We have embedded Gomer: Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (gSTEM) within our curriculum through gSTEM Thursday – every week for half a day. 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. Team Gomer, governors and parents/carers have embraced integrated STEM projects and our learners are fully engaged with gSTEM. We are fully committed to preparing our children for a future that we are yet to know about. Our children talk passionately about STEM, how it has supported their learning across the curriculum and why all schools should include STEM in their curriculums. Interestingly more girls attend our STEM club than boys! See the link for some alarming statistics which gSTEM will no doubt impact positively on: http://www.wes.org.uk/statistics Our girls now communicate that they are considering engineering roles as a result of gSTEM.
We are 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 are developing an iSTEM+ continuum curriculum across the schools in our recently formed local MAT), parents/carers and employers in our local iSTEM Cluster. The female Gomer engineers pictured here are learning at CEMAST. We are leading edge in our curriculum approach and this is being acknowledged nationally.
Pictorial gSTEM Journey: September 2015 – to present day…. by Mrs Toone
The BAE Roadshow made their annual visit to Gomer on Tuesday 16 May 2017. The children learnt about the use of drones, wowed the presenters with their use of binary and were able to have their consideration to engineering careers extended. The robot at the end of the presentation was a firm crowd pleaser. The use of AI was incredible and we we were all most impressed with the robot’s Tai Chi moves.
Following our participation in the Bloodhound Regional Finals we heard on 15 May 2017 that two of our gSTEM Rocketeers have made it to the National Finals. On 29 June 2017 we will watch four of our young engineers independently design, make and then race their rocket cars at the Santa Pod Raceway. Between now and then we will be ensuring they are up to speed with super-car designs so they can race for the line at pace. Wish them luck!
Due to our good practice, our Head Teacher was invited to The Royal Academy of Engineering on 5 May 2017, as a guest of Professor Bill Lucas and Dr Janet Hanson, to form part of a working party to outline the importance of leadership in championing STEM in schools. This will hopefully result in outreaching to more schools to include STEM in their day-to-day teaching. It was brilliant that Mrs Mulhall could further share our pioneering STEM journey.
Our gSTEM Club competed in the Bloodhound ‘Race For the Line’ regional final on 26 April 2017 at RAF Odiham. Their cars reached speeds of 53m.p.h. in our local competition. Competing against 32 other schools (all of which were secondary schools or colleges with the exception of one other primary) the children had to make their own car to be fueled by a rocket without any adult help or intervention. Our children worked in pairs where other schools worked in groups of four. With fewer children to consult with, the pairs had to work diligently and in a timely fashion. Of the 33 cars racing two of our cars ranked in the top 8. This is brilliant!
On April 7 2017 we were very excited to learn that Gomer Junior has been shortlisted for a prestigious TES STEM Team of the Year Award. All other nominees are secondary schools. Go Gomer – brilliant achievement.
In addition to this, The Royal Academy of Engineering launched their report with the Centre for Real World Learning (CRL) at the University of Winchester, Learning to be an Engineer on March 30 2017. The report explores the ways schools can use this approach to create better and more engaging learning opportunities for would-be engineers. We are one of the case studies included in the publication:
Furthermore, upon invitation, teachers from Gomer Junior shared our gSTEM journey at The BETT Show 2017. We are also delighted that The Micro: Bit Foundation have provided 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. Secretary of State for Education Justine Greening is due to be visiting us in the Summer Term 2017.
Why the need? Please see the presentation below, created by our gSTEM Curriculum Leader, Mrs Digby. With her, Mrs Mulhall and Mrs Toone shared this at the Portsmouth STEM Hub upon invitation from the group, on March 7 2017, having heard fabulous things Gomers’ pioneering gSTEM journey. The relevance of the colleagues in attendance is due to our curriuclum success being a whole team effort. The presentation was adapted from material shared with our parents/cares in December 2015.
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.
Engineering Habits of Mind (EHoM)
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.
Our First Term of STEM – Autumn 2015
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!