DISPLAYING ITEMS BY TAG: STEM

When I started at Westmorland School 18 months ago, I was given the task of raising standards in Computing and implementing new technology across the school. Although this was a massive task, it was an exciting challenge - I could both share my experience and also raise the excitement of using technology across the school.

A major presence at this year’s Bett conference will be Show My Homework, where the online homework software will be announcing publicly, for the first time, their new partnership. Visiting teachers will be able to meet the Show My Homework team at Stand C449 from 20th - 23rd January at the ExCeL London. The company has been shortlisted for three Bett awards: ICT Leadership and Management Solutions, Secondary Digital Content and ICT Innovator of the Year.

As part of their Art curriculum, Furzedown Primary School in south west London has been running workshops on architectural design. This is to help the children’s knowledge and understanding of materials, structure, colour and aesthetics, and how they can be applied physically into built assemblies. Architectural design is not a subject normally taught in schools before college, but it is a subject that is very relevant to everyone. We all live in the built environment which is heavily managed with lots of design interventions. Individually and collectively these affect us directly, so why not bring architectural design into the classroom?

The BP Educational Service has launched a new Light and Pinhole Cameras resource and a Pinhole Photography Competition to help young people aged 11 to 14 explore and celebrate the science of light. The new video-led resources provides schools with the opportunity to celebrate the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies 2015, and pupils are also encouraged to build cameras and send in best pinhole photos as part of a competition.

In 2014 the new Primary curriculum brought lots of interesting changes. One of the biggest changes was adding evolution and inheritance into the Key Stage 2 programme of study. While this new topic has raised some concerns from teachers, there are lots of fun and engaging ways to introduce children to evolution and inheritance.

Teaching Science at Primary level can sometimes be a difficult endeavour. The combination of time restrictions and what can be very dry learning objectives can lead both pupils and teachers to disengage with the subject.

“We are skilled mathematicians... this year we will become more skilled…” This message has helped me to drive home some messages that I hold dear to my educational philosophy and use in my everyday teaching and learning. It has helped develop growth mindsets, positive self-images and, most of all, developed an attitude which helps children to learn.

The UK government has committed to investing £3.5 million in technology to support schools to adopt the new IT curriculum in 2015. While this technology investment is undoubtedly welcomed, the rapid advancement of connected classrooms and e-learning has left many teachers struggling to keep up.

Schoolchildren in Stedham, Chichester are deep in a space-biology programme launched by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) Campaign for School Gardening and the UK Space Agency (UKSA). According to the Chichester Observer, pupils at Stedham Primary School have signed up to be part of the Rocket Science project, which saw 2kg of rocket seeds were flown to the International Space Station (ISS) in September. Chichester-native Maj Tim Peake will be travelling to this orbital laboratory next month, and is keen for the human race to perfect plant-growth in space.

I teach Computing. This means that, at least twice per day I get asked this question:

“Are we going on the computers today Sir?”

As an NQT, I was flattered by this, thinking that it displayed an enthusiasm for the subject. However I soon learned that it was, in the wise words of Admiral Ackbar, a trap.

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