Barnwell school have made a successful, two-pronged bid for STEM. Firstly, we have awarded them a grant for an additional Lego Mindstorms kit and a small sum to help their students attend a hard-fought place in the National Big Bang finals in Birmingham *.
As Sophie Tyler, Assistant STEM Coordinator explained:
“The Big Bang trip will provide an experience that the students would not otherwise receive. They will see exhibits from major engineering, medical and research organisations, interact with professionals from across the STEM subjects and listen to talks by inspirational people.”
The second major strand of the bid was to fund an online learning platform purchase for KS5 in Science. Sophie gave lots of reasons for their choice of project:
“…introduce activities which support the curriculum and ensure that the key objectives of the course can be delivered. Students are also able to access texts and resources online, and assessments are also provided. This would allow training teachers or teachers new to A level to be able to deliver A level lessons more successfully in the future. The school changed from the Edexcel course to the AQA course for our current year 12 cohort, so the year 12 teachers are currently writing lessons or searching for materials to use, which is very time consuming. The Kerboodle resource would improve the quality of learning for the students and enable teaching staff to invest more time in supporting students to close gaps in learning.”
*Please be aware that we are often reticent in awarding money for trips as we think there are often, more long-lasting, directly educational/effective learning benefits to be derived from other types of project. In this case, the trip contribution was a small part of the bid, had the potential for pushing obvious high-achievers and would be massively motivational for pupils following a worthwhile, curriculum-linked activity.