Withington Girls’ School has joined a select group of 45 schools in the UK to receive a Silver Space Education Quality Mark (SEQM) Award and is one of only six schools in the north west to have earned the accolade.
As part of a national scheme run by ESERO-UK, Withington achieved the SEQM silver award after successfully demonstrating the inclusion of fully-integrated space themes across its curriculum, with a focus on STEM subjects.
Withington’s headmistress, Sarah Haslam, said the school’s space education programme had enriched the learning experience of both junior and senior pupils and benefited children from the wider local community.
Highlights included a talk by Suzie Imber, winner of the BBC’s Astronaut – Have you got what it takes?; a dedicated ‘Moon Week’; an inflatable ‘Star Dome’ in the school gymnasium; and visits to Jodrell Bank and the Museum of Science and Industry to see Tim Peake’s Soyuz Capsule.
Local primary children involved in Withington’s SHiNE Science programme have enjoyed learning about space and a spaced-themed Physics Olympiad held at WGS was attended by Year 9 teams from three local schools.
Over the summer, 30 Year 9 to 11 pupils will visit NASA’s Johnson Space Centre in Houston, USA.
Tom Lyons, ESERO-UK Teacher Fellow, added: “We hope that some of the girls at Withington will go on to be space scientists and engineers in the future.”