Buryfields Infant School host first Primary School STEAM Network meeting

Date Created: 21st Nov 2016

hanging display of different students air balloons

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On November the 2nd, Jacqui Jennings (Headteacher at Buryfields Infant School) hosted the first meeting, with thirteen teachers and Headteachers’ from six Infant, Junior and Primary schools across North Hampshire in attendance.

Nick Corston from STEAMCO gave a presentation on how his work nationally is powering communities to inspire children with creativity, by putting the Arts at the centre of the STEM agenda and connecting learning opportunities. Nick then led a rocket making exercise using cardboard tubes, paper, masking tape and scissors. Attendees worked in groups of three, sharing the challenge of creating a rocket that could be launched through a powered pump. This involved much collaboration and sharing of ideas and approaches, not to mention hilarity! When teams were ready, they went outside to see how high they would go. There was much excitement and wonder as the rockets shot over trees or nosedived into flowerbeds. Although everyone was working at their own level, there was a real appreciation of the range of skills children would use and connect through such an activity – essentially a creative approach to basic physics.

Following this, Emma Cairns, Head of Arts and Technology at Bridgemary School in Gosport shared her school’s evaluation of a highly successful STEAM programme for Year 7 pupils, piloted earlier this year and based on Harry Potter. The evaluation looked at the impact of combining the arts with STEM subjects on pupil attainment in Maths, Literacy, attendance, use of library services, and general student behaviour. In all respects, the outcomes were positive and demonstrated improvement in attitude and engagement. The programme used Harry Potter as an overarching theme and subject areas were able to deliver on their curriculum priorities through this, defining areas of commonality. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the programme, and eagerly anticipate their next STEAM experience, to be based on YA fiction series, The Hunger Games.

This was the first meeting for the Network and much discussion followed about the value of working in this way and how it enabled children to make real connections in their learning, whilst at the same time keeping it exciting, fun and creative. Buryfields have just submitted their Artsmark Statement of Commitment and recognise how significant this way of working will be in their aspiration to offer an outstanding creative curriculum.

Thank you so much for a great session this evening. You were all so inspirational and I know we’ll form a really creative network which will ultimately bring wonderful experiences for the children.”

(Jacqui Jennings, Headteacher, Buryfields Primary)

The next Network meeting will be held on Thursday 1st December at Elvetham Heath Primary School; we will begin the development of a pilot STEAM programme for Primary schools, to be trialled, evaluated and refined across the Network schools.

If you would like to know more about the Primary STEAM Network, please contact Lorraine Cheshire, Artswork’s School Liaison Manager for Hampshire, Isle Of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton via lorraine@artswork.org.uk


South East Bridge STEAM

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