A primary school teacher’s dream of creating a Science laboratory for her pupils has come true. 

Nashim Prabatani has always wanted to provide pupils at St Edward’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, in Swadlincote, with a purpose built facility dedicated to Science to enhance their learning. 

Her vision has finally become a reality as the school has opened its own ‘Phiz Lab’, with support from local businesses and the Ogden Trust, which works with schools to promote physics. 

The school received a grant of £2,500 from the Ogden Trust, support from electronics company Integrex, logistics company Clipper along with Acorn Home and Garden Services, all based in Swadlincote.  

Together they transformed an under-utilised area of the school into a ‘Phiz Lab’, complete with an area for children to complete their investigations using dedicated Science equipment.  

There is also a comprehensive library relating to Science and microscopes for the children to use to extend their learning opportunities within their lessons.  

The school also received funding from the Worshipful Glass Sellers Company of London, to buy six telescopes and six pairs of binoculars, which offer children the chance to explore the night sky on a regular basis.  

Clipper provided the school with an eye catching large-scale space inspired mural. 

Nashim, class teacher and Science Lead at St Edward’s, said she was inspired by her love of science to create a dedicated space for the children.  

She said: “It feels surreal. To be able to inspire the same love of Science that I had as a young child among our children is incredible. It would be wonderful even if one child became a scientist or went on to study Science at A-Level or University.  

“It’s quite unique for a primary school to have this kind of facility and this has happened because we are part of the Ogden Trust. To have the funding and space to be able to do this is amazing. It is our vision for this to be a space allowing our children to become enthusiastic scientists, with pupils from other schools in the partnership taking advantage of this dedicated facility and for it to be a community hub.” 

A pupil from Year 6 said she loved the Science lab. 

She said: “It’s a really good learning environment and it’s great that it’s a room that is just for Science. I look forward to my lessons in here; it is one of my favourite rooms in school.” 

A pupil from Year 3 said she felt that pupils were lucky to have such an amazing space in school. 

She said: “It’s good, there is lots of equipment in the lab and we’ve got Science books in the library. The whole place is really colourful and I enjoy learning in it. It’s my favourite classroom and I love having lessons in here.” 

Jayne McQuillan, Headteacher at St Edward’s, which is part of the St Ralph Sherwin Catholic Multi Academy Trust, said that pupils would benefit hugely from the new lab, that has created a buzz around school. 

She said: “I want to thank everyone who has been involved in creating the Phiz Lab. The children love it and staff can come in here and know that all of the equipment they need is to hand. It will allow our pupils to explore and be hands-on with materials, it generates interest and an enthusiasm for Science and provides opportunities that you just can’t get in a classroom. We have also had some great feedback from parents about it.” 

Pete Dowsett, East Midlands representative for the Ogden Trust, said they were pleased to have been able to support St Edward’s. 

He said: “The lab is a brilliant space. It’s great to see the children in their lab coats and they can come here and use this facility which raises the profile of Science, and that’s the whole purpose.”