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BBC presenter opens ‘inspiring’ science and philosophy room at Islington primary school

PUBLISHED: 17:00 18 April 2016 | UPDATED: 09:05 19 April 2016

CBBC’s Dr. Chris Van Tulleken from ‘Operation Ouch!’ opens the

CBBC’s Dr. Chris Van Tulleken from ‘Operation Ouch!’ opens the "Q-Room" at Yerbury Primary School

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BBC presenter Dr Chris Van Tulleken paid a special visit to pupils at Yerbury Primary School last week to officially open their new “science and questioning” room.

CBBC’s Dr. Chris Van Tulleken from ‘Operation Ouch!’ opens the CBBC’s Dr. Chris Van Tulleken from ‘Operation Ouch!’ opens the "Q-Room" at Yerbury Primary School

Yerbury says the “Q-Room” will provide a space for children to do science experiments and ask fundamental questions about subjects including science, philosophy and theology.

The centrepiece of the room is the “cabinet of curiosities”, full of awe-inspiring artefacts and items, which the children can handle.

The room, a former cloakroom and storage area, was created thanks to the Yerbury Parent-Teacher Association (YPTA), who raised money by holding special events, including a fun-run and sponsored science experiment during last year’s Science Week.

Head teacher Cassie Moss said: “This project is an excellent example of how school and parents can work together to make exceptional things happen for the children. I cannot thank the parents enough.

CBBC’s Dr. Chris Van Tulleken from ‘Operation Ouch!’ opens the CBBC’s Dr. Chris Van Tulleken from ‘Operation Ouch!’ opens the "Q-Room" at Yerbury Primary School

“It’s important children have the space to question the world around them, and let their curiosity lead their learning – the Q-room is a part of that space.”

Infectious disease specialist Dr Van Tulleken, who presents “Operation Ouch!”, opened the room on Friday following a fact-filled assembly where the children learned how viruses spread from person to person, how swine flu was created, and how vaccinations work.

Pupils also had the opportunity to answer questions from the children, including “is it better to avoid a virus altogether, or to expose yourself to it little by little?” and “do boys sweat more than girls and, if so, why?”

Martha, in Year 6, described the room as “inspiring”.

“I think as an ‘almost-secondary-school’ student that the Q-Room is one of the most inspiring things that has happened during my time at Yerbury,” she said. “I think it was a brilliant idea and I’m sure it will grow and become even more amazing each year. It has already kicked off in the most extraordinary way.”

The visit from the television presenter, she added, left all the students “flabbergasted”.

Frankie in Year 5 added: “The only word that could describe the assembly would be ‘awesome’!”

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