Awards & Quality Marks
Click on the title to find out more about the Awards and Quality Marks that we have achieved as a school
Primary Science Quality Mark (PQSM)
Primary Science Quality Mark is a school improvement programme for primary science, which provides professional development for around 600 new and experienced subject leaders each year. PSQM enables confident, knowledgeable, reflective leadership
which results in an improvement in the way in which science is strategically planned and taught across the whole school.
- Enables science subject leaders to develop and articulate a clear intent and aspirational vision for science. The process of achieving a PSQM raises the profile and quality of science across the whole school.
- Supports subject leaders to effectively implement a curriculum for science that is informed by research evidence and best practice data. Working with an expert hub leader subject leaders evaluate current provision for science and put in place a development cycle that leads to sustained progress in science across the school.
- Ensures strong and positive impact: Children make good progress, building and consolidating their knowledge and skills, developing positive attitudes about science and its value to their lives and globally. Teachers and children enjoy their science lessons.
What are the Primary Science Quality Marks?
There are three different Primary Science Quality Marks to ensure that all schools can achieve the accreditation. Primary Science Quality Marks are intended to be school appropriate, and provide a framework for improvement and development in leadership and provision, whatever the starting point.
The PSQM self-evaluation and development framework consists of 4 aims (5 for PSQM Outreach), identifying goals for:
- science subject leadership
- science teaching
- science learning
- wider opportunities
To achieve a Primary Science Quality Mark, schools submit evidence of the impact of a range of activities required to meet one of three sets of PSQM criteria that define the aims:
The criteria are differentiated for each Primary Science Quality Mark to ensure that there is appropriate challenge and development for all schools, whatever their starting point. Over 60% of schools begin with PSQM, but for some schools, where effective leadership is already embedded, the other quality marks provide the right development goals.
What is the PSQM Process?
Schools achieve a Primary Science Quality Mark following a rigorous process of self–evaluation.
Supported by compulsory CPD and expert mentoring the subject leader works with colleagues across the school to:
- audit existing provision in science and agree appropriate quality mark to work towards
- create and implement an action plan to develop all aspects of science teaching and learning
- complete a reflective submission with key pieces of evidence to demonstrate the impact of science leadership in the school
- the final submission is made online, via a bespoke PSQM Virtual Learning Environment
Dyslexic Friendly Schools Award (British Dyslexia Association) BDA Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark
The BDA Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark Award for Primary and Secondary schools. This award has been developed by educationalists and specialists within the field of SEND, alongside parents and grandparents of dyslexic children.
This is a whole school award of nationally recognised dyslexia friendly good practice, focusing on:
- Leadership and management
- Quality of learning
- The learning environment
The award ensures that all in the school have a good knowledge of the needs of the dyslexic individual and a range of school wide strategies to support those needs.
After 3 years of extensive work across the school, we are proud to announce that we have were award the Dyslexic Friendly Schools Award in December 2021. There are only approximately 25 Main Stream Primary Schools in the whole of the UK and Ireland that hold this accreditation
Comments from the CEO of the British Dyslexia Association :
All members of the team involved in the Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark should be congratulated on their hard work in developing and achieving a high standard of dyslexia provision within the school. The commitment that has been given to this initiative has been clearly demonstrated within the evidence supplied and during the verification visit itself.
The Headteacher shared her process of developing a 21st Century curriculum which was suitable for all children which included 17 sustainable rules which resonate with supporting children with Special Educational Needs (SEND). The school motto which came out of this developmental work is “think it, believe it, live it”. Alison Anderson explained this motto is for all children and as a school they have spent time developing a curriculum which makes a difference to all children with SEND. The curriculum includes skills-based work which focusses on values and attitudes.
The school began a specific focus on dyslexia in 2018. They worked with the Driver Youth Trust to gain an understanding of dyslexia and the challenges pupils with dyslexia face. This work included different teaching styles and an understanding of the processes involved in reading. Working memory was included giving teacher the understanding of how pupils can have memory overload in lessons.
The school have given a lot of thought about how to include parents. The processes in place hold the child’s needs centrally and both children and parents have a voice throughout any identification and support given.
Identification of needs was a very strong area for the school. They demonstrated a thorough process which included both collection of qualitative and quantitative information to gain an understanding of need. This exercise was not stand alone as the school also shared some effective intervention work which showed their understanding of the impact of both a learning need and social and emotional needs.
The school has invested in providing the staff with high quality CPD and investing in having dyslexia specialist teachers in the school. They currently have 2 staff who are qualified with to design and teach programmes which are effective for pupils with dyslexia and specific learning difficulties. The school is continuing this investment by enabling the staff to progress to Level 7 and will ultimately mean as a school they will be able to assess pupils for dyslexia in house.
The Headteacher shared they would like in the future to have a qualified dyscalculia specialist teacher. They are currently developing staff awareness of underlying reasons for different and sometimes challenging behaviour.
Overall, the school has developed a dialogue within the staff which is focussed on pupil’s needs. They have focussed on dyslexia and have whole school processes which are dyslexia friendly and which are benefitting all children. The school is passionate about providing the very best education for all children and their commitment to gaining the Quality Mark is an example of their drive to succeed.
The verifier (Gillian Ashley) would like to thank all staff, pupils, governor and parent who gave their time to share their work and experiences of being part of the Buckden Academy family.
Full Report can be found below:
Skills Builder Silver Award
We have worked hard as a school to incorporate the skills builder into our School Curriculum and have been awarded the Silver Award for building on their commitment to high-quality essential skills education.
Made good progress towards embedding the Skills Builder Principles
Majority of teachers will be using a common language for essential skills
Policies and procedures will have begun to reflect the approach