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Merchiston Castle School scoops STEM Nation Award

Merchiston Castle School scoops STEM Nation Award

Leading independent boys’ school, Merchiston Castle School has been awarded the prestigious STEM Nation Award by Education Scotland in recognition of its commitment to effective practice in STEM education. Merchiston is the first independent school to win the accolade.

Consisting of five key elements; Leadership in STEM; STEM family and community learning; Employability and STEM partnerships; STEM curriculum and learner progression; Equity and equality in STEM; the STEM Nation Award celebrates whole school setting approaches to STEM developments and improvement planning.

Merchiston scored highly across all five elements, with the top scores based on the school’s approach to STEM leadership, STEM curriculum, and learner pathways.

Merchiston was praised for having “embedded a positive approach to Equity and Equality…they celebrate and support all different cultures and backgrounds…with a strong focus on equity and equality for EAL students.” These comments stand in direct contrast to a recent report published by the Commons Science and Committee Department, which found schools in England to suffer from STEM diversity issues.

Dr Clare Nugent, Head of Design, Technology & Engineering at Merchiston, said of the award:

“We are thrilled and honoured to be the first independent school to win the STEM Nation Award from Education Scotland. Merchiston endeavours to create excellent STEM opportunities and learning pathways for our pupils by incorporating all staff, embedding STEM lessons across the curriculum, and engaging the local community and schools in STEM events.

“It is incredible to be recognised for our efforts with this award, and we look forward to building on this achievement in the future.”

Validators at Education Scotland said:

“Merchiston’s passion and enthusiasm for STEM was clear from the get-go. We were greatly impressed by the inclusive approach taken to build a whole-school STEM community, where all students are supported to progress in STEM through high-quality learning experiences.

“Merchiston’s efforts are clearly having a positive impact on developing and delivering a relevant curriculum and helping to inspire learners.”

Kit N, an Arkwright Engineering Scholar and MerchiSTEM Prefect at Merchiston, said:

“Engaging in STEM during my time at Merchiston has enhanced my creativity and critical thinking. Also working collaboratively and going on trips has helped put my classroom learning into context as well as build friendships. My post-18 aspirations are for a design and engineering-related degree and career.” 

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