We are keen to extend this enthusiasm and capability to children and schools in our local area so they too can benefit from the great facilities and teaching expertise that we have here. With the help of a DfE cross-sector partnerships grant, we formed a partnership with two local state schools, Firfield Primary School and Harrington Junior School to establish the Long Eaton Primary STEM Partnership Hub. Mrs Potter, Head of The Elms commented, ‘I am delighted that many local children will benefit from the high-quality Design and Technology teaching and specialist facilities here at The Elms. It is also an excellent way for teachers to share best practice and so far, everyone has demonstrated enthusiasm and collaboration which is great to see!’
Our aim is to work collaboratively to inspire a passion and raise standards in STEM activities for teachers and young people in the local area. As a result, we hope to improve the educational outcomes for disadvantaged pupils and raise academic attainment among those currently working below their expected standard in STEM subjects.
The project is two-fold – we are running a series of four 8-week workshops on ‘Movies and Magic’, whereby a group of KS2 children from each school join us to explore the trickery of movie making and discover the actual science involved behind the ‘magic’; alongside the opportunity to join an after-school construction ‘Goblin Car Club’ to help design and build their own energy efficient electric car, that they can drive and race at the end of the project.
The workshops have started this Michaelmas term with Year 6 pupils from Firfield Primary School and Year 5 from Harrington Junior School. The children have all applied themselves with great enthusiasm and so far, had lots of fun.
Andrew Lawson, D&T subject leader from Firfield Primary School commented “It’s been amazing to see the children go from knowing very little about STEM (or even what STEM stands for) to becoming confident learners and able to recognise and consider how science, technology, engineering, and maths impact on their lives. They have enjoyed the varied activities that have challenged them to overcome problems in a variety of engaging ways. They have been shown that a career in a STEM based subject is achievable – something they may not have realised before!”
All the pupils have said how much they have enjoyed the workshops and the experience of learning new skills. Daisy, Year 6 pupil from Firfield said, “I’ve enjoyed the animation with Lego figures and the digital camera. I’ve learnt about angles and different liquids.” Finlay agreed saying, “I’ve learnt lots of stuff about STEM. It’s not just about building things – it’s about solving problems as well.” Year 5 pupils from Harrington agree as one boy has commented, “Miss Patel is nice and has shared lots of education with us. This is a really cool opportunity and helps you co-operate with others.”
Deviya Patel, D&T teacher at The Elms, who is running the workshops reflects, “I have thoroughly enjoyed working with both schools, it has been a joy to see the enthusiasm they bring towards the subject, a pleasure to teach and I’m looking forward to round 2.”
We will welcome two new groups of children in Lent and Trinity terms, and in the summer stage a big Celebration Evening to bring everyone together. The pupils will perform some of the magic tricks that they have learnt to impress their parents and friends, ending with a chance to drive and race the newly built Goblin Car. An exciting start and still lots to look forward to!