Members' Blogs

Weekly news round up: 21/05/24

This week's education news has been vibrant with updates and developments that touch various aspects of teaching and learning, especially in the STEM fields. From policy changes to innovative teaching practices, here's a roundup of key stories that can help educators stay informed and inspired. Key Stories Changes to Sex Education in Schools Announced The Education Secretary, Gillian Keegan, announced significant changes to sex education in schools. Gender identity will no longer be taught at any age, and there will be stricter age limits on when sex education can start. This policy aims to standardize sex education across the UK. Read more ...
In April 2024, the Social Market Foundation released a report exploring financial literacy among young people in the UK, titled 'Investing in the future: The case for universal financial education in the UK'. 'Investing in the future: The case for universal financial education in the UK'. It highlighted that Britain has one of the lowest rates of financial literacy in the OECD. Adults were asked seven financial knowledge questions, with only 47% scoring five or more out of seven, compared to the OECD average of 62%. To help improve this, the report recommended that financial education should be introduced at a younger age, ...
This week in education, as STEM educators across the UK, our pursuit of enriching and pragmatic teaching methodologies continues to evolve, driven by new research, policy changes, and educational innovations. This blog compiles critical updates and thoughtful analyses to inspire and inform your teaching practices in a rapidly changing educational landscape. News Summaries A-Level and GCSE Examinations Kick Off (BBC Education) With the commencement of A-Level and GCSE exams, stress levels are high among students. Educators are advised to offer support and guidance, focusing on strategies for managing exam stress effectively. Critical details about ...
This week in education, significant developments span across technology in classrooms, teacher welfare, and strategic changes in education policies affecting STEM and other subjects across the UK. As STEM educators, these stories not only inform but provide fertile ground for reflection and curriculum adaptation. Key Stories This Week Social Media and Exam Integrity Recent reports from the BBC highlight concerns about social media platforms facilitating access to GCSE and A-level exam papers. Read more Teacher Wellbeing under Scrutiny Sky News shared findings from a recent survey suggesting nearly a quarter of teachers use alcohol ...
STEM Learning is pleased to announce its first ever SEND for Special Schools conference - Booking details here . Showcasing the very best practice from around the country, the conference will provide you with: Opportunities to network with similar schools from across the UK, Exposure to best practice regarding SEND provision, Specialist information covering areas such as ASD and anxiety, Access to researchers and respected professionals, The support to develop your curriculum provision, including suitable resources. https://www.stem.org.uk/cpd/531089/special-schools-science-cpd-conference
Looking to learn how to harness the power of technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to streamline your daily tasks and reduce workload? Look no further! Join us in London on June 22nd, for our STEM digital conference dedicated to exploring how AI and technology can minimise your workload whilst still ensuring excellent outcomes for your pupils. Here’s why you won’t want to miss it: Keynote Speakers : Engage with two excellent keynotes who will delve into the ethical considerations of AI in education and best practices for its application. Join Asude Altintas Guray, Edtech innovator and CEO of TwinScience and Robotics, and Alex More, ...
As teachers, we often see the impact of exam stress on our students. It's important that we help parents understand this stress so they can effectively support their children at home. This guide offers insights and practical tips on how we can communicate with parents about exam stress and coping strategies, helping to create a supportive environment that benefits students during their assessments. Explaining exam stress to parents We can start by helping parents understand what exam stress is and why it’s significant. Explain that stress manifests in various ways, including emotional upset, physical symptoms like headaches and stomach pains, and behavioural ...
This week, UK's education sector has witnessed several significant developments, focusing primarily on pressing issues such as educational access, technology integration, and teacher welfare. We've compiled the most noteworthy stories from various educational news platforms to provide a comprehensive update for STEM educators and enthusiasts. News Highlights Increased Free Childcare Places The UK government's recent pledge to dramatically increase free childcare places has been featured prominently in discussions across several outlets, including the BBC and Sky News. This initiative aims to support working families and has been termed "really ambitious" ...
The Hawkhills venue for the Summer School. Credit: Jon Hale. In 2022 I was fortunate enough to attend the SAPS Plant Science Summer School in York. It was a fantastic experience, and despite the plethora of online opportunities nothing can replace this in-person CPD. There were only 6 teachers present, running in parallel to the undergraduate summer school over three and a half days. Like many biology teachers, I come from a biomedical background, plant science was not a strength of mine, and that’s why I am truly grateful for the opportunity. The intensive summer school is effectively a “zero to hero” course, taking you on a journey to become competent ...
Why not join the thousands of teachers and former teachers in becoming a STEM Learning Professional Development Leader (PDL)? There are so many personal and professional benefits to becoming a PDL– such as truly giving back to the profession while developing a rich career path that draws upon your classroom experience – and your school and/or trust will feel the positive impact too! It’s ideal for experienced teachers who want to move their subject forward and develop a twin-track career. The STEM Learning Professional Development Leadership programme supports teachers to gain the highly respected CPD Quality Mark ...
