Inquisitive young minds help Irchester school win national award

Children, teachers and staff at Irchester Community Primary School celebrate the presentation of a Community Education Awards technology award
Children, teachers and staff at Irchester Community Primary School celebrate the presentation of a Community Education Awards technology award

Why do baby teeth fall out and how do germs multiply were just two of the questions which helped a primary school win a national science award.

Children at Irchester Community Primary School were recently presented with The F-Secure Technology in Learning Award at a special assembly.

It’s great to have national recognition for the project

Julia Alison

The award is part of the Community Education Awards, backed by ambassador Dame Esther Rantzen.

The award was presented to the school for its Lab 13 project, a scientific learning programme aimed at improving children’s education through science.

The school employs resident scientist Cambridge graduate, Alice Draper, to help pupils conduct their investigations into some of the earth’s greatest mysteries.

Children have been busy learning about germs and microbiology through their Dirty, Stinky Children project; studying frogs with underwater cameras and learning about the trees and forests.

The project has been so successful the school now funds the programme by renting their learning space and science equipment to other schools.

Headteacher Julia Alison said the project was led by the children, who each posed a question to the resident scientist, Alice, before a thorough scientific investigation by the class.

Mrs Alison said: “We don’t put a ceiling on the questions, if the children ask Alice a question and it’s what they want to know - even if it’s a secondary school question - we work with them to find an answer, we usually find it leads to another question.

“The project has helped the children develop huge self assurance and belief.

“It gets them thinking about going to university and with their careers; it’s about them taking control and learning to manage their learning through their own investigations.

“We are very good in this county at innovation and creativity - so it’s all about developing and engaging that in our children.”

She added: “We are delighted to win this award.

“It’s great to have national recognition for the project.

“We are thrilled.”

Kelly Griffiths is the awards’ organiser and said: “It’s with great pleasure that we present this award to an amazing project which promotes science, literacy and numeracy skills to children.

“What the judges loved about this project was how the children led the programme with their own fantastic questions - and I can’t think of a more fun past time than studying frogs underwater.”

For more information log onto

The Community Education Awardsare an annual celebration of schools’ efforts to help children and young people become positive community members and reward the most effective projects being delivered in schools and the local community.

This year’s awards attracted 2,500 entries.