Science teaching partnership has winning formula

An Edinburgh primary school has won a national award in collaboration with the University to encourage pupils to engage with science, technology, engineering and maths.

Castleview Primary School in Edinburgh has been named overall winner of the 2019 Rolls Royce Science Prize.

The annual award, which was presented at the Science Museum in London, recognises excellence in science teaching across primary and secondary school.

The winning project – People like me can do STEM – was praised for its success in widening access to science and for nurturing pupils’ belief that STEM is relevant to them.  

Key partner

A key partner was the University’s MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine. The Centre’s Community Science Engagement Manager Cathy Southworth worked closely with the school to develop the project.

Staff and students from Edinburgh BioQuarter – and the wider University – were also involved. They delivered a range of engagement activities, including a community science festival and a holiday science club.

Pupils helped shape elements of the winning collaboration, including the creation of a pupil-led science newspaper, science clubs and a parent-children STEM challenge.

Judges praised the school for its efforts to change preconceptions about who can be a scientist.

We are extremely proud to have been partners with Castleview. We are doing all we can to ensure that young people in our neighbourhood have access to a world class STEM education.

Cathy SouthworthCommunity Science Engagement Manager, Edinburgh BioQuarter

Positive view

They noted that the project had resulted in a 20 per cent increase in students enjoying STEM and wanting to do STEM related roles, and a 100 per cent rise in parents viewing science positively.

The school, situated in Craigmillar, was also presented with The Eden Award – selected by Sir Tim Smit, co-founder of the Eden Project – which recognises the most environmentally focused project.

The Award acknowledged the school’s development of sustainable communities and recognised its partnership with Edinburgh BioQuarter and the University of Edinburgh.

Founded in 2004, Rolls Royce Science Prize seeks to promote sustainable teaching ideas that address specific needs in schools and contribute to teachers’ continuing professional development.

Young people deserve the same opportunities to develop science capital as others and our innovative community approach is both pioneering and successful in achieving this.

Kate CarterClass teacher at Castleview Primary School and project lead

Related links

MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine

Castleview Primary School

Rolls-Royce Science Prize