STEM (Science and Computing)
Our STEM education integrates concepts from a variety of subjects: computing, design and technology, science and maths. It helps children to understand that although these are discreet disciplines, they are also inextricably connected in the real world, and many real-world situations require a combination of knowledge and skills in order to solve problems successfully.
Every year we organise a whole school STEM day which is based on a real-problem like the implications of climate change. Children come together, across years, to work in groups and produce solutions to the given problem. Children are encouraged to use their combined multidisciplinary skills and knowledge to be as creative as possible in order to solve the problem. This fosters creativity and actively engages children with real-world issues which can be improved using STEM.
Many of our collective worships relate to people who have changed the world using their knowledge and skills within STEM. This year we’ve learnt out about Mae C Jemison, Florence Nightingale, Katherine Johnson just to name a few. We hope that this enables our pupils to be aspirational and dream big in STEM.
In each of our KS2 classes we have two Junior STEM Leaders. They work hard all year round to raise the profile of STEM in school: hosting STEM based events at break times, leading collective worships with STEM links, supporting in class with the learning of younger pupils, and taking a lead within their peer groups to champion online safety and responsible, kind use of the internet.
Our high-quality science curriculum provides the foundations for understanding the world around us through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.
All our pupils are taught key scientific knowledge which includes key vocabulary, significant scientific theories and findings, and influential scientists. Equally important, are the scientific skills which children use to explore this knowledge further: pattern seeking, comparative and fair testing, research using secondary sources, identifying, classifying and grouping, and making observations overtime. This toolkit of skills and knowledge allows our children to ask questions about the world around them and to seek out the answers for themselves, empowering them now, and in their futures, with the hope that our pupils develop a life-long love of learning.
This body of key foundational knowledge and skills are sequenced across each year group and throughout the school to ensure progression during their time with us. It is our aim to ensure children have a firm scientific foundation which prepares them and excites them for their next steps in life, to secondary school and beyond.
We want to inspire our children to explore future careers in STEM and build the scientists of the future through their experience of our science curriculum and through wider opportunities such as visitors to school with STEM backgrounds, educational visits with a science focus and extra-curricular opportunities.
Our rich computing curriculum equips pupils to use computational thinking and creativity to understand and be the change for good in our world. Our computing curriculum has deep links across the curriculum, and provides important opportunities for problem solving and creativity.
The core elements of our computing curriculum are threefold: computer science, digital literacy and online safety. In computer science, our pupils are taught the principles of information and computation, how digital systems work, and how to put this knowledge to use through programming. In digital literacy, our pupils are equipped to use information technology to create programs, systems and a range of content allowing them express themselves and develop their ideas. Our e-safety curriculum aims to develop deep and relevant self and social awareness which supports the well-being of our children in their on-line lives, now and in the future.
The skills and knowledge that children will develop throughout each area of our computing curriculum are sequenced across each year group and throughout the school to ensure progression during their time with us. It is our aim to ensure children are prepared for their next step in life to secondary school and we hold ourselves responsible for ensuring they all have a strong basis for their future lives as upstanding citizens in an increasingly digitally connected world.
Every year to enrich our curriculum further, we hold a number of computing events across our Tri-School. This year we organised a coding conference for KS2 and an animation project for KS1. This was an opportunity for our children to meet pupils from other schools, develop working relationships and apply their computing skills and knowledge to various problems.
Design and technology
Our design and technology curriculum aims to provide our pupils with an opportunity to develop their skills in: creativity and imagination, design and construction, and problem solving. They also acquire a broad range of subject knowledge which is built on year on year and draws on disciplines such as mathematics, science, engineering, computing and art.
Our design and technology curriculum is taught in a cyclic model:
- Firstly, children research and evaluate past and present design and technology considering its impact on daily life.
- Next, they are invited to design a product that solve real and relevant problems within a variety of contexts, considering their own and others’ needs.
- After that, they make their designs using specific taught skills, solving problems where they arise.
- Then, they evaluate their designs, considering how to improve them.
- Finally, they have the opportunity to complete further research and to improve their product.