What is PSQM?

Primary Science Quality Mark is not like other quality marks: it is a year-long CPD programme that helps schools to achieve a quality mark, whether science within the school has been a low profile for a while or the school wants to improve the provision further. It focuses on developing effective, confident science leadership for whole school impact on science teaching and learning.


  • Enables science subject leaders to develop and articulate a clear intent and aspirational vision for science. The process of achieving a PSQM  raises the profile and quality of science across the whole school.
  • Supports subject leaders to effectively implement a curriculum for science that is informed by research evidence and best practice data. Working with an expert hub leader subject leaders evaluate current provision for science and put in place a development cycle that leads to sustained progress in science across the school.
  • Ensures strong and positive impact: Children make good progress, building and consolidating their knowledge and skills, developing positive attitudes about science and its value to their lives and globally. Teachers and children enjoy their science lessons.

An effective and well-structured approach/process to rigorously evaluate and improve subject leadership and provision. The support throughout the process via the portal, training sessions and the hub leader is excellent.

Thank you. Although hard work, PSQM has clarified my role as a science leader and has furthered the profile of science within our school. It has allowed everyone to be involved and provided a vehicle for school-wide improvement.

Although the process is rigorous, it proved invaluable at getting the school to where we needed to be in relation to science. It has given us a great platform to now embed and develop as we look to the future.

Round 17 subject leaders

What are the Primary Science Quality Marks?

There are three different Primary Science Quality Marks to ensure that all schools can achieve the accreditation. Primary Science Quality Marks are intended to be school appropriate, and provide a framework for improvement and development in leadership and provision, whatever the starting point.

For each of the three Primary Science Quality Marks there are thirteen criteria that schools must meet.  Please be aware that schools have to meet the criteria by the end of the PSQM year and not beforehand. PSQM is a CPD programme. Subject leaders attend training throughout the year and received on-line mentoring, to support them to meet the criteria in their schools.

The criteria for each Primary Science Quality Mark cover the following areas:

  • Science Leadership - vision and value, development goals, monitoring and professional development for subject leadership;
  • Science Teaching - CPD, teaching strategies, resources;
  • Science Learning - science enquiry, assessment, science capital;
  • Wider Opportunities –  linking science with other subjects and whole school initiatives, curriculum enrichment.
  • Wider opportunities –  linking science with other subjects and whole school initiatives, curriculum enrichment.
  • Wider Opportunities for Science - cross-curricular links, links to community and outside organisations.

For PSQM Outreach schools must also meet criteria demonstrating their impact on science in other schools, communities and organisations.

The criteria are differentiated for each Primary Science Quality Mark to ensure that there is appropriate challenge and development for all schools, whatever their starting point. Over 60% of schools begin with PSQM, but for some schools, where effective leadership is already embedded, the other quality marks provide the right development goals.

For schools which demonstrate how effective science leadership is beginning to have an impact on science teaching and learning across the school.

For schools which demonstrate how established science leadership is having a sustained impact on science teaching and learning across the school.

For schools which meet the PSQM Gilt criteria and also demonstrate impact of science leadership, teaching and learning on other schools.

This PSQM special edition of the ASE Primary Science magazine is packed with subject leaders' stories about their PSQM experiences. Read it here to find out what happened in their schools.

"PSQM is the reason so many of us learnt how to be a science leader and PSQM signposted us to the  amazing community of support that exists in primary science... Best CPD I ever did... I have alot to say thank you for. X"
Claire Seeley (@seeley_claire) January 6, 2018

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