Why introduce STEM at Solefield?
We are very excited about bringing STEM to the boys at Solefield from September 2021. There are many reasons for introducing STEM at Solefield as part of the curriculum and extra-curricula life at school. Primarily, it will support us in our aim to raise achievement in all curriculum subjects contained within the STEM umbrella (namely Science, Technology and Maths). However, its reach will extend far beyond that of improving academic standards. It will also develop the soft-skills of collaboration, communication and critical thinking. The introduction of STEM will encourage student awareness and engagement in STEM-based careers, a huge government focus over the past 10 years. Finally, it will support the learners we already have at Solefield, aligning with their interests and passions.
What will the curriculum look like?
Initially, discrete STEM lessons will be delivered to boys throughout the school, with teachers in the Pre-Prep including STEM lessons when their timetable allows on a more flexible basis. The intention being that soon all year groups will be taught STEM lessons as part of their curriculum.
These lessons will take the form of half-termly topics throughout the school, using a project-based learning approach in which students are introduced to a problem or challenge that they need to solve. Individuals, pairs or groups will then present their solution to their peers. While these projects will synthesise elements of all four elements of STEM, this will be done through projects focused around:
- Practical Action: solving real-life problems, for example: water shortages, clean water, climate change
- Information Technology: using computing and programming alongside the design process, for example: programmable Lego or Stop Motion videos
- Design Technology: construction to fulfil a brief, for example: model cars or bridges
- Awards: working towards CREST awards, suitable for each year group
How will STEM appear beyond the curriculum?
Throughout the course of the year, boys will be given the opportunity to attend at clubs. There is already demand for Engineering and Computing Clubs, with the plan being to diversify the school’s provision to include clubs such as Lego, Robotics, Design, Coding or Construction.
STEM will be an option for the Year 7 and 8 boys to take as part of the Scholarship Pathway program. This will not only provide the boys who elect it to look in more detail at STEM projects and gain a greater insight into different aspects of STEM, they would also undertake a range of different experiences to demonstrate the opportunities STEM allows. This may include visiting the BETT Show, the Big Bang Fair or educational visits to workplaces that utilise STEM. All of these will offer that insight and inspiration. The Scholars will also be instrumental in the delivery of STEM Week.
There will be an annual STEM Week. This will include assemblies, talks and workshops run by experts and professionals that utilise STEM in their work. Also, during the week, boys from Year 7 and 8 will lead class activities with the younger children. Scholars will present their work or research to the school. The aim being that, in the future, a range of local schools and businesses will be invited to this Week, thereby developing strong and meaningful links with the community.
Finally, a STEM Prefect will be nominated each year to encourage the student voice to be heard. They will provide feedback regarding what is working well in our STEM provision, and what we can improve on or develop further.
How will STEM help Solefield boys?
We believe the introduction of STEM within the curriculum and as part of the school’s extra-curricula provision will raise academic standards in all of the STEM subjects.
It will support the boys in developing skills required for life, namely communication, collaboration and critical thinking skills.
Engage and inspire a wide range of students through work and projects that they are interest in and passionate about.
Provide increased awareness and insight into STEM-based careers, and create a clear pathway for boys to see the link between the subject at school and a career utilising STEM.
Please follow the links below for further information on the many benefits the introduction of STEM will bring:
To read more about our Director of STEM, Mr Buddden, please click here.