Sheffield primary school scoops national mark of excellence for science teaching

A Sheffield primary school has been recognised for the quality of its science education programme by a national scheme.

Thursday, 9th July 2020, 6:00 am

Emmanuel Junior Academy, in Waterthorpe, is one of only 160 schools across the country to have recently received the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM).

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Recent changes made by new leadership at school in the last 18 months have made a significant impact upon standards across the curriculum, especially in the science curriculum which has been completely redesigned.

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Emmanuel Junior Academy has been given the Primary Science Quality Mark

Science Leader, Jo Thorpe, has been vital in driving the subject to the forefront and said everyone is delighted with the award.

“I’m really proud, as science leader, of how much the children have developed their science attitudes and capital,” she said. They now see science as being much more relevant to their own lives; a subject that is ‘for them’.

“We have worked really hard to establish regular, fun and practical science lessons with a focus on children developing their own inquisitiveness to ask and answer questions about the world around them. What a fantastic privilege to have our school recognised for science.”

The PSQM scheme enables schools to work together to share good practice and is supported by professional development led by local experts.

A socially distanced science lesson for the students who have to attend school

This year, children at Emmanuel Juniors have taken part in trips and have had lessons with a number of scientific visitors, including companies such as Warburtons.

Home learning projects set throughout the year have also meant that parents and families were involved with their children’s science learning, with some inventive contributions made regarding the solar system and volcanoes.

Head of School, Jenny Birks, added: “We’ve just looked at making the lessons fun and practical and have really tried to push the girls by getting as many female scientists in as we can to promote gender equality.

“Also, we’ve ploughed a lot of professional development into the teachers and the leadership so that teacher knowledge is as strong as it can be. It’s taken a lot of work to get the award but it’s just such a strong recognition shows the children are benefitting from it.

Emmanuel Junior Academy has spent the last 18 months completely redeveloping its science curriculum

“We’re all just so delighted that school’s achievement in science has now been recognised.”

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