Sophie Batin, Education Outreach Manager

I joined the Oxford Trust in 2015. I manage a small team of science and computing experts at Science Oxford, who create amazing STEM experiences for primary aged children in schools, out in the community and in our own science centre. My job is really varied, which I love – I never have a chance to get bored! I might spend one afternoon delivering CPD to a group of primary school teachers and then the next arranging for one of our science shows to tour local libraries. A lot of my job involves making sure that our programmes continue to be fantastic, which means that I get to develop new workshops and think about how we can reach new audiences.

I’m really excited about our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) work and how that’s contributing to us working with some really interesting groups. I feel like I’m constantly learning more about making our programme accessible and appealing to a wider range of people. Our programme for under 5s and their families is just starting out but we’re lucky to have such great resources, especially with our woodland on site, that I know the programme will thrive. The Big Science Event, which celebrates pupil led investigation in primary schools, is one of my favourite projects – it’s fascinating to see what even the youngest children can do when they are given the freedom to explore scientifically. Supporting teachers is a huge priority for us. By empowering primary school teachers to feel confident in their science teaching, we can have an enormous impact on not just how their current class feels about science but on all their future classes too.

I love the freedom that the Trust gives its staff to be creative and to try new ideas. We’re a small organisation, so everyone has a voice and an opportunity to feed into strategy. It means that we can be more innovative and everyone feels engaged by our mission and determined to drive it forward. The most rewarding pat of my job is hearing feedback from schools, teachers, children and families about the difference that our activities have made to them.

Previously, I was a primary school teacher and before that I did all sorts of jobs. I decided where I wanted to travel and found a job in that place, so I nannied in the Alps, taught English in South Africa, waitressed in the south of France, ran a B&B in St Ives and taught horse riding in Michigan. I now live in Abingdon with my husband and our son. Since having a baby, we’ve had less time for hobbies but we all love boating, walking and canoeing (though a toddler in a canoe sometimes feels like a recipe for disaster!). I can always make time for a new book and I especially enjoy mysteries, PG Wodehouse and Christopher Moore. I enjoy cooking and have loved the challenge of creating baby friendly meals that are also delicious for adults. I’m looking forward to being able to travel again soon – I feel like there’s so much of the world that I’ve yet to explore!

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