Malvin’s Close Primary Academy in Blyth has teamed up with Nestle, Greggs, Nissan, Barclays and the Newcastle United Foundation to discover how the maths, science and technology taught in the classroom is put into practice in the world of work. During a week of activities – coordinated by teacher Hannah Tincombe and working with Jo Lyons from Schoolbiz – the school hosted visits by chocolate makers from Nestle, bankers from Barclays and fitness gurus from the Foundation.
“Even the youngest children in the school were inspired,” said Mrs Tincombe. “They decorated plant pots and stones and, incredibly, made a profit of almost £1000 – thanks to the generosity of their parents.”
Head teacher Alison Nicholson, who joined the school at the start of the year, has praised staff and pupils after the school received a hat-trick of prestigious awards – an Enthuse Award to develop STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), the Artsmark Gold and the Primary Science Quality Mark Gold.
“They’re a recognition of the great teaching and learning taking place in the classroom and it’s something teachers and parents are very proud of,” she said and predicted: “We are growing the next generation of scientific thinkers, inventors and engineers.”
As well as visits by employers to Malvin’s Close, the school’s STEM programme will see trips by pupils to factories and work places. “I can’t wait to see the pupils’ faces when they get to see the chocolate bars coming off the production line at Nestle, or the cakes at the Greggs factory or when they visit the Aviation Academy at Newcastle Airport. For our girls, especially, it will really open their eyes to see women engineers working on cars at Nissan,” said teacher Lauren Bain, who coordinated the Gold Primary Science Quality Mark for the school.
“Even though they are really young it will help plant a seed which one day could lead to a career,” she added.
Mrs Nicholson has returned to Blyth after eight years as a head teacher in North Tyneside and is delighted to be back working with the children and families of Blyth within the Blyth Quays Trust. “I’ve had a lovely welcome here from staff, pupils and parents and the plan is to go from strength to strength to give every single one of my pupils the best opportunities to succeed that we possibly can,” she said.