Members' Blogs

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 ...
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" ...
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. ...
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! ...
Hey there, STEM educators and curious minds! 🌟 We've had quite a week in the world of education, haven't we? From college cuts to ground-breaking educational trials, the news is buzzing with stories that touch the very core of what we do in the classroom. So, grab your cup of coffee, and let's dive into the updates from the past week, March 20th to 26th, 2024. I promise to keep it light, insightful, and yes, a tad less formal. Breaking Down the Barriers in Education First up, we've got a situation brewing over the college cuts in Scotland, hinting at a rocky road ahead for widening access to higher education. The BBC shared a piece that's got us ...
In December 2023, the government launched a consultation to help shape the development of the Advanced British Standard (ABS) – which would replace the existing structures of A and T levels. The ABS would offer students more choice in their post-16 education and increase the number of subjects that they study. Additionally, the number of hours taught would increase and all students would be required to study Mathematics and English up to the age of 18. The new standard aims to better prepare young people for employment, higher education, and life. STEM Learning supports the ambition to reform and improve ...
Welcome to this week's roundup of educational news, with a special focus on STEM subjects. As teachers, staying informed about the latest developments in education can inspire our teaching methods, curriculum design, and how we engage with our students. This week, we've seen a range of stories that touch on everything from the challenges of childcare to the future of exams. Let's dive into the highlights and explore what they mean for us as educators. The Growing Challenge of Childcare A recent report highlighted by the BBC has brought to light the worsening childcare shortage across the UK. With fewer than a third of councils having enough spaces for children ...

Wildscreen ARK is LIVE!

For ARKive education resource fans old and new, Wildscreen has recently launched Wildscreen ARK , an online nature education hub for young people, built to inspire curiosity about the natural world and empower them to protect it. Packed full of natural history photos, video and accessible educational content about UK species, Wildscreen ARK will be growing rapidly in the next few years to include new species, new curriculum-related content and updated education resources. If you'd like to hear more about the project as it grows, or give us feedback on the functionality of the first version of the website and resources, you can sign up to Wildscreen's ...
As educators, staying abreast of the latest developments in the educational landscape is crucial, not only for our professional growth but also for enriching the learning experiences we provide to our students. This week, several noteworthy stories have emerged from the realms of STEM and general education that merit our attention. From curriculum changes to innovative projects, these updates offer a glimpse into the evolving nature of teaching and learning in the UK. Curriculum Innovations and Reforms A significant announcement came from the BBC, detailing a curriculum shake-up pledge made during a Labour visit. This reform aims to modernize the educational ...