rufus Cooper

Illustrator and trainer and primary science teacher, Artful Fox Creatives
avatar for Sarah Frodsham

Sarah Frodsham

Research Assistant, Oxford Brookes University

John McCullagh

Stranmillis University College