The appliance of science

Paul Tyler with some of his Mearns primary pupils.
Paul Tyler with some of his Mearns primary pupils.

A TEACHER from an East Renfrewshire primary school has earned a top accolade for his enthusiasm for teaching science.

Paul Tyler, of Mearns primary school, has been given a Primary Science Teacher award by the Primary Science Teaching Trust.

The primary teacher will be awarded £1,000 and a further £1,000 will go to Mearns primary.

Paul is the only Scottish receipient of the award this year — which is given to 25 people annually — and is only the sixth teacher in a Scottish school to win since the awards were launched 12 years ago.

Paul, who was nominated by a colleague, said: “I am totally surprised and absolutely delighted at this.

“It is great for the school and, hopefully, it will help to raise the profile of the benefits of science teaching in primary schools.

“It’s a brilliant opportunity to promote the good work that we do.

“We have worked hard to bring science into the classroom and are always looking at new and exciting things we can do.

“The pupils absolutely love it and anything we can do to get them interested in science, we will try.

“If the children are enthused and excited, then we have done our job.”

Mearns pupils have been busy recently working on a tidal turbine which generates electricity and looking at science on the menu — testing the effects different foods have on the senses.

Schools throughout East Renfrewshire are participating in the national Science Champions scheme, funded by the Scottish government and the National Science Learning Centre in York.

Through this, the primary schools nominate at least one teacher as a Science Champion.

Teachers without a science background then receive training and support in their school to bring science into the classroom.

Paul continued: “We’ve seen a huge difference since the introduction of Science Champions.

“Everyone has benefitted from it in schools. If we can get them interested in science at a younger age, they are more likely to continue with the subject at secondary, which is important.”

Paul will be presented with his award at a PSTT conference at Manchester university in June.

The dedicated teacher will also be made a Fellow of the Primary Science Teacher College, allowing Mearns primary to apply for PSTT college funding to support its projects.