Cutteslowe Primary School wins Big Science Event 2014

Cutteslowe Primary School in North Oxford is the winner of The Big Science Event 2014, the annual celebration of the achievements of young school scientists across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire.

A Year Six team of four took first prize in the competition for their investigation exploring which material makes the best paper planes.

The team of budding scientists wins £1,500 worth of brand new science-themed playground equipment for their school from sponsors Playforce, the UK’s leading playground company.

The Big Science Event celebrates its fifth anniversary this year and is co-ordinated by Science Oxford, a charity which aims to engage young people with science in new and exciting ways.  The initiative has grown from 17 schools and 2000 children participating in 2010 to 27 schools and 3,200 children in 2014.  After several months of in-school judging, eleven teams were shortlisted to take part in the Grand Final and prize giving day on 26th June at The Oxford Museum of Natural History.  The teams gave presentations to The Big Science Event judges, answered questions and displayed hand-made posters illustrating their findings.

Three schools were Highly Commended – Radley C of E Primary School for their exploration into why oranges sink and float, West Oxford Primary School for their investigation of whether Bernouli’s principle impacts on the flight of paper aeroplanes and St Amands Catholic Primary School for their experiment into which egg falls the fastest.

Natalie Ford, Science Oxford’s Big Science Event Coordinator, said: “We’ve been extremely impressed by the talented young school scientists taking part in this year’s Big Science Event.  Congratulations to the winning team from Cutteslowe Primary School and to all our finalists who have worked so hard on their investigations, presentations and posters.  It’s wonderful to be celebrating The Big Science Event’s fifth birthday this year and we look forward to many more years to come.”

Speaking at the final of the Big Science Event, Managing Director of Playforce, Dr. Colin MacAdam, said: “Grand Final day at The Big Science Event is always a fantastic day and this was no exception.  It’s very inspiring to see how passionate this region’s young people are about science and their headteachers should be very proud of them.  I’m delighted to be presenting Cutteslowe Primary School with the winner’s prize – the team gave a very impressive presentation.  We hope they’ll enjoy using their new Playforce play equipment and will continue to enjoy the wonders of science.”

Finalists in The Big Science Event 2014 were:

  • Cutteslowe Primary School: Which material makes the best paper planes?
  • Gateway Primary School: Can boys move a balloon further than girls?
  • Goring C of E Primary School: In which location should you put Fanta to stop it going still?
  • John Hampden Primary School: Which brand of chocolate sets the quickest?
  • Madley Brook CP School: Does your height affect how fast you complete the trim trail?
  • Radley C of E Primary School: Why do oranges sink and float?
  • St. Amands Catholic Primary School: Which egg falls the fastest?
  • St. Andrew’s CE Primary School: Pyromaniacs
  • Stanford in the Vale Primary School: How do cleaning solutions react to a raspberry stain?
  • West Oxford Primary School: Does Bernouli’s principle impact on the flight of paper aeroplanes?
  • Witney Community Primary School: What flower goes rotten first?


– Ends-

For photography and further information, please contact:

Julie Parmenter, Elephant Creative

T: 01981 251820 / 07775 715936

E: julie@elephantcreative.co.uk


About The Big Science Event

The Big Science Event is a competition for primary schools, coordinated by Science Oxford. It was set up in 2009 to encourage more schools to give pupils an opportunity to design and carry out their own creative science investigations. In 2013, the competition attracted entries from 5000 students from 49 primary schools across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and West Berkshire.  Science Oxford is an independent charitable trust that was set up ‘to encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise’. It has been working with local schools for nearly 25 years and each year involves nearly 20,000 local school pupils with its educational programmes.



About Playforce

Playforce is the UK’s leader in the design of innovative, curriculum-linked outdoor play environments for nurseries and primary schools. That means everything from timber trails to outdoor classrooms, musical play to science investigations. We are passionate about getting every child active and making the best use of the School Sport Funding. Playforce are proud to be working in partnership with Youth Sport Trust, as the exclusive Business Honours Club partner for playground equipment and facilities.



About Science Oxford

Science Oxford is part of the Oxford Trust – an independent charity, established in 1985 by Sir Martin and Audrey, Lady Wood (co-founders of Oxford Instruments) to initiate and encourage the pursuit of science and enterprise across Oxfordshire and the surrounding region. Its mission is to encourage, enthuse and facilitate the study, application and communication of science, technology and engineering. Science Oxford is the public facing brand of The Oxford Trust. For more information on Science Oxford, please visit our website at www.scienceoxford.com