At Gomer, we have introduced Gomer: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (gSTEM) to our curriculum. Our pupils are motivated by and understand real world applications of STEM subjects by experiencing hands-on STEM activities that innovate, inspire and bring learning and career opportunities to life.
We consider ourselves to be a ‘Skilful School’. gSTEM has adopted the principles of iSTEM+ – integrated STEM education, ‘including more subjects, skills and people’. Skilful Schools work with other partners, including schools (we work closely with Bay House), parents and employers in our local iSTEM Cluster. We are leading edge in our curriculum approach which is generating national interest. So much so, upon invitation, teachers from Gomer are sharing our gSTEM journey at The BETT Show 2017. We are also delighted that The Micro: Bit Foundation are investing in Gomer Junior and Bay House with micro: bits. A press release from Caroline Dinenage MP was made on 23 January 2017 http://caroline4gosport.co.uk/news/mp-welcomes-stem-investment-in-gosport-schools/707
This leading edge opportunity is intended to increase the understanding of how learning in school links to the real world in which we live. The leadership team, governors and staff are committed every Thursday morning to integrated STEM projects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths); gSTEM Thursday. We are motivated to engage all our learners with STEM and in particular strive to engage our girls in STEM learning. See the link for some alarming statistics which gSTEM will no doubt impact positively on: http://www.wes.org.uk/statistics
Why the need? Please see the presentation below, created by our gSTEM Leader, Mrs Digby who led our December Gomer Learning Community (GLC).
We use the gSTEM wheel to help us structure our gSTEM work. With thanks to Dave Hill from Portsmouth University for providing this for us.
What our Lead Learning Partner said following his inspection on 27 January 2016:
‘I spent the morning in lessons and the approach is based on sound pedagogy and is clearly impacting on pupils’ learning in a profound way. Staff all buy into the approach in a big way and are modelling the learning approach on which STEM is based but skilfully avoiding the temptation to over-model. Marking in the gSTEM books is developmental and responded to, for example. The meaningful application of maths evidences deepening and applying, the pupils’ levels of language use, collaboration and expression of their ideas is of very high quality in all year groups. The overall ‘project’ (its more embedded and sustainable than a time limited project) is well led and is an example of distributed leadership impact.’
Our children also have the opportunity to attend our gSTEM club. Pupils from across the school, will work on exciting gSTEM based projects after school, which are rewarded through the British Science Association’s CREST Star Award programme. This club has been so popular we have had to operate upper and lower school on a two week cycle to include all who want to be involved. Interestingly, more girls attend our STEM Club than boys.
In our first term of the project we focused on space. We become engineers by engineering space craft and moon buggies. In addition to this we evaluated the intricacies of spaceflight, investigating aerodynamics, and solving real life problems as part of the real space mission Principia. The Principia took flight on December 15th. Here are a few Space Buggy models made by the children:
Science Fair March 2016 makes The News.
Please look at the PowerPoint below, produced by Harrison in Y3. The presentation outlines his Home Learning project, including videos testing his Space Buggy and how he improved his design. The presentation showcase informative hands on learning. Go Harrison!