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Inspiring the next generation of scientists thanks to £15,000 grant

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A school governor hopes to inspire the next generation of scientists after being granted £15,000 to help ignite their passion for science.

Peter Scutt, a governor at Holy Rood Catholic Primary School won the huge sum of money as part of the annual Let Teachers SHINE competition which aims to help raise the science attainment levels in disadvantaged children.

Peter was one of just ten finalists who demonstrated their unique idea to raise achievement in science and will soon be hoping to embark on the project in not just Holy Rood Primary School but also a number of partner schools in the town.

“I have a passion for making science engaging and accessible so that all children feel they have the confidence and skills to become scientists of the future,” he said.

“I believe that a child’s interest in science is shaped before they leave primary school and this project intends to ensure that primary-aged children are exposed to engaging and inspiring science lessons that develop their enthusiasm for the science in the world around them.

“I want teachers to have the confidence to deliver science lessons because KS2 in particular, a lot of the curriculum has changed and become more challenging and a lot of primary schools do not have specialism so it can be daunting for them.

“Science is one of those lessons where you can get completely lost as a student and it can be a big hole to get out of.

“The project is around engaging memorable science because that is key. It has to have that awe and wonder and it has to have that thing you can think about. Lessons can be worksheet after worksheet because a lot of teachers do not have the knowledge and confidence to work into the subject but that’s what we hope to change.”

The competition is run by the education charity, SHINE (Support and Help in Education) and is supported by Capita SIMS and the TES.

The project will be run as a year-long pilot and it is hoped that if successful, there may be an opportunity to bid for additional funding.

After previously working at Isambard, where he was awarded £20,000 to develop a teaching and learning resource website for science students, Peter has now taken up the role of STEM development ambassador at John Mason School in Abingdon.

He hopes to bring the same engaging insight to this project in primary schools as he has two young children of his own.

He added: “When pupils get to Year 7, a lot of them don’t really know what science is about and so many of them might be on the back foot when they come to learn about it. They might come into science and be daunted by all the big words and everything else but I believe a child’s interest and enthusiasm starts in primary school.

“By having a secondary science lead practitioner and governor being proactive in supporting the delivery of a high-quality science curriculum, children can have a memorable and engaging experience of science no matter their ability and/or background.

“Lessons will become much more practical and the emphasis will be on the language that the children use, therefore having a greater impact on their progress due to a deepened understanding of vocabulary and content of the curriculum.”

Culled from Swindon Advertiser.

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