BLOG POST 1: Introduction
STEM at Holy Spirit School Manifold Heights
1. BUT……. Defining the problem
STEM looks really engaging and authentic at our school. It is mapped against the curriculum and the STEM experiences are planned, resourced and assessed. BUT, this is within the hour Specialist STEM session once a week.
Our aim in joining WeSTEM was to notice and celebrate STEM successes within our school, at a whole school level, to eliminate the BUT in the scenario above. We would like STEM to be integrated within the learning experiences provided for our students, especially within Inquiry planning. We would love to see STEM create more authentic learning opportunities and to use it as one of the vehicles to create stronger school-home partnerships.
2. Putting the WE in WeSTEM?
‘We’ need ‘WeStem’ to help raise the profile of STEM learning in our school. In being part of the program my hope is that we have a clear pathway to achieve this. As a school we are more accountable. This accountability comes in the form of the ‘How might we question’ and the actions around this question. I am the Technologies leader, appointed this year. In this role, I am looking to find authentic links with STEM and our Inquiry throughlines and help teachers feel confident to plan for, teach and assess STEM learning. Our Specialist Technologies teaching team (of which I am one), play a valuable role in this as the vision in that they teach and scaffold transferable skills, in line with the Technologies curriculum. We would like to raise our students engagement and grow our whole staff knowledge of the Technologies curriculum. Eventually we would like to empower our teachers to use STEM and back-map the curriculum.
Our Solution Story
How might we celebrate the shared success of STEM learning and teaching in our school?
This ‘how might we’ question suits our context as it involves various stakeholders- teachers, students, parents. The inclusion of the word ‘shared’ means that the responsibility falls on a number of people rather than just a small team. The use of the word ‘success’ means that the focus is on spotlighting and celebrating the things that we are doing well. The use of the words ‘learning and teaching’ acknowledge that one is not happening without the other- teachers are learning and teaching and students can be learners and teachers too.
The actions to support this are:
Whole school staff meetings around STEM-
Term 1: Unpacking the Technologies Curriculum with Craig Cummings 13th March
Term 3: Makey Makey Date TBC
Design/Digital Technology Specialist teams PD-
Term 1: Feb 7th Makey Makey
Term 2: May 2nd Makey Makey and Scratch
Term 3: August 15th Microbit
Planning to have a STEM lens to Inquiry units. Backwards mapping using the curriculum where required.
STEM Project Term 3: Develop an interactive learning artefact. This will largely be created in Specialist lessons.
Parent workshops, newsletter items, links on our parent portal around STEM PD for parent