Science Summer School started life in a failing secondary school set between two warring council estates on St Paul’s Way, Tower Hamlets, East London.
Lord Mawson was invited by Christine Gilbert, at that time CEO of Tower Hamlets Council, to lead the St Paul’s Way Transformation Project which was launched in 2006 to improve social conditions, local amenities and to create a joined up campus. This integrated development has brought together two new schools (primary and secondary school), a new health centre, a new community facility and 600 new homes.
Andrew’s approach was to challenge the government’s failing traditional ‘silo’d approach’ and, instead, bring together a new campus by building relationships between local residents, education providers, the health service, the local housing association and key business partners. He worked with Kevan Collins to create this first integrated campus of its kind in the country.
Andrew met Professor Brian Cox by chance at a science event at the House of Lords. Brian cited an urgent need to train more scientists and engineers if Britain is to flourish as a modern nation.
He also wanted to create an environment where it was possible to mix the many different disciplines within science and engineering and explore the linkages between them.
Brian’s ambition was to find a way “to make Britain the best place to do science and engineering in the world and to influence the next generation”. Andrew believed that the housing estates in which he was working were full of untapped talent and if together, they could join the dots and see real transformation take place.
Andrew described the St Paul’s Way Transformation Project and the opportunity that was now presenting itself, with access to a new school rising from the ashes, a new leadership team keen to place STEAM at the heart of the school curriculum and local community leaders willing to assist in bringing it all together.
Brian, Andrew and the school joined forces in St Pauls’ Way and the Science Summer School was launched in 2012 to great acclaim. The school is now in its eleventh year and starting to go national.
The St Paul’s Way Science Summer School has helped to raise aspirations and achievement in St Paul’s Way Trust School and bring a sense of pride and aspiration into the local community.
Science sits at the heart of the school’s curriculum and the process of learning by doing is encouraged. From being a school without a sixth form in 2012, St Paul’s Way Trust School has been transformed and in 2020 66% of the sixth-form students went to elite Russell Group Universities.
The school has also played a transformational role in helping to rebuild a dysfunctional local community around St Paul’s Way.
This piece of place-making was brought together through a campus development on a street in Tower Hamlets: bringing together a new health centre and pharmacy, with new science labs created by Queen Mary’s University set within this facility, 2 new schools, 600 homes and a community business hub.
The London project celebrated its 10th anniversary in July 2021 with over 900 students taking part. Each year 400 students aged between 12-18 years take part in the event and are drawn from St Paul’s Way Trust School. Now over 30 other secondary schools in East London also join us for the event.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, both the 2020 and 2021 events went ahead virtually, hosted by Professor Brian Cox and extending the event to reach students in their homes.
The Science Summer School now has a national reach with Summer School Programmes taking place in the Advanced Manufacturing Park in Rotherham, where in 2020 2,500 children took part. In Skelmersdale in July 2021, and a second Science School took place in Rotherham in November 2021 at the Gulliver’s Theme Park. Science School Events are also planned in Ballymena Northern Ireland and the Brooklands Museum in Surrey.
Ibstock has a close working relationship with Barratt providing 5 million bricks for building projects each year.
Well North Enterprises, Barratt Developments plc and Ibstock plc are now working in partnership to contribute to the broad UK levelling up agenda through design and construction of truly great places for people to thrive, putting health in its broadest sense at the heart of new emerging communities.
Both companies are already contributing practically and financially to the North Star Science School in Rotherham and the Skelmersdale Science School.
As part of our work together in Rotherham, we are creating an exemplar on the Waverley site of social and environmental innovation, through construction of 20 Zero Carbon Homes, connecting these into broader placemaking in Waverley and Rotherham.
We are keen to inspire local children through the North Star Science School to aspire to work in the multitude of disciplines inherent in the Barratt and Ibstock businesses and in the supply chain for Zero Carbon homes.
Potential future roles range from factory robotics, zero carbon materials, building design to heat pumps and solar panels plus corporate and managerial roles.
Ibstock plc has a factory in Skelmersdale and delivered workshops for students at the first Skelmersdale Science School in July 2021. They are currently working with the North Star Science School in Rotherham where it is developing a year-round workshop programme with a local school, and are also helping the students to understand the engineering skills required to design and operate the new brick-making technology. They are then better able to consider possible career pathways in this hi-tech industry.
Ibstock and the students will also devise a special workshop for the 2021 North Star Science School to inspire other students.
Barratt, as well as driving the Waverley Zero Carbon project, is creating a linked school workshop programme in Rotherham for 2021-22.