About Abingdon Science Partnership

The Abingdon Science Partnership (ASP) is primarily a science outreach organisation supported and funded by Abingdon School. The aim of the ASP is to strengthen participation in science in a wide variety of ways across the Abingdon district and beyond. The ASP works with local primary and secondary schools; community groups such as Scouts and Guides and local organisations such as the ATOM Society and Science Oxford. In addition ASP is an official partner with national organisations including the Institute for Research in Schools, the Young Scientists Journal and the Ogden Trust Primary Science Partnerships.

The ASP can offer support for science related events in many different ways including school visits, equipment loans and use of our dedicated and well equipped science teaching laboratory. These facilities are available to all types of school and community groups.

To find out more about our activities and how we can help your school or other group please follow the appropriate link below, or contact Jeremy Thomas, the ASP co-ordinator at Abingdon School: jeremy.thomas@abingdon.org.uk or telephone 01235 849151.

You can also follow us on Twitter: @AbSciPart

We support science activities for the primary school age group in several ways: 

  • Bespoke workshops in our dedicated Partnership Laboratory where pupils can experience facilities and resources not usually available in primary schools – and wear lab coats! We can offer standard workshops on a number of KS1/KS2 Science Topics but we can accommodate most requests. Examples of our popular workshops include:
    • Chemical reactions
    • Animal adaptations
    • The science of The Iron Man
    • Forces and spaceflight
    • Evolution and inheritance
    • Exploring space
    • Plants and photosynthesis
  • Visits to your school for classes or larger groups. Several of the workshops listed above can be adapted for travel, but we can also deliver curriculum specific sessions such as Light and Shadow and Electric Circuits.
  • British Science Association CREST Star Science Investigator award programmes. We offer this to a small number of mainly KS1 classes in the immediate area but we can offer CPD, advice and resources to help teachers run this scheme in their own schools. See the CREST Awards website.
  • Equipment loans for topics such as the human skeleton, fossils, electric circuits and others.
  • After school Clubs and Masterclasses in the ASP Partnership Laboratory.
  • Partnering your school science club or project with a sixth form Science Ambassador from one of the secondary schools in Abingdon. 

For more information please contact jeremy.thomas@abingdon.org.uk

The Abingdon Science Partnership works collaboratively with local secondary schools as well as providing resources and events to inspire local, young people to engage in science and to study science subjects at the highest levels. The secondary programme is constantly developing, but regular events and activities include the following:

  • Annual Masterclasses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics aimed at extending the knowledge and skills of secondary pupils to a higher level.
  • Hosting workshops for organisations such as the National Space Academy and Isaac Physics.
  • Offering a GCSE course in Astronomy, open to pupils from any school in the Abingdon area.
  • Arranging the loan of apparatus and use of a our dedicated Partnership Laboratory by other schools and groups.
  • Co-ordinating the local, Abingdon hubs of the Young Scientists Journal and the Institute for Research in Schools.
  • Encouraging a local network of pupil Science Ambassadors to work with younger children in primary schools and science clubs.
  • Organising inspiring talks and presentations for secondary pupils.

For more information please contact jeremy.thomas@abingdon.org.uk.

The ASP has supported science activities for a wide variety of community groups, particularly helping Scout and Guide groups of all ages with Science or Astronomy badges, but also working with adult organisations such as the Abingdon ATOM Society and the Oxford Geology Group.

Scout and Guide Science Badges can be completed in one or two evening visits and the laboratory can also be used for investigations and experiments to help with other awards and projects. A great example of this was when 30th Abingdon Beavers used the lab to help with their Million Hands project, described here

Organisations such as the Abingdon ATOM Society and Science Oxford have used the ASP Lab for adult science evenings, such as ‘Back to School Science’ and ‘Gunge for Grown Ups’. The Abingdon Science Partnership is an official sponsor of the Abingdon ATOM Festival of Science and Technology, hosting and helping to run many of the events during the annual Festival in March.

For more information or to discuss use of the ASP lab please contact jeremy.thomas@abingdon.org.uk.

The ASP Lab provides an ideal venue, within Abingdon School’s Yang Science Centre (YSC), where hands on CPD courses can be run in a well equipped and supported school, science laboratory. The YSC also has spacious breakout areas for small group discussions and where catering can be provided through the school’s appointed catering organisation. CPD courses have been hosted regularly for organisations such as The Ogden Trust Primary Science Clusters and Oxfordshire Science Learning Partnership.

ASP staff have developed a great deal of expertise in running science clubs, outreach workshops and in delivering the British Science Association CREST Star Science Investigator awards. This expertise can be shared with other schools, either by individual discussion or ASP CPD events for larger groups.

The ASP Co-ordinator at Abingdon School, Jeremy Thomas, currently acts as co-ordinator for the Ogden Trust Abingdon Primary Science Partnership and chairs the Science Co-ordinators’ Group of the Abingdon Partnership for Schools.

For more information please contact jeremy.thomas@abingdon.org.uk or Sarah Twinn, Partnership Co-ordinator, Abingdon Partnership for Schools twinn.s@caldecott.oxon.sch.uk.

ASP works with a number of larger, science education and outreach organisations both locally and nationally. The ASP hosts the official Abingdon Hubs for both the Young Scientists Journal and the Institute for Research in Schools, both of which are open to any secondary age pupil in the Abingdon district.

ASP plays a large part in organising and providing events and venues for the annual Abingdon ATOM Festival of Science and Technology which takes place in the town in March of each year.

