All schools are stretched. We know this, but as a brand-new school with only 120 students, our budget is extremely tight - especially when we factor in recruiting experienced staff. At Aureus School in Didcot, through STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) specialism we are not only trying to teach our students how to be more creative. We, as staff, must do this as well in trying to make the budget work.
If you’re looking for an inspirational and educational school trip, you might not know that vertical wind tunnels provide the perfect opportunity to engage your class in STEM topics with a thrilling, hands-on learning experience!
Pulling apart education and trying to fix it can be a totally overwhelming thought. Teachers are already notoriously thinly-stretched, and getting students the results they need to succeed later in life at university and in the workplace can seem like the only thing to focus on. However, if we take a moment to breathe and think if there are better ways of doing things, we might just come across ideas that could help students to succeed later in life and may in fact help their grades along the way.
Although the new Computing curriculum was transformed to become more relevant to 21st century students, learning to code and create on the web is still generally perceived as being ‘difficult’ and ‘dull’. It’s considered to be more appealing to students who are better at Maths and Science, and not those with an interest in languages and the arts.
When you think of a classroom, what springs to mind? More than likely, a room filled with rows or clusters of tables and chairs facing a desk at the front with a whiteboard. Little has changed since the early 1900s, despite the evolution in technology and amount of resources. So why, then, are we so surprised when children become disengaged or demotivated to learn? It has been proven time and time again that pupils learn better when they can directly interact with resources and experience things first-hand. The likelihood of pupils enjoying their school time - as well as gaining and retaining valuable knowledge - significantly increases when they are allowed to lead themselves to the solutions.
Nesta, in partnership with Tata group and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), are calling on both students and teachers to transform the way they think about Maths. Inspired by The Crystal Maze and growth of ‘escape rooms’, the the innovation foundation have launched the Cracking the Code challenge for 11 to 14 year olds across the country to create their own escape room.
Richard Fulford is head of Biology at The Latymer School in Edmonton, North London. He introduced the online learning program Tassomai while working at Invicta Grammar in Maidstone, helping them to significantly improve GCSE Science grades through exciting new methods. Richard explains further:
Being a Computing coordinator, I am regularly looking for the next great product to bring into school and engage learners. I’ll admit, as a coordinator and self-confessed geek I am regularly a child in a sweet shop! That said, I think it’s important to think about pedagogy first; edtech legend Mark Anderson came up with an interesting model of how to put pedagogy first: