For the 2018/19 school year, UK pupils will be asked: what would you reimagine? The BP Ultimate STEM Challenge is back, and even better than before! For the first time, BP Educational Service - in partnership with STEM Learning - is inviting UK students aged 11 to 14 to use their STEM skills to tackle one simple challenge: reimagine a solution to a real-life problem. The competition is set to dominate the first several months of the school year, with the deadline for submissions being Friday 15th February 2019.
Recent research from the Prince’s Trust has revealed some alarming statistics about the young people in Britain. Nearly a fifth of young people “think they will amount to nothing”, and 43% of young people don’t feel prepared to enter the workforce when they leave Secondary education. When the research moves to industries, it is evident that 67% of employers don’t feel like school-leavers have the necessary soft skills (communication, teamwork, resilience) to thrive in the workplace.
For children with special educational needs (SEN), one of the toughest barriers to accessing the curriculum can simply be how intimidating the classroom can feel. With 70 per cent of those permanently excluded from school also being registered for with SEN, we need to do more to engage students to maintain their attendance and ensure that functional skills are developed among all students, no matter what their situation or environment.
“Teachers warn learning through play can lead to pupil disruption” was the title of an article printed by a Scottish newspaper in January this year. The article cited a recent report which had shown that some teachers in Scotland were worried about increasingly poor behaviour within classrooms when engaging in active learning.
In a bid to get Primary pupils more immersed in coding, multi-award-winning edutainers Busy Things have unleashed Busy Code. This new suite of resources brings teacher confidence and pupil engagement by introducing a funky, bearded man into the classroom. This captivating character can be programmed to dance, collect stars and lots more. What’s more, Innovate My School readers have exclusive free access until 9th February!
Project-based learning (PBL) changes how we look at education and the best ways to engage young people in learning. Learning is all around. It is in books, in classrooms, outdoors, at home, in museums and workplaces; everywhere all the time. We learn through reading, listening, engaging, but mostly by doing. When we apply what we learn to something tangible - something interesting to us - we remember it. We want to learn more about it, and learn more about things around it.
Play must infiltrate the learning approaches in our classrooms. Surreptitiously, if need be, it has to once again steal into our classrooms and become embedded in our outlook, our approaches and strategies. Why do we advocate play? Play captures within it the elements required for building the right attitude to learning. Fearlessness, risk taking, taking loss and failure in your stride, working as a team and the joy and humility in success.