An NPCAT primary school has been given high praise after being awarded a quality mark for the standard of science teaching and learning.

St Augustine’s pupils benefit from the highest standards of teaching and learning in science

St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School in Coulby Newham received the Primary Science Quality Mark Gilt award after a “brilliant” application that was brimming with passion and pride.

The awards are designed to promote all aspects of science education by providing expert mentoring and developing an action plan to improve the way science is strategically planned and taught across the whole school.

The report applauds the work of science lead Charlie Dunning, saying: “A brilliant submission and a clear Gilt school, showing depth and embedded good practice in science.

“It was a pleasure to read, and your passion and determination shone through. It is clear from your portfolio and log that your confidence and effectiveness as a leader has been supported through this journey, leading to more engagement and enthusiasm in your school staff.

“This in turn has led to deeper engagement and refinement in the quality planning, delivery and evaluation of science lessons and opportunities across this school, leading to an increase in quality of learning and enrichment for the children and families.

“You should be very proud of all you have achieved. It is clear you are passionate and proud of what you have achieved, and you should be.

“Seeing the evidence in your portfolio full of children being hands-on, full of smiles, and the evident pupil and staff voice to support this, shows how your passion clearly spreads through the school.”

Executive headteacher Martin Macaulay – who is responsible for primary science across NPCAT – said he was delighted with the award and the glowing praise given.

Executive headteacher, Martin Macauley

“The report quite rightly recognises the outstanding leadership of Mrs Dunning and the excellent science provision throughout the school,” he said.

“As a result of Mrs Dunning’s passionate leadership, supported by a great staff team, our children enjoy high-quality Science experiences and I hope this inspires them to pursue a STEM-based career in the future.”

Mrs Dunning added: “This is a fantastic achievement and celebrates the fantastic science provision across the school.”

St Augustine’s has “a clear vision for science that is well established and consistently implemented through principles for teaching and learning which are regularly reviewed by the whole school community”.

Science provision is reviewed annually, with all stakeholders working together to identify areas for improvement, such as using science to help rebuild children’s resilience that was affected by the pandemic.

“Early evidence is already showing an increase in children’s ability to find things difficult, with children commenting that it is ok to not know, showing increased resilience already and the impact of the reviewed principles.

“The profile of science has been continually high as a result of all stakeholders contributing and being made aware of the principles, including being added to monitoring to ensure consistency of use.

“New staff have had individual planned time with the senior leadership to ensure they understand the vision and principles, ensuring a consistent approach across the school.”

 Time is regularly allocated for senior leadership and staff development and for staff to work with other schools within and beyond NPCAT.

“The value now placed on science can be seen by increased enquiry focus in planning, and additional time being given for new teachers,” the report says.

“Science is rigorously monitored through strategies, including book scans, lesson observation and pupil, parent and governor voice, and a wide range of evidence is gathered, scrutinised and evaluated.

“It is clear from the portfolio that children’s innate scientific curiosity is being well supported, with evidence from a wide range of year groups, key stages, and even across the trust.”