Ruth Mitchell

Bright future for schools and Science City

Schools across Newcastle have linked up with Newcastle Science City to help raise attainment, increase involvement and improve opportunities for the future as part of ambitious science education plans.

Eleven secondary schools across the city have been brought together in a Science Excellence and Innovation Partnership. The aim of the scheme is to develop a more creative approach to the science curriculum. There will also be a specially designed programme of professional development for staff and increased links with science based businesses.

The Strategy wants to increase the number of young people who choose science or science related courses in the Further and Higher Education sectors. There will also be the additional benefits of improving scientific literacy in the wider population and it is believed to be one of the largest mainstream programmes in Europe for education linked to economic development.

Within the Newcastle SEIP there are two ‘hub’ schools for the new activity, Sacred Heart High School and St Cuthbert’s Catholic High School. Sacred Heart Headteacher Pat Wager said: “The first SEIP is an exciting prospect for Newcastle Science City and for education across the city. It allows for curriculum development in the classroom, but there are other important aspects to the education strategy that are also included.

“As a region, educational attainment has been below the national average in the North East over recent years and this strategy has been created to not only redress that discrepancy but to do so in a new and exciting way that will have long-term benefits for the science education of a whole group of schools.”

Director of Newcastle Science City, Sarah Stewart, said: “There is such a wide variety of jobs and careers available in scientific fields and we must nurture students’ interests and ambitions early stage of their education. The SEIP is the first step towards creating this platform within the schools themselves where a real difference can develop at grass roots level.”

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