Primary school in Morley converts old staff room into a fully functioning science lab

A primary school in Morley has converted an old staff room into a fully functioning science lab in the hope of discovering the scientists of the future.

Wednesday, 20th October 2021, 4:45 am

Works were completed on the project at Morley Newlands Academy Primary School over the summer holidays and will be officially unveiled tomorrow (Thursday) where parents and the wider school community will be able to visit and see the facilities.

They are what you would expect in a secondary school complete with prep lab, bunsen burners, dissection facilities and chemicals for experiments - making the lab quite unique to a primary school.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, principal at Morley Newlands, said the idea was to get children interested in science from an early age rather than wait until secondary school.

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Captivating chemicals - a year 6 student at Morley Newlands during a science lab lesson.

He said: "Science taught in a normal primary class-room setting, in many ways, is straight-forward and uninspiring. I was happy to put in place a bespoke curriculum that complements what they are taught in primary school but give a secondary school feel to it.

"When you go to secondary school, you use bunsen burners, chemicals, do amazing experiments and dissections and that is what we wanted to do for primary children so that when they go to secondary school, they have a softer landing into science. It is very exciting for them to leave the normal class-room setting and go to a purpose built science lab and use resources they would not normally use.

"Science done well is amazing and science done well or badly can put children off for a life-time."

The science lab at Morley Newlands comes as more focus is being placed on education based around STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths) subjects in order to build a stronger manufacturing and creative skillset in the country.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, principal at Morley Newlands Academy.

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Mr Fitzpatrick added: "Across all three sciences, especially physics, there is an employment deficit. If we can give them a headstart in terms of science perspective and understanding at an early age, it may be the beginning of a pathway into employment.

"Down the line we want these children and pupils who we are sending through primary school, to stand apart when it comes to going for jobs in a very competitive market. Typically they would have been filled by overseas candidates, there may be a vacuum there, where maybe children who have learned science really well can go through university and employment. That has been a big part of the long-term thinking."

Morley Newlands hopes to be awarded a Quality Mark award in science and to be a "trailblazer" for other schools to follow suit by creating their own similar facilities.

Science leader Mrs Sarah Burnill with year 6 pupils at Morley Newlands Primary School Academy which has converted a staff room into a full on science lab.

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Science has come under the microscope at Morley Newlands Academy Primary.