Kent teacher helps bridge the gap between primary and secondary school

Kim Vale, a science teacher at The Holmesdale School in Snodland, hosted ten Year 5 classes from local primary schools as part of a science learning day to bridge the gap between primary and secondary.

Throughout the day, Kim used the British Science Association’s (BSA) CREST Awards to introduce new science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) learning to help the pupils feel more comfortable and confident ahead of the transition from primary school.

Guided by the CREST Awards SuperStar resources, Kim led pupils through four engaging and investigative activities. To solidify and build upon their learning, the children also completed four more activities within their respective primary schools, earning themselves a CREST SuperStar Award.

Alongside the CREST Award certificate, the pupils gained an opportunity to expand their academic and science capital outside of regular school lessons, encouraging them to develop a love for STEM which will support their engagement throughout their education.

Research shows that children who are excited about STEM in primary school can often lose interest when they reach secondary. By running the science learning day, Kim hoped to ignite excitement long-term and inspire young learners to keep their enthusiasm for STEM alive as they make the journey from one school to the next.

Secondary students from the Holmesdale School also benefitted from the day, with Year 8 ‘ambassadors’ on hand to assist the younger children in understanding and approaching their activities, challenging their own scientific knowledge and ability to share expertise in the process.  The older students also developed their leadership skills as they guided the primary pupils through the sessions.

CREST Awards is a nationally recognised STEM education scheme that helps to empower children and young people to engage with STEM subjects by acting like real-life scientists through investigative, open-ended projects. SuperStar level CREST activities are developed for children aged 7-11 to deepen their understanding of the world around them and develop skills such as scientific thinking and problem solving.

Kim Vale, science teacher at The Holmesdale School, said:

“Hosting a STEM learning day was a great way to build the relationship between the primary and secondary schools, creating a smooth transition and long-lasting impact for pupils on their education journeys. It was a joy to see the primary pupils leave the event with their heads held high, feeling a sense of achievement they will carry with them.

“It was also a pleasure to see the older students working with the younger ones and developing their own skillsets. While they were slightly reserved during the first activity, once they warmed up to it, they became experts and were running the show by the third activity.

I would really encourage every secondary school to consider running a CREST day of their own!”

For more information about the CREST awards, please visit: