PSQM Publications and Research
The trial of PSQM was funded by the EEF and Wellcome as part of the joint Improving Science Education funding round. Evidence suggests that high-quality science education depends on effective subject and school leadership, including allocating sufficient time to teach science. However, research shows this does not always happen, particularly in primary schools.
Existing qualitative research suggests that PSQM can benefit schools in multiple ways. However, to date, there is no experimental evidence on whether accreditation leads to improvements in pupil outcomes in science.
This project and its evaluation were affected by the 2020 and 2021 partial school closures caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The trial was extended but ultimately the collection of pupil outcome data was not possible. However, the implementation and process evaluation was completed.
Headteachers and science subject leads attributed several changes which were in line with PSQM’s Theory of Change. For example, headteachers and science subject leads reported that taking part in PSQM had raised the profile of science in their schools, with more time being dedicated to science. They also reported that those in science leadership in their school had become more confident and credible.
The programme was well received by science subject leads. School staff said that factors which enabled them to implement PSQM effectively included support from the Senior Leadership Team in the school, support from the Hub Leader, and the positive attitude of staff involved in the programme. Staff time and the workload of the programme were considered the biggest barriers to implementation.
The Ofsted Research Review for Science published in February 2022 has been welcomed by the sector and has stimulated much discussion, debate and collaboration. This guidance document has been brought together by the Primary Science Quality Mark, The University of Manchester’s SEERIH and the Association for Science Education and is designed for teachers, senior leaders and professionals with an interest in how the review relates to primary science practice in particular. The guidance:
- clarifies points and issues raised in the review
- considers how these impact on primary science expertise and leadership
- includes myths and misinterpretation of the issues to be challenged
- prompts next steps for primary science leaders and teacher
- To view a recording of the launch event go to: https://vimeo.com/693010906/6c0375068a
This report is based on a small-scale study into professional development leaders who work with and for The Primary Science Quality Mark and The Ogden Trust. The aim of the study is to better understand the ways in which these professional development leaders, and others who operate in similar roles for other organisations, can be supported.
The report, commissioned by The Trust and produced by Sheffield Institute of Education (Sheffield Hallam University), will contribute to the collective understanding of effective practice in supporting practitioners operating in the role of professional development leaders.
Researchers at the University of Hertfordshire School of Education have prepared a set of videos to illustrate what the principles of good science learning, teaching and leading in primary schools might mean for:
- science leaders (teachers leading science in their primary school)
- senior leadership team
These findings have arisen from our research project investigating what is understood by good science learning, teaching and leadership in primary school, for those involved in the Primary Science Quality Mark Programme (PSQM). The researchers are hoping that they will provoke conversations around the nature of primary science within schools and that they might prompt development of practice.
For more information about the project and a Good Science poster to download visit go.herts.ac.uk/primaryscienceresearch
Developing teachers as leaders of science in primary schools Pages 64-71
Julia Mackintosh, Elizabeth White and Claire Dickerson
Supporting ongoing teacher development through Primary Science Quality Mark
Jane Turner and Stuart Naylor
What can we learn about current practice in primary science teaching and learning in England from the Primary Science Quality Mark award programme?
Jane Turner with Steve Marshall, Adam Farley and Lydia Harriss
PSQM is a research-active programme based in the University of Hertfordshire.
One of the key objectives for PSQM is to:
- To assemble and make accessible to the wider science education community a rich data base of current practice in primary science.
PSQM carries out its own research into primary science practice and also collaborates with researchers in other HEIs.