A News story by Ellena Schuster-Farrell 8 February 2018

Pupils and staff at E-ACT Blackley Academy are inspiring children all over the country to discover their inner scientist after starring in the BBC’s hugely popular Terrific Scientific.

Focusing on interactive investigations, Terrific Scientific is the BBC’s campaign to get more primary pupils engaged in science. Each month, classes in schools and academies across the country carry out investigations in partnership with a university, uploading their findings to an interactive map. Pupils can watch videos on the Terrific Scientific website in order to learn more about a topic. To their delight, pupils at Blackley Academy were chosen to star in an introductory video and step-by-step guide for January’s investigation into power.

Watch the video here

Watch the step-by-step guide here

The academy was asked to take part after impressing BBC researchers during a visit back in July, and Academy Operations Lead, Bernadette Mather, says the opportunity was too good to miss.

“We thought it would be fantastic for the pupils, great for the academy and it even fits in with the science curriculum.”

As part of the filming, pupils were treated to a visit by CBBC star Ben Shires, presenter of BAFTA nominated Officially Amazing and CBBC Match of the Day Kickabout. Ben went undercover as an energy saving caretaker, causing havoc as he attempted to dramatically reduce energy usage within the academy. Staff and pupils in the know had to keep his identity under wraps until a big reveal at the end of the day.

“It was quite a difficult secret to keep! The teachers kept asking me, ‘Where’s he from? Is he actually a real caretaker?!’”Bernadette Mather, Academy Operations Lead

A selection of pupils were also chosen to star in a step-by-step guide, which will be watched by thousands of children across the country carrying out their own investigations in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Pupils patrolled the academy with clipboards, on the hunt for any energy being wasted.  According to Bernadette, everyone involved found the filming process fascinating and thoroughly enjoyed the day.

“For us, it’s all about creating experiences for our pupils. We’ve heard such wonderful things from parents and children about the project, and it’s great to see how pupils are now viewing science even more positively.”

Staff also had positive feedback from the film crew, who were wowed by all of the pupils that took part in filming. As a result, the BBC are keen to continue working with the academy on future projects.

Pupils and staff at Blackley are delighted to be part of a national campaign to promote science in primary academies, and it’s clear that the pupils learned valuable lessons relevant to the curriculum and had lots of fun in the process.