University of Leicester

Reference centre

Logo of IGB at University of Leicester

University of Leicester
School of Education
21, University Road
Leicester LE1 7RF

Contact person

Professor Tina Jarvis
University of Leicester
21, University Road
Leicester LE1 7RF

Phone: +44 1162523659

E-mail: Please enable JavaScript to reveal the Email address

University of Leicester - short overview

The University of Leicester School of Education offers an extensive programme of education and training for prospective and experienced teachers. It has two vibrant and successful primary and secondary Postgraduate Certificate of Education Programmes for trainee teachers which are in high demand. The main centre for the Regional Science Learning Centre East Midlands is also based here. The Science Centre provides over 1000 days’ training per year for primary and secondary teachers as well as technicians and other support staff. This Centre was a very active participant in the EU Pollen & Seed Cities for Science A Community approach for sustainable growth of science education in Europe.

The University’s teacher education is

  • Based on research
  • Uses a constructivist inquiry-based science education approach
  • Practical with high levels of pupil participation
  • Uses strong links with schools
  • Includes liaison with science centres, museums and industry eg UK National Space Centre

Training sessions are developed to cater for the needs of the teachers attending. Teachers are shown and try out a wide variety of pupils’ investigations so that they develop understanding of background scientific concepts. Teachers are helped to adapt activities to cater for the age and ability of their pupils. Innovation and creativity is encouraged.

Activities within the Fibonacci project

Approximately 25 local teachers and their classes will work with the Leicester Reference Centre. Teachers will be chosen because they already have expertise in IBSE and /or mathematics. They will trial new material, particularly exploring ways of relating mathematics and science, in their classes.

We will set out to explore how to

  • Explore creative practical approaches to link mathematics and science & other subjects such as literacy, history, geography etc.
  • Plan progression and continuity of concepts and skills within a cross-curricular approach
  • Identify and assess learning objectives of science topics to match them with pupils’ skill and cognitive development in other subjects.
  • Promote transfer from primary to secondary education where secondary science teachers give subject expertise and primary teachers give pedagogical knowledge of making literacy links and using realistic contexts for science.

Other related projects

We have been exploring factors that make good in-service education for many years. In 1999-2000 a two-year in-service programme provided 70 teachers and 2000 pupils with IBSME training in Leicester City. Pollen and Fibonacci continue this established tradition.

100 teachers participated in the Pollen Project which developed IBSME with the additional focus of cross-curricular studies in a community context. Links have been made to: literacy, sport, art, history, geography, mathematics and religious education.

Some Pollen schools are now able to host and demonstrate the innovative investigative science to EU visitors. In England all primary teachers teach science and are expected to develop investigative skills. Classrooms are relatively well equipped with science and mathematical equipment. Computers and electronic equipments, such as cameras and microscopes, are used. Data logging is used to support investigations. (Kit boxes are not needed.) The majority of schools in Leicester have high numbers of non-Caucasian children who speak many languages other than English.