Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate (QE) is celebrating all things science after Chapter House, QE’s Early Years, infant and junior provision, has been awarded the Primary Science Quality Mark (PQSM) Gilt. This accolade is given to schools which can demonstrate how established effective science leadership is having a sustained impact on science teaching and learning within a school.
As part of a half-term holiday project, QE’s Chapter House students spent time researching their favourite scientists, preparing a costume and or prop to present in class. These ranged from a host of male and female scientists both historical and present day such as Sir Isaac Newton, Marie Curie, Rosalind Franklin and Dian Fossey. Children and staff spent the day on Friday dressed as scientists and took part in the whole-school investigation ‘Can the tallest person throw the farthest?’ The day was a fitting celebration for the school’s success and scientific endeavours throughout the year.
The PQSM is a year-long CPD programme that helps schools form an aspirational vision for science, to raise the profile and quality of science provision. It focuses on developing effective, confident science teaching and learning, particularly with the practical skills of ‘working scientifically’. PSQM ensures strong and positive impact with children making good progress, building and consolidating their knowledge and skills, developing positive attitudes about science and its value to their lives and globally.
Karen Kilkenny, Head of Chapter House at Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate, said “I am so proud of what has been achieved by the teachers, through the enthusiastic science leadership of Dr Walker. The feedback given to the school highlighted how this collaboration has resulted in an exciting child-friendly vision for science, with children’s voices being at the heart of the development of science within Chapter House. Even when working remotely this year, staff have found new ways of igniting a passion for science in the children and the high-quality science lessons have promoted curiosity and independent learning.”
Pre-COVID, Chapter House pupils enjoyed visits from STEM Ambassador Experts Race for the Line, welcomed parents that came in to talk about their science-related careers and took part in ‘Restart a Heart’, teaching the children how to perform CPR. During lockdown, the pupils continued to be exposed to some creative science teaching with remote links made to farmers through FaceTime, encouraging reading from the Royal Society Young People’s Books Prize – an initiative which aims to promote literacy in young people and to inspire them to read about science – and entering pupils work in the British Science Week’s poster competition. Pupils also regularly take part in other whole-school science investigations such as ‘Can the person with the largest hands grab the most sweets?’
Since its national launch in 2010, over 4,000 schools across the UK have achieved a prestigious Primary Science Quality Mark. The programme is led by the University of Hertfordshire, School of Education, in collaboration with the Primary Science Teaching Trust.
Associate Professor Jane Turner, PSQM National Director said: “There was never a more important time for primary children to have a high-quality science education. The coronavirus pandemic has made everyone aware of the impact of science on our daily lives. Primary schools have an important role to ensure that children understand how science works and keeps us healthy and safe. Schools that have achieved a Primary Science Quality Mark have demonstrated a significant commitment to science teaching and learning, even at this challenging time for schools. The profile and quality of science in each awarded school is very high. Children are engaging with great science both in and outside the classroom, developing positive attitudes towards science as well as secure scientific understanding and skills. Science subject leaders, their colleagues, head teachers, children, parents and governors should be very proud.”
To find out more about becoming a pupil at QE, about our offer at Chapter House and to book a visit to our beautiful campus visit qe.org.