Springwood High School in King's Lynn has been named the winner of the Outstanding Commitment to STEM award at the Norfolk Education Awards 2023.

Springwood High School in King’s Lynn was awarded the Gold level STEM Clubs Quality Mark this academic year.

It runs a STEM club targeting students of all abilities throughout the year, with three sessions a week to ensure access and opportunity for as many students as possible.

Typically, more than 100 students take part in extracurricular STEM activities that highlight the wide variety of STEM careers and link up with other departments in the school.

The school hosts celebration events, including a STEM fair and lectures, to help involve parents in pupils’ experiences and works hard to explore all aspects of STEM.

It also plans trips out into its STEM calendar, including a maths trip to Disneyland and most recently to local exhibitions linked to science and climate change, where students had the opportunity to interact with university lecturers and researchers.

Feedback from parents has told the school that this work is having a positive impact on students’ self-esteem, sense of belonging and confidence, which in turn promotes more involvement in STEM clubs and activities.

The judges said they were impressed with Springwood’s focus on “engaging underrepresented groups within STEM”, as well as its application of STEM within wider subject areas.

They were interested to see the “wide range of topics covered within the STEM club” and the school’s engagement in external competitions.

They said that “it is clear that the activities and focus on STEM at Springwood has increased the students’ enthusiasm for STEM” and congratulated the school on its achievements.

Josh Cunningham, maths teacher at Springwood High School, accepted the award on behalf of the whole school.

He said: “It’s not about me. Not in the slightest. It’s about everyone at Springwood who’s gotten involved in STEM, who’s put the effort into planning these activities. But most importantly, it’s about the kids. It’s about every single one of them that shows up week in, week out, who puts that extra effort in, and it just makes our job so much easier.”

For more information on the Norfolk Education Awards, please visit the website.

To find out more about all of this year's winners, please click here.

The finalists

East Norfolk Sixth Form College

East Norfolk Sixth Form College has implemented a “flipped learning” approach to its teaching of A-Level chemistry and physics. It involves students reading up and making notes on topics prior to each lesson, allowing more time for teacher intervention and support. It is also involved in a “Levelling-Up” mentoring scheme in partnership with UEA.

Recognising the positive impact that the college’s new approach has had, the judges were impressed by the “excellent achievements” of students and commended “the work that the sixth form has undertaken to support achievement of disadvantaged students”.

University Technical College

University Technical College Norfolk (UTCN) provides a comprehensive educational foundation for students with an interest in health, engineering, science, technology, maths or computing.

Its ethos and curriculum is heavily supported by local and national STEM employers who also provide work experience for students to reinforce the skills developed while studying at the school.

The judges were impressed with “the wide variety of STEM career paths encouraged” at UTCN and “the use of external expertise and real-world applications of STEM knowledge”.