Less than a year into a project aimed at helping young scientists move from primary to secondary schools and it has already been hailed a success. A three year pilot scheme spearheaded by the Sacred Heart Catholic High School, in Newcastle’s West End, is under way, and pupils are benefiting from the charity-funded project which sees secondary school teachers working with primary school colleagues.
Six primaries in the Bishop Bewick Catholic Education Trust are involved in the Shine initiative which helps ensure the young pupils have all the skills needed to continue their studies of biology, chemistry and physics at secondary level.
The £90,000 funding package was announced in March 2022 by Shine, an education charity, and the money is helping support the transition between schools, with a particular focus on helping disadvantaged pupils. The initiative was developed by regional network Schools North East.
“The science project involves secondary teachers collaborating with primary teachers to develop a fully resourced Key Stage 2 science curriculum,” said Alex Robertson, science teacher at Sacred Heart.
The money comes from Shine’s Bridging the Gap Fund and a new Science Hub has been created specially for primary school teachers to develop their knowledge of sciences.
The first stage of the initiative created teaching resources for years three to five, and Mr Robertson said some teachers have been using the material ahead of its official roll-out this month because it was so useful.
“I would like to see more confidence in pupils when they start secondary school and I would like them to feel more confident about talking about science,” he said.
Another aim of the scheme is to help parents feel more involved by giving them marking schemes so they can see examples of what it should look like.
Feedback from all six participating primary schools; Sacred Heart Primary, English Martyrs, Our Lady & St Anne’s, St Bede’s, St Cuthbert’s in Walbottle, and St Cuthberts, Kenton has been positive with pupils and teachers already gaining from the project.
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