Hi folks! Before we get into the weekly news round-up we have some exciting news to share... WE ARE THE COMMUNITY OF THE YEAR: STEM Community wins ‘Community of the Year’ in Higher Logic’s Super Forum 2024 Customer Awards. Huge thanks to all of our members, you all contributed to this awesome achievement! https://www.stem.org.uk/all-news/stem-community-wins-community-of-the-year Stemming the Tide: A Week in UK Education The past week has seen a whirlwind of activity in the education sector across the UK. This long-read blog offers a digest of the most notable stories and their implications for STEM teachers, albeit with broader educational insights. ...
Posted on behalf of Daryn Maginnis, Vice Principal, Downpatrick Primary School Picture the scene: a busy school playground where pupils are playing, laughing, and having fun. Amid this excitement, a group of learners are taking part in an activity to gather data on their movement. This is exactly what my class was doing last summer. They wanted to answer the question: what is the average number of steps taken in the playground during break and lunch times? It was part of an investigation about the human body and health which involved children using their micro:bit devices alongside laptops to create pedometers. The children wanted a way to accurately track ...
In light of the Government's ongoing consultation about The Advanced British Standard and compulsory maths education to 18, STEM Learning have been reflecting on the current GCSE resit policy and how our interventions have supported young people. The Challenge Since August 2015, students who fail to achieve a grade 4 or above in GCSE Mathematics have been required to resit the subject. This continues until the student has either achieved a grade 4 or above or has left full-time education. Achieving a grade 4 in GCSE Mathematics is essential for many post-secondary routes; it is an entry requirement for most undergraduate courses as well as most apprenticeships. ...
Hopefully you read my last blog on Adapting the Data & Information units in the Teach Computing Curriculum for learners with special educational needs and disabilities, plus other specific learning needs. I am often asked how to make the curriculum more accessible for learners with additional learning needs or sensory difficulties, and the Teacher Guidance documents for KS1 and KS2 are going to be updated shortly with some broad principles on how to adapt the materials for SEND. Today I'm going to look at some examples of adapting the Creating Media strand of the curriculum, and I will be starting a discussion in the community forum for you to share ...
A massive thank you to everyone who has joined STEM Community since its launch three years ago – you've all played a huge part in it being recognised as ‘Community of the Year’ in Higher Logic's Super Forum 2024 Customer Awards ! STEM Community was set up to be a safe, professional space for teachers, TA's and technicians of STEM subjects to share ideas and best practice, resources and support each other with everything from wellbeing tips to pedagogy – ultimately improving lives through STEM education.  Over the last three years, it’s grown rapidly and now features more than 25,000 members and many groups buzzing with discussions, collaboration, key ...
As a teacher , I c an’ t help but be impressed and inspired by seeing how senior doctors work together to discuss cutting edge treatments and diagnoses in their speciality. Often, they are p ushing the boundaries and working outside of existing guidelines for patients who may really need urgent help and for who m normal approaches are difficult. This will sometimes be in the form of a symposium on a certain topic that brings together doctors from across the country fr o m a variety of settings. In contrast, e ducation CPD or teacher events can frequently be aimed at topics where ...
Imagine the possibility of crafting an artificial environment that seamlessly integrates digital information with the user's real-time surroundings. This is precisely what augmented reality (AR) enables us to achieve! Have you started teaching augmented reality yet? While teaching augmented reality (AR) may be a relatively fresh concept for some in the education sector, including myself until recently, OCR has taken the lead by integrating augmented reality into one of their Level 2 qualifications. L aunched in September 2022, the Cambridge Nationals Level 1/2 IT qualification features a mandatory unit in which students must ...
Do you know someone in education who deserves recognition? The Royal Society of Chemistry Education prizes are part of a prestigious portfolio of annual awards for the chemical sciences community. Our Education prizes recognise individuals and teams doing great things in their classrooms. They are leading by example in all sorts of ways, including: designing innovative and effective science curricula making a step-change in science education through new initiatives, programmes or technologies engaging pupils through practical science championing inclusion and diversity in science education supporting the development of colleagues ... to name a ...
This overview aims to provide a comprehensive yet concise reading experience, reflecting on recent developments in the educational sector, and stimulating thought on how these might affect teaching practices and student engagement in STEM subjects. Key News Stories 1. The Impact of Sure Start Centres on GCSEs ( BBC ) A recent study highlights the positive effect of living near a Sure Start centre on students' GCSE outcomes. Researchers suggest that proximity to these centres correlates with improved grades, hinting at the broader impact of community resources on academic achievement. 2. Examining the Role of Mobile Phones in School Sexism ( BBC ) ...
The UK Junior Water Prize challenges young people in STEM to develop innovative yet practical solutions to our global water crisis. The winning UK entry receives £1,000 in cash plus the opportunity to go on an all-expenses paid trip to represent the UK and their school at the Stockholm Junior Water Prize competition in Sweden, with a chance to win the cash award of US$15,000 ! Minimum entry requirements Aged 15-20 Based in the UK In secondary education when research was conducted Max. 2 co-applicants Do you work with STEM students who meet the above requirements? We have an outreach hub to help you talk about UKJWP! ...