ASP is the lead organisation in the Ogden Trust Abingdon Primary Science Partnership, which consists currently of Fitzharrys School, St Edmund’s RC Primary, Caldecott Primary, Thomas Reade Primary, Long Furlong Primary and Benson CofE Primary:

ASP runs the Abingdon sessions of Science Oxford’s extremely popular Saturday Science Clubs for younger children. Details of Science Oxford events can be found here.

ASP has also worked closely with, hosted workshops for or organised educational visits with the following organisations:

”'Brilliant, awesome, inspirational!' are some of the words my 10 year old daughter used to describe her experiences with Abingdon Science Partnership. From making circuits and slime at the Saturday Science Club, to Stargazing with her Brownie Pack at an evening workshop, to taking part in Royal Institution Maths lectures with her school, to meeting the famous Michael Foale and hearing about his amazing space adventure; such a wide range of events that ASP have planned and organised and which my daughter has taken part in at their excellent facilities.  

The ASP have made a significant, positive impact on the local community in providing these wonderful opportunities for children and their local schools, clubs and societies - opportunities many children would never normally have. As a Brownie leader in the Girl Guiding Association, the ASP were nothing short of fantastic when it came to helping out my Brownie Pack. Using the criteria for the Science Investigator Brownie badge, the guys set up two fun-filled yet educational workshops, which we attended over two evenings in order for the girls to gain their badges. The Brownies did nothing but smile and work well together as they faced different tasks. At the end of the second session the girls were awarded their badges and they all said that it had been their “best Brownie meeting ever!”. We also awarded Jeremy and Richard a badge, which I believe they wear on their lab coats! It was such a big hit that I contacted Jeremy some months later, this time for the Brownies to gain their Stargazing badge.  

Nothing is too much trouble; the staff and sixth formers are friendly, helpful, hardworking and outstanding in their delivery making it easy to understand. As a parent I feel truly grateful that my daughter has been fortunate enough to be able to access and take part in their activities. Thank you ASP!”
Sarah Smith, Abingdon Brownies and Parent

Last year, we had the privilege of being able to send 3 of our classes to the Abingdon science lab. The children all returned, challenged and enthused having taken part in a wide range of activities from investigating floating and sinking and using levers to create water extraction devices to the excitement of bunsen burners heating different compounds. They had access to excellent facilities and equipment, high quality teaching and - got to wear lab coats! Thank you for having us back this year. Our Y 5/ 6 children were captivated by comparing the DNA of a human and shark whilst our younger ones await their turn with great anticipation.
Louise Warren, Head-teacher, Buckland CE Primary School

As Chairman of the ATOM Festival of Science and Technology I and my committee have worked closely with Abingdon School for the past five years. Their support has been outstanding. Their role in organising the participation of local schools through the Abingdon Science Partnership which they have established has been excellent and has been greatly appreciated by the teachers, children and parents. The manager of this Partnership is one of the most active and valuable members of the ATOM Festival Committee. Many of the Festival events take place in the school premises including the theatre and science block, both of which are of the highest standard. The enthusiastic and consistent support of the Headmaster, teaching and non-teaching staff, and the pupils have been most appreciated and valued. The school is not only a major supporter of the ATOM Festival but organises events throughout the year to promote an interest in science among pupils in all local schools. I have the highest admiration for what they do.
James White, Chairman, ATOM Festival of Science and Technology

IRIS is thrilled to work with Jeremy and the ASP. They embrace new projects being the perfect hub where schools from the region can work on a range of research areas. They have run the Minecraft project building the ATLAS detector in Minecraft, lead on CERN@school and are playing a key role in the upcoming polar MELT project. Their enthusiasm to embrace new projects and involve many students makes them an incredibly valued key IRIS centre.
Becky Parker, Director, Institute for Research in Schools, Physics teacher, Visiting Professor, School of Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary, University of London

The Abingdon Science Partnership has been invaluable in supporting our programme of fun, interactive science activities for young people and their families in Abingdon and beyond. Jeremy actively encourages community engagement and works with a wide range of young people to excite and enthuse them about science. The sessions that he runs are always well received – families love the exciting mix of hands-on science and inspirational teaching that the Partnership provides.
Sophie Batin, Education Outreach Manager, Science Oxford

The Ogden Trust are delighted to collaborate with Abingdon School, to provide a programme of continuing professional development. The Ogden Trust roots it's expertise and experience in physics curriculum development and applied research. Through working in partnership with Abingdon School, this ensures the high quality of delivery, together with the science department at the school and the outstanding facilities, to promote high quality physics professional learning. Schools in the Abingdon/Oxfordshire area benefit greatly from the interaction between Abingdon School and local teachers - propagating discussions about excellence in teaching and learning in science education, through developing effective partnerships and associations with a variety of stakeholders.
Wendy Cox, Head of School Partnerships, The Ogden Trust

At Practical Action we really value our relationship with the Abingdon Science Partnership. Initially working with them enabled us to trial materials for a new STEM teaching resource and evaluate the impact of those materials on pupil learning. ASP then showcased the resulting ‘Stop the Spread’ materials at the Association for Science Education (ASE) annual conference and Jeremy Thomas, ASP co-ordinator, wrote an article on the activity published in Education in Science, a key science journal from the ASE with a subscription of over 10,000. We are also aware that ASP use our materials in their work with primary schools in the region and promotes through their teacher network. All of these activities raise the profile and kudos of our work amongst teachers and education practitioners which is invaluable to us. We look forward to a continuing relationship with ASP and would highly recommend them.
Julie Brown, Head of Education, Practical Action

View the summary of partnership activity for 2017/18.