Raise the profile of science across your whole school!
You’ve done a great job raising the profile of science in your classroom using Explorify, now let’s raise the profile of science
across the whole school!
By now you’ve hopefully found that Explorify has got your children talking and thinking in a scientific way, making observations, asking questions and wanting to know more. What’s not to like and what an amazing way to raise the profile of science in your classroom! We hope you’ve also found it an effective resource for converting your colleagues to the joy of teaching science.
So what next? What can school leaders and science subject leaders do to build on the enthusiasm created by Explorify and ensure that it leads to embedded and sustainable changes to the profile and quality of science across the whole school? For 600 schools a year, working towards achieving a Primary Science Quality Mark is an effective and enjoyable way to improve their science.
“PSQM is a learning journey which helps to build the confidence of staff and thus results in an improvement in the way in which science is strategically planned and delivered. As a result, it creates a real buzz around the school for the subject.” (Guernsey, subject leader)
So, how does it work?
PSQM provides a developmental evaluative framework that encourages science leaders (SLs) to look at all aspects of science teaching and learning, with a focus on strengthening leadership. SLs look at a range of evidence, and most importantly they talk to colleagues and children about how they would like science to be in their school. "PSQM has a clever way of making you see where things need improving and how you might do this, without anyone explicitly telling you." (Devon, subject leader)
They use this understanding to establish a set of principles of good science and a clear whole school vision for science.
The Quality Marks
There are three Quality Marks (Award, Gilt and Outreach), ensuring that there is an incentive for all schools, no matter what the starting point. "Understanding that the award focuses on development, and not levels of achievement, was a crucial realisation." (Guernsey, subject leader)
The whole-school vision
But, subject leaders don’t do it alone. Developing a whole school vision means that every member of staff and SLT, including governors, is committed to improving science and sharing good practice. And subject leaders also become part of a vibrant community of practice, the PSQM hub which meets regularly throughout the year to share experiences and take part in training to ensure that the PSQM is achieved! Plus, PSQM opens doors to the wider science education community and the many fantastic opportunities and resources that are available. "The clear vision and focus of the principles have brought confidence, cohesion and clarity to our understanding of teaching and learning science throughout the school." (Cambridgeshire, subject leader)
The process of achieving PSQM makes a difference – ensuring that the buzz of an Explorify lesson becomes a feature of science teaching and learning across the school. If you would like to read more about teachers’ PSQM experiences you can download a free special edition of the ASE Primary Science journal.
PSQM is supported by a collaboration of the University of Hertfordshire and the Primary Science Teaching Trust.