Robert Clack school serves the London borough of Barking and Dagenham, which includes some of the poorest areas in London.

Careers in Science are not only vital to our economy, but can provide a lifeline to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Through the Schools Programme, the PTI’s support for teachers to go the extra mile can make a real difference to their students’ education, and as a result, their life chances.

“Thanks to PTI inspiration, the number of students going on to study a science-related course at university has trebled since 2009”

- Darren Smith, Head of Science, Robert Clack School 

Robert Clack School’s Science Department joined the PTI Schools Programme in 2008, and as part of the Programme, undertook a long-term project to raise aspirations in Science and increase the numbers going on to study Science in further education.

While students at Robert Clack were achieving high results in Science, few of them continued to study Science subjects at A Level or university. In order to change this, and supported by PTI encouragement, teachers focused on increasing enjoyment and love of the sciences beyond what was experienced in class. Teachers introduced an Astronomy Club and a hands-on Electronics Club, which grabbed the attention of around 50 students a week and quickly led to requests for other Science clubs to be set up. As well as running after school clubs, enthusiastic teachers gave up evenings and weekends to take students to the Science Museum and arrange other Science related field trips.

Below: Darren Smith teaching a Year 11 Science class

Due to the increased engagement in Science, the number of students going on to study sciences beyond age 16, both at A Level and in Applied Science BTEC, has increased considerably, with numbers more than doubling in Physics. The PTI is delighted to see that the number of students from Robert Clack going on to study a science-related course at university has trebled since 2009.