A County Durham special school has earned a prestigious national science accolade.

Evergreen Primary School at Bishop Auckland has been given a gold award in the Primary Science Quality Awards (PSQA), the only national scheme to develop and celebrate the quality of science teaching and learning in primary schools.

The award comes on the back of Evergreen winning a PSQA silver award in 2012 and its assistant head Faye James being named science teacher of the year in 2013.

A report on the school’s submission for the awards states: “A fabulous gold submission.

“The science leader has worked with passion and enthusiasm and the staff have worked as a team with the wider community to achieve this gold award.

“It has been inspirational to read through the documents and the portfolio. Excellent work!”

It concludes: “I certainly hope you continue to lead and inspire, and share your ideas more widely.

“Huge congratulations on a great gold award.”

Mrs James, who is the science leader, travelled to London with head of school Judith Benson to collect the award at a ceremony hosted by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

She said: “We were the first special school to achieve the Primary Science Quality Mark (PSQM) when we won the silver and are one of very few – if any – to achieve gold level PSQM. 

“We are very proud of these achievements as a school.”

Schools achieve a PSQM award through a year-long process of audit, followed by action and reflection.


Jane Turner, PSQM national director, said: “Gaining a Primary Science Quality Award is a significant achievement for a school.

“The profile and quality of science teaching and learning in each awarded school is very high.

“Children are engaging with great science both in and outside the classroom, developing positive attitudes towards science as well as secure science understanding and skills.

“Science subject leaders, their colleagues, head teachers, children, parents and governors should be very proud.”