What is Lab_13?

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What is LAB_13?

Alice Draper – Scientist in Residence – Lab 13

Lab_13 is a science lab in our school, dedicated to showing pupils how exciting science is, and developing their natural curiosity into scientific investigation. What we do is lead by the pupils’ interests and questions, completely independently of the curriculum. Children from every class get the chance to come to the lab in small groups, and are given the resources and guidance to investigate their own questions scientifically.

The lab is run by a committee of 8 pupils from year 5 and 6 (ages 9-11). They are responsible for the day to day running of the lab, as well as exciting events such as the lab_13 Lectures during British Science Week!

As their Scientist in Residence, I am based full time at the school. I guide and support the children in organising the lab activities and developing experiments and investigations. I run afterschool clubs and holiday workshops to further engage our keenest young scientists. We also work with other schools: providing science CPD for teachers, and practical science workshop days for pupils.

Our Awards

psqmgoldPSQM Silver Award

We are really pleased and proud that, thanks to the hard work of all involed at Irchester, we have been awarded the Silver and GoldPrimary Science Quality Marks.

The Primary Science Quality Mark is an award scheme to enable primary schools across the UK to evaluate, strengthen and celebrate their science provision. Schools can achieve bronze, silver and gold awards.


The Primary Science Quality Mark has the following aims:

  • to raise the profile of science in primary schools
  • to provide schools with a framework and professional  support for developing science leadership, teaching and learning
  • to celebrate excellence in primary science
  • to work with existing and facilitate new networks across the UK and wider to provide local support for primary science
  • to assemble and make accessible to the wider science education community a rich data base of current practice in primary science.


Schools achieve a Primary Science Quality Mark award through a process of initial audit , followed by action and reflection.

Supported by compulsory training and mentoring they:

  • complete an initial audit against Primary Science Quality Mark criteria
  • decide which award to aim for
  • design an action plan which they put into place over a period of 2-3 terms
  • submit reflections and key pieces of evidence (core documents) to support their submission for the selected award and to illustrate the impact that their actions have had whilst working towards the achievement of the PSQM award criteria.

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