North Tyneside Learning Trust supports its primary schools to take part in the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) programme. PSQM is a yearlong CPD process which helps schools to achieve a quality mark for science, focusing on developing effective, confident science leadership for whole-school impact on science teaching and learning. Schools receive PSQM, PSQM GILT or PSQM OUTREACH awards. The quality mark is valid for three years and can be achieved by all types of schools with primary-aged children, including first, primary, middle and special schools.
Here are 10 things that some of our science subject leaders have taken from the PSQM process:
- The process keeps the profile of science high in the school and brings interest from the whole school community.
- Subject leaders now feel more confident for future ‘Deep Dive’ or Ofsted inspections and have a clear vision of where they want to take science next
- The overview of science across the whole school has been strengthened, giving subject leaders a clear idea of what is being taught in every year group
- Impact and status as a middle leader is now valued more highly by the school leadership team
- The process gave subject leaders a structure to audit science provision, identify key needs, implement action plans and reflect on impact
- Even with unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, the profile of science was raised in the schools and included high quality home learning science activities. Parental engagement has increased and families have been able to work together on open-ended science projects and investigations
- Creating a whole school vision with principles for science enabled everyone to see the key ideas that make science so valuable to the primary curriculum.
- The process encourages subject leaders to plan for CPD and monitoring, resulting in a more effective monitoring cycle and strategic provision of CPD for staff
- Children were given lots more opportunities to work like scientists through a wide range of ‘working scientifically’ opportunities. Both teachers and children are more confident with the five key ‘working scientifically’ enquiry types.
- New and experienced staff alike have benefited from the focus on science professional development and have commented on how their confidence in planning and delivering science has increased. Science CPD sessions have enabled teachers to become more adventurous in science, allowing children more opportunities to explore scientific concepts independently.
- Posted on 17th March 2022