Pupils in Reception through to Year 6 benefited from a full programme of activities and learning experiences, including an assembly led by professional biologists, workshops from engineering leaders Rolls Royce and specialist teaching at our senior school Trent College.
In addition to promoting interest and engagement in STEAM subjects, the week’s chosen theme ‘the Deep Blue’ presented a valuable opportunity to strengthen pupil understanding of marine pollution and other important environmental issues.
Whole School Assembly
STEAM Week began with a motivating talk from two experts on the Deep Blue, former Trent College pupil Andy Clark (Ecologist, Conservationist and Filmmaker) and his fiancé Beth Francis, a Marine Biologist. Andy and Beth inspired pupils with details of their exciting expeditions across the world and the remarkable animals they had met during their careers in biology. After the assembly, the winners of our Deep Blue project were lucky enough to have a group photo with our visitors.
Rolls Royce Workshops
On Thursday, Rolls Royce visited The Elms to teach pupils in Years 2 and 5 about engineering in a series of interactive workshops. The children had to travel to Rocky Island, Energy Bay and Industry Island on their journey to find out about the importance of engineers. Pupils worked in groups to communicate the concepts behind different modern devices to Rocky the robot, forming different shapes with their bodies.
STEAM Across The Year Groups
Reception learned about the basics of engineering – what does it mean and what does it involve? With the support of staff, pupils even tried out some engineering of their own when they constructed a den for Beegu, demonstrating perseverance and teamwork in the process.
Year 1 went on a journey through time and space on their visit to the National Space Centre. They built rockets, experienced the wonders of the Sir Patrick Moore Planetarium and explored a selection of interesting exhibits.
Back in the classroom, pupils investigated how ice melts by comparing the effects of water at different temperatures and the addition of salt. Food colouring was also used to enable a closer look at cracks in the ice.
Year 2 enjoyed a STEAM themed Computing lesson, where they were tasked with researching jellyfish and digitally drawing their own underwater scene. The children also shared some fun scientific facts on Tizzy’s Tools, the computing programme used by Elms Infant pupils.
Year 3 made Rocking Red Crabs in Art. This project involved problem solving and lots of collaborative working with classmates, as pupils were encouraged to help and support each other. In Computing, Year 3 used a child-friendly search engine called Kiddle to research the Cayman Islands. They communicated their findings to their teacher via email and also located the islands on Google Earth.
Meanwhile, soap making was on the challenge in Design & Technology for both Year 3 and Year 4 pupils. Pupils first melted the soap base and then added essential oils, blue dye, glitter and miniature sea creature models to create their own Deep Blue Sea Soap. Year 4 also applied their creative skills in Art when they looked at the patterns and symmetry of sea urchins in Art and re-created the designs on rocks.
In English lessons, Year 5 read classic and modern ‘Oceans of Verse’ and studied the meaning behind them. The children then wrote their own poems inspired by the Deep Blue, including the use of sophisticated literary techniques such as metaphor and personification.
Meanwhile in Maths, pupils investigated and solved STEAM themed problems. They applied their understanding of percentage to calculate sea levels in response to climate change and used negative and positive numbers to locate items above and below the surface of the water.
Years 5 and 6 combined Maths, Science and Art when they copied and enlarged photos of the Great Barrier Reef organisms using a grid and produced fine pen drawings for a display. Pupils also explored the current threats facing the Barrier Reef and looked at how human activity is causing devastating bleaching events.
Year 6 used STEAM week and the Deep Blue as inspiration for their English work. With their knowledge of non-finite clauses and rhetorical questions, they wrote fact-files about under-water animals. Their favourite fact from this week: a sea horse’s top speed is 150cm in 1 hour!
This week’s science lessons saw pupils head over to the Trent College Biology and Chemistry departments where they conducted a magical experiment in the laboratories that involved dissecting owl pellets in a Harry Potter themed challenge.
The Elms Fun Run
STEAM Week ended as it began, with a whole school focus, this time in the form of an Elms Fun Run. Pupils and staff gathered for an assembly led by Year 4 pupils on the importance of ‘Keeping Healthy’, an ongoing science topic in classrooms. Afterwards, pupils laced up their trainers and, with two Trent runners leading way, ran across campus in aid of Sports Relief.