BALLYMACRICKETT – STEM PRIMARY SCHOOL OF THE YEAR
Chris Little MLA presents Grainne McIlvar, teacher at Ballymacrickett Primary School with the ENTHUSE Award for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Primary School of the Year.
The presentation took place at Parliament Buildings, Stormont on Wednesday 29th March, with Yvonne Baker, Chief Executive of STEM Learning, Sharon O’Connor, Education Authority (EA) Chairperson, Dr Hilary Levers, Head of Education and Learning at the Wellcome Trust, Dr Gill Humes, EA Lead Officer for Project Enthuse, and John Collings, EA Director of Education.
Over the past two years, Ballymacrickett Primary School has been making a special effort throughout all year groups, to promote practical and enquiry-based science lessons which have been motivating and engaging for the pupils. The school has enjoyed a close partnership with Ballinderry Primary School for many years, and is currently working with its partner school under the Shared Education Programme to raise the profile of science.
Project Enthuse has enabled Mrs McIlvar to enhance her own skillset and continued professional development (CPD). This, in turn has encouraged her colleagues in school-based CPD, promoting the skills and competencies necessary to ensure effective learning in this curricular area.
The school has also developed a strong link with local pharmaceutical company Randox Laboratories. Randox has hosted school visits enabling the children to see science in action. Furthermore, the company is currently sponsoring a STEM project which involves building and programming ‘Microbots’, and the children are looking forward to taking part in a Northern Ireland competition on the programming of these devices.
As a result of the teachers’ progressive and reflective practice, pupils’ scientific literacy has improved, as has their attitude to and engagement in science. The children are truly living out their school motto: “Happy Together, Learning Forever”.