University of Hertfordshire announces collaboration to boost the quality of science in primary schools

The University of Hertfordshire has announced the launch of a pioneering collaboration with the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT) to support the delivery and development of the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM). Professor Ian Campbell, Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University and Professor Dudley Shallcross, CEO of PSTT, formally confirmed the agreement at the 2018 PSQM Conference, held on 13 – 14 September.

The PSQM, instigated and developed by the University, is already a highly successful, unique award programme which raises the profile and quality of science in primary schools across the UK and beyond. It provides teachers with a framework and professional support for developing science leadership, teaching and learning in their schools.

Jane Turner, Associate Professor and PSQM Director, School of Education at the University of Hertfordshire, said: “The increased focus on English and maths in primary schools have had a detrimental effect on the quality and amount of science teaching and learning in primary schools. As a result, primary teachers have limited access to science Continued Professional Development opportunities.

“Feedback from teachers who have completed the programme, reveal that the PSQM framework has greatly helped them with their forward planning and developing established practices. Our collaboration with the PSTT will enable us to reach more primary schools to further raise the profile of science and provide local support.”

Currently 15% of primary schools in England have a PSQM. According to a report by Wellcome Trust Primary Science Campaign, 90% of teachers in schools with PSQM 4 or currently applying for it, received support compared with 68% of teachers in schools who do not hold the award. The report also found that schools that hold the mark or are applying for it, have more science teaching hours as part of their curriculum.

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