Our vision for STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) is that all students leave Evendons Primary School inspired by their experiences and equipped with the skills to achieve success in their future STEM education. The children are taught key skills and concepts in individual subject areas, while cross-curricular links are clearly identified to ensure joined up thinking between STEM subjects.
At Evendons, the children are given a wealth of opportunities to take part in trips and visits which enhance their understanding and enjoyments of STEM subjects. They take part in competitions, run by science and technology companies, which challenge them to think beyond the curriculum, applying their science, design and computing knowledge. Our STEM clubs give the children further opportunities to flourish, as they develop new interests and skills which from part of their STEM journey.
From an early age the children will become confident users of a variety of hardware and software tools which enhance their learning in all subject areas. Every child will have access to a chromebook which they will use to learn skills such coding, publishing, wordprocessing skills and multimedia skills.
The children’s enjoyment of STEM subjects is always a joy to see, and our goal is that these early positive and exciting experiences will lead to a continued enthusiasm and many successful future careers in science and technology.
Children experience excellent teaching in science, DT, maths and computing. Cross-curricular links are identified within the individual STEM subjects’ curriculum documents. Teachers will look for opportunities to enhance the learning in each subject by linking skills from other areas e.g. using Google sheets for graphs and tables in maths, using bar charts in science, using knowledge of forces in DT projects.
As they move through the school, the children will enjoy a wide range of inspiring STEM experiences. These will include:
- STEM ambassadors for every year group, qualified and experienced people working in science and technology. They will help to make the learning exciting and memorable, by bringing the subject to life and giving it a real-world context. Examples include geologists, doctors, nurses, space engineers and airline pilots; teachers are always looking for opportunities to invite experts from among the parent group and the wider community.
- Taking part in STEM competitions with other schools. This gives the children a chance to apply their classroom learning, to share ideas and develop team-working skills. Children can have the opportunity to meet STEM professionals and receive feedback from them. This is a great way to develop confidence and build self-esteem.
- Engineering projects which begin with the design and technology skills taught in class. There is a clear progression as the children move through the school, culminating in the year 6 children working in teams to build and race electric go-carts in the Green Goblin challenge.
- A range of STEM clubs, to enthuse and excite the children, widening their experience of science and technology through the use of both high-tech equipment such as VR headsets and 3D printers, but also giving them time to explore scientific ideas and follow their interests.
The annual STEM week, to take place in June, gives yet another opportunity for children to have fun and deepen their understanding of what STEM is, and what it means to be a STEM school.
Impact of STEM Provision
Many children have benefitted from a range of STEM clubs run by the teachers:
- KS1 coding club Scratch junior
- KS2 coding club Scratch and Micro:bit
- Computer Aided Design (TinkerCAD) and 3D printing
- Stop motion animation
- Strong Structures, design and build
- DT crafting skills
- KS1 Science Club
- Model making
Children’s lessons have been enhanced through the use of VR headsets, covering topics such as rainforests, Ancient Greece, Egypt, the Roman and the Maya civilisations, rocks and fossils, the Solar System and many more.
Every child in the school took part in and enjoyed STEM week. This amazing celebration of all things science, technology engineering and maths saw children investigating the strength of biscuits when they are dunked, building incredible structures, such as geodesic domes and chocolate bridges, learning about tangrams and tessellations, and creating algorithms to code microcontrollers (micro:bit), beebots, crumbles and even their teachers! They also learnt about key figures and role models from diverse cultures and time periods, giving the children a wider appreciation the opportunities available to them in a STEM career. The clear progression through the year groups enables children to develop confidence as they develop a wider understanding of what STEM entails.
Every class has posted their STEM activities to facebook using the hashtag #STEMflash. This enables us to celebrate the wide range of activities with parents and the wider community, and to develop a shared understanding of what it means to be a STEM school.
All classes have been visited by one or more STEM ambassadors.
This is a person who works in any field relating to STEM. Some examples are:
Year 1 were visited by our resident architect to see how the school building was designed and worked with our resident engineer to build model houses;
A whole host of insects, reptiles and arachnids visited Year 1 while they were classifying living things;
An A&E nurse visited Year 3 while they were learning about bones;
A member of the Reading Geological Society came to talk to year 3 about the different types of rocks;
Year 4 were visited by a dental nurse to learn more about teeth
An engineer from Qinetic visited Year 5 to talk about designing space rockets;
Year 5 were assisted by a design engineer from Thales during their electric model car project;
A software engineer from EA Games visited every class on Safer Internet Day to answer questions about coding and internet safety in the gaming industry.
All children have daily access to ipads or chromebooks. From reception, children are using technology on a daily basis so they become confident and safe users of the internet and social media. They also develop skills in word processing, creating presentations and the use of spreadsheets using Google tools. They regularly use online learning environments to support their knowledge of spelling and times tables.
The Evendons Eco Committee has been launched this year as part of the #LetsGoZero campaign. Each class has elected an eco warrior who is the interface between their class and the committee. This year, every child has been involved in working towards their own class’s eco goals, which were celebrated and shared on Sustainability day in July. We have begun to work towards the new Eco Schools certification, with the committee defining our focus areas. A whole school poster competition took place across the school to find the best design to share our goals with the school and wider community. The winner was chosen by the children of the Eco Committee.
Outdoor learning – The school grounds have been used for many wonderful STEM activities which have enhanced the children’s understanding in many areas of science and technology. Examples are the vehicle fair for reception children, visiting farm animals, life cycle observations in the pond and wooded areas, maths challenges and orienteering, fire pit activities, paper plane challenges, planting vegetables and building homes for wildlife to name but a few.
Teachers have a shared understanding of the STEM skills set which runs through science, DT, maths and computing. While the integrity of each subject is maintained, the ‘Pentagon of skills’ is displayed in each class/year group and discussed with the children in relation to the subject areas.
Year 4, Year 5 and Year 6 have had great success in external STEM competitions. Year 4 were winners at the 3M Young Innovators challenge where they were highly commended for the scientific knowledge they demonstrated when they designed a slo-mo marble run. Year 5 took part in the Holme Grange maths challenge, winning two gold medals. Year 6 built electric powered go karts at school and took them to the Greenpower Challenge at Goodwood to race on the track.
Examples of independent work by Year 6, summer 2022
Children work with confidence, collaborating and challenging each other as they undertake their STEM projects.
Science – Scientific Enquiry
Engineering – Bridges and welding
|Maths – Investigating and designing tessellations.||
Technology – Programming Crumble microcontrollers