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Published: 13 March 2024

British Science Week 2024 runs from 8 to 17 March and is a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) and provides a platform to stimulate and support teachers, STEM professionals, science communicators and the general public to get involved in STEM events and activities.

To celebrate this, we’re highlighting our Primary Practice programme which is run by the St George's Widening Participation Team.

About Primary Practice

Primary Practice introduces Year 6 pupils from local primary schools to the world of medicine and healthcare and helps them develop the skills required for a successful transition into secondary school.

The original programme, which took the form of 6 one-hour after school sessions, ran for over 10 years and saw hundreds of local students participating. A new and expanded programme was launched 3 years ago, which has seen over 80 pupils from 5 local primary schools participate.

The programme is led by trained St George’s Student Ambassadors and includes:

  • an information session to give pupils, parents and carers a taste of the programme
  • 5 after school clubs which follow the journey of patient, Ash, from injury to recovery. Whilst following Ash’s story, pupils learn about different areas of healthcare.
  • a taster day on campus
  • a 3-day, non-residential summer school
  • a graduation ceremony.

To learn more, we spoke to 2 of the Student Ambassadors who help run the programme, Roberta Crowther, T-year Medical student and Iman Nasir, Biomedical Sciences student.

Roberta Crowther

"It was a joy to see the students thriving throughout the programme"

“I think the programme inspires participants to get involved with STEM as it gives an introduction into possible careers that they may have previously not known much about, and from there they might decide to look further into STEM.

I really enjoy teaching the primary school students and it is very rewarding when the students engage with the content and actively participate more and more over time. It is also fun to present to a younger age-group and adapt my presenting style for them.

- Roberta Crowther -

“I think the young people gain a lot from participating. It was a joy to see the students thriving throughout the programme last year. In particular, the students gained more confidence, and developed an interest in different areas in healthcare.

During the summer school part of the programme, it was especially nice to see the students from different schools socialise and work together so cohesively, giving them more confidence ahead of starting secondary school.

- Roberta Crowther -

“The entire experience has been wonderful. I most enjoyed the last day of summer school when all the students were getting on so well with each other and really enjoying all the teamwork involved in the activities. One of the tasks was to create a presentation on what they have learnt from being involved in the programme and every single student had had a positive and enriching experience, it was so nice!"

Iman Nasir

"It brings me a profound sense of gratification and pride to inspire young individuals"

“I came across an advertisement for the role and it piqued my interest. Having attended a summer school to aid my transition from primary to secondary, which I cherished, I was excited to be a part of this experience for young people. Also, the skills mentioned in the programme are important for young people to learn, like sign language and how to make a 999 call.

Through my experiences, I am gaining more confidence and a feeling of belonging within the community. Additionally, I am sharpening my abilities to collaborate with others and manage my time effectively. As a mentor, it brings me a profound sense of gratification and pride to inspire young individuals.

- Iman Nasir -

“The programme introduces science and STEM. Furthermore, it offers a wide range of interactive activities that enable participants to explore and experiment with different scientific concepts, from X-rays and microscopes to prosthetics.

“The young people gain an insight into healthcare and all the various careers involved within the field. They also learn about topics which are not taught at school such as hidden disabilities and how A&E works. Additionally, the programme also provides awareness to science, which is not always easily accessible to all.”

“I enjoy witnessing the growth of children's engagement and confidence as they participate in after-school sessions and the summer school.

It is inspiring to see young learners eager to learn and interact with the wide range of activities in each session, fully immersed and attentive. It is lovely to hear their input and their own experiences as it makes every session unique and inspires me as a mentor to make the session as engaging and informative as possible.

- Iman Nasir -

"When a student told me that they hoped to come to St George’s one day to study, it was an experience that stood out, as it highlighted the positive impact the programme had.

“This programme has been a privilege to be a part of, from working with the young people to the incredible mentors and staff. I have enjoyed every aspect of teaching and sharing my experience. It has been great to see young people become more interested in science, STEM and higher education.”

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