Palmerston North primary school gets boost for science

Russell Street School in Palmerston North is now financially better off thanks to a highly effective teacher who is taking the science programme to new levels.

Joy Kitt has won the 2012 Primary Science Teacher Fellowship Alumni Award valued at $30,000, two thirds of which goes directly to her school to further enhance science education.  The aim of the award is to recognize the effort, commitment and success both the teacher and school have made in improving the teaching of science. 

An award ceremony was held at Russell Street School on Tuesday 11 December.

Mrs Kitt was a Primary Science Teacher Fellow in the first half of 2010, based at Plant and Food Research Institute in Palmerston North.  Her Fellowship focused on developing her understanding of plant structure and growth.

On her return to Russell Street School, Mrs Kitt has greatly enhanced science teaching by leading the professional development of other teachers in her school in science, modelling best practice in the teaching of science both with her colleagues and also with other teachers in the region, and developing an engaging science programme for the students.

Mrs Kitt is thrilled to win the award. “I love teaching science but even more I love watching the students’  getting involved in ‘doing’ science and their wonder and excitement about what they are learning. 

“My best advice to teachers is to find a way to do a little bit of science every day.  Just have a go and ‘grab life by the science’.”

 The Principal of Russell St School, David Reardon, is also very pleased with Mrs Kitt’s win.  “The school is proud that Joy’s leadership in science has been recognised and we welcome the opportunity to put the substantial award funding towards further extending the opportunities and experiences for both staff and students.  Students are very much the winners in this.”

Brian Halkyard from Glamorgan School in Auckland is runner up and receives $1000 to acknowledge his leadership in science education in his school and wider community.   

“The Primary Science Teacher Fellowship programme supports the development of effective science teaching in primary schools,” says Richard Meylan, Manager – Education at the Royal Society of New Zealand.

“Teacher Fellows engage in a programme of learning that focuses on familiarisation with the Nature of Science strand in the New Zealand curriculum and the development of leadership skills to enhance the quality of school-wide science teaching in their schools.”

The Fellowship programme is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and managed by the Royal Society of New Zealand.

See article on Stuff.co.nz.