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Learning Maths Outside the Classroom - STAR Centre & Beyond

This page has been archived. The content was correct at the time of original publication, but is no longer updated.
Created on 29 April 2008 by ncetm_administrator
Updated on 21 October 2010 by ncetm_administrator
Built Environment and HeritageBuilt Environment and Heritage
STAR Centre & Beyond
The space project will involve key stage 4 students from Belle Vue Girls’ School, Yorkshire and Humber having access to the STAR Centre and its associated Science equipment at Keighley College. The project involves a role play exercise in which students go on a Mars mission to collect data. This data could be recovered remotely using a planetary robotic rover, which could send data using data-logging equipment back to other students either in mission control or back at school using the web and skype technology. Some information could come direct from the students on the Martian surface e.g. pulse rate, body temperature etc. It is envisaged that several areas of the key stage 4 national curriculum science topics will be covered. The school will use this funding to engage with the existing STAR Centre in a way which has not yet been attempted. It will involve visits to the STAR Centre and 2 way video and audio links being set up. The project will use state of the art equipment to measure and analyse various physical science related data.

The government fund projects to enhance access to STEM subjects – science, technology, engineering and mathematics.  Some of these provide examples of taking mathematics across the curriculum and mathematics outside the classroom.

Below is a list of STEM projects for 2007 that have a mathematics focus.

Chesterton Community College, East

The Maths Diversity Connect Project - MDC will allow our pupils to produce high quality published revision materials for their own use and for their peers. It will engage STEM Ambassadors, Stimulus Students and parents (our partners) directly in the learning of a BME focussed group of our pupils.

MDC will connect these existing STEM projects to our pupils through an innovative publishing idea supported by Cambridge University Press which will provide direct benefit for our pupils and produce nationally available printed and online E-Learning materials targeted at the specific BME group.

Parents will play a pivotal role in supporting the pupils – partnering with STEM through the ambassadors program where appropriate or gaining access to a basic skills qualification in maths for themselves if they become engaged with the learning.

MDC will have 2 strands of delivery. The first is through partners working with teachers in the classroom to produce and deliver ‘real world’ contextualised maths learning resources, which will be shared through the MDC website.

The second strand will be to provide an after school club for each of year 9 and year 11 to provide 1 to 1 support for the focus group of pupils – connecting partners to pupils.

The outcome of the project will see Contextual Value Added for Bangladeshi and Pakistani Girls and Black African and Caribbean Boys rise on average 17 points to be at least as strong as the majority of pupils at Chesterton. The average key Stage 4 target for these pupils will rise by one grade.

Hinde House, Yorkshire and Humber

Our project is aiming to raise awareness and increase engagement in engineering through maths, science and technology with our students from ethnic minorities. As a 3-16 school, we want to achieve this aim across the two phases, primary phase and secondary phase. We want to inspire students using STEM enrichment activities from an early age to help support the Work Related Agenda not only at KS3 and 4, but to begin earlier during KS1 and 2 to enthuse these students to prepare them for the world of work. As an Engineering Specialist school, we already are involved in many engineering activities but through this funding could involve other STEM role models, extend our links to the world of work and develop opportunities for students, parents, teachers and the wider community. We also want to involve parents and families in family learning. We want to enable BME students to increase their attainment by giving them access to ‘out of school’ activities, increase their aspirations through working with key speakers and raise their self esteem.

John Kelly Boys’ Technology College, London

The project will provide opportunities for 50 KS3 and KS4 pupils from two schools to participate in an intensive programme of raising standards in science and mathematics.
Pupils and their parents will be asked to agree to a contract inviting them to participate in Saturday classes and in homework clubs after school.

A group of mentors will be recruited from black and minority ethnic communities, recruited and trained by FEAST, a charity specialising in supporting underachieving pupils from African and Caribbean communities.

Participants will have opportunities to work with inspirational mathematicians and scientists. Workshops, day-programmes and scientific and mathematical challenges will be delivered by Paul Godding, representatives from ‘By Design Group’, representatives from Cavendish Laboratory Outreach Programme and representatives from the Science Museum Outreach team. Central Brent Partnership will work closely with SetNet, London to recruit Science and Engineering Ambassadors (SEAs).

Selected pupils will attend a residential weekend at Hindleap Warren, an activity centre, where they will have an opportunity to intensively work with their mentors.

Funds will be set aside to enable groups of pupils to visit places of scientific and engineering interest, such as the Science Museum, Botanical Gardens, Kew and work with practicing scientists.

Sidney Stringer Specialist School, West Midlands

The project will increase pupils’ awareness of the roles of scientists, engineers and mathematicians in the sustainability debate. The team will be based in a school specialising in ICT and Mathematics. The school is situated in an area of high socioeconomic depravation. A high percentage of students are eligible for free school meals and the majority of students have English as a second language. The impact of this project upon the wider community will be to increase the aspirations of students and their families and their understanding of how the STEM subjects can lead to the world of work.

The project will be based around 20 year 8 pupils who will be enrolled in the CREST programme. This will encourage independent learning and motivate pupils who otherwise may fail to achieve their full academic potential. The project will investigate