Evaluation of Primary Science Quality Mark
Trial Information Sheet for Participant Families (Years 3 and 4)
The school your child attends has agreed to take part in a research project assessing the effects of a programme designed to improve children’s outcomes in science. Below is a description of the trial, and what is involved for you and your child. Please read the information carefully and keep this sheet for future reference. If you decide that you do NOT want your child to be involved in the research, please withdraw your child from the project using this online form. If you are happy for your child to be involved, you do not have to do anything. You are free to withdraw your child from this project at any time.
Who is undertaking the trial?
The trial is funded by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) and the Wellcome Trust. The Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) programme will be carried out by The University of Hertfordshire (the Delivery Team) and will be independently evaluated by RAND Europe (the Evaluation Team).
What is the purpose of the trial?
The purpose of the trial is to measure the effectiveness of the Primary Science Quality Mark, an accreditation programme which enables primary schools to improve science education through effective science leadership and supported school self-evaluation. The science subject leader and one Y5 teacher attend training to develop leadership in science and raise the profile and quality of science teaching and learning. The PSQM programme takes place over the duration of one year. At the end of the year schools submit evidence which is assessed against the PSQM criteria. If these have been met a Primary Science Quality Mark is awarded. Research suggests that PSQM can benefit schools in multiple ways, such as contributing to raising the profile of science in primary schools and providing schools with a framework and professional support for developing science leadership, teaching, and learning.
The trial is being conducted across 140 schools in England as a Randomised Controlled Trial. This means half of the participating schools in each trial area will be randomly allocated to take part in the PSQM programme. These are the Intervention Schools. The other half will not take part in PSQM. These are the Control Schools. The random allocation of schools is essential to the evaluation as a rigorous way to evaluate the effects of the programme. Random allocation will take place in June and schools will find out whether they are in the intervention or control group in July. However, the Evaluation Team will collect data on the current Year 3 and Year 4 pupils from ALL schools in the trial, regardless of whether they are Intervention or Control Schools, including KS1 results in English and Maths, Year 5 science test results, as well as related background data such as free school meals eligibility. By participating in the trial, schools and individual participants contribute to furthering knowledge on strategies for whole-school improvement in science teaching and learning.