In order to enrich the curriculum for every child within our school, we embed whole school approach to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Every child deserves the opportunity to experience the learning opportunities STEM offers in a cross curricular way and ‘hands on approach’ to learning which can vary from making a telescope to investigating the science of baking bread. The implementation and teaching of STEM is structured around our values, the National Curriculum and the Early Learning Goals (EYFS).
In STEM, we embrace the 4 C's identified as key in 21st Century education:
Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, and Communication.
We will inspire our children by giving them the opportunities to pursue their natural curiosity;
promoting the experience of exploring and investigating, in a range of contexts, to ensure a continually evolving
knowledge and understanding of the world around them. This will all take place in a safe environment where our children will be encouraged to ask questions, take risks, experiment, reflect, make and learn from mistakes; whereby they acquire and apply core skills which equip them for an ever-changing world.
The principal focus of STEM is the blended learning environment which helps students children to understand how the scientific method can be applied to everyday life. It teaches children the real world applications of problem solving and provides children with the stimulus to talk about the world around them. Children will have opportunities to be creative and share ideas with peers and adults, before being given opportunities to make items to solve a problem. During this time, the children will be exposed to some of the tools required to build projects out of wood, as well as using electrical components and other materials. These projects will involve working in a cross curricular way to ensure every child has opportunities to: develop ideas through planning on a variety of different forms of media; develop initial ideas and potentially create a prototype, build their concept, test their creation and make recommendations for how to improve their concept.
Our children will build the confidence to use technical language to discuss what they have discovered and communicate their ideas to a range of audiences in a variety of ways. Most of the learning about STEM will be done using first-hand practical experiences and kits.
The impact of our curriculum is that by the end of each topic, most pupils will have gained key skills that are transferable to other areas of their learning and wider life. Our children will become inspired about STEM and more curious about the world around then. Our children will be able to look for creative and innovative ways to solve problems. They will know the importance of designing a concept and testing it to validate their concept, before suggesting improvements.
Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluating
Assessment for learning will be continuous throughout the planning, teaching and learning cycle underpinning teaching and learning in STEM. However, children are more formally assessed termly in KS1 and KS2 using a variety of methods:
Observing children at work, individually, in pairs, in a group, and as a class.
Questioning, talking and listening to children.
Considering planning/building/testing/evaluating/ produced by children.
Testing the creation to see if it is a viable solution to the problem. If the creation is not a viable solution what would they do differently.