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St George's achieves Jersey's first Primary Science Quality Mark

28/11/19

St George's achieves Jersey's first Primary Science Quality Mark Image

Following a year-long review process, St. George’s has become the first school in Jersey to be awarded the ‘Primary Science Quality Mark’ (PSQM). This prestigious mark is the only national award scheme to celebrate the quality of science teaching and learning in primary schools and can only be achieved when a school demonstrates commitment and expertise in science teaching and leadership.

In order to achieve the PSQM, Head of Science Mrs Lathwell was required to evidence that the science curriculum and teaching approach at St. George’s fulfils several strict criteria to a high standard. This included providing ‘a clear vision for the teaching and learning of science’, ‘engagement with professional development to improve science teaching and learning’ and ensuring that pupils ‘share an understanding of the process of science enquiry’.

The panel of reviewers from the University of Hertfordshire, who provide accreditation of each award, considered the level of achievement so high at St. George’s that the school was awarded the ‘Gilt’ standard. This is only given to schools that demonstrate science leadership having a sustained impact on science teaching and learning across the school. 

By being awarded the PSQM, St. George’s joins 300 infant, junior, primary, middle and special schools across the UK who can now work together in a science development network to share good practice and benefit from professional development opportunities with a variety of experts.

Head of St. George’s, Mr Timothy, has this to say:

‘We’re delighted to have achieved the first PSQM in the island, and to have been awarded the ‘Gilt’ standard is particularly special. This quality mark follows on from Mrs Lathwell’s recent UN Climate Change Teacher accreditation, which was also a first for the island. Mrs Lathwell’s continued commitment to her professional development, and the support she has received from across the teaching team, benefits our pupils hugely. This mark highlights the whole school’s commitment to STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) at a time when there is concern that these subjects are not achieving enough take-up at senior level, especially amongst girls. By ensuring that our science curriculum is engaging and successful for everyone, we find that our pupils are much more likely to continue to pursue them as they progress, which is all part of our holistic approach to preparing our children for life.’  

Mrs Lathwell, Head of Science at St. George’s, remarks:

‘I’m really pleased we have achieved the PSQM and have found the process to be both demanding and rewarding in equal measure. It has helped us to shape and refine both what and how we teach science, and seeing how engaged and excited the pupils are to begin each lesson is extremely encouraging. It’s also been useful to review science across the school, making it relevant to many subjects and, ultimately, to life, which is the best way to spark enthusiasm for the subject both now and in future learning.’

Jane Turner, PSQM National Director, said:

‘Gaining a Primary Science Quality Mark is a significant achievement for a school.  The profile and quality of science teaching and learning 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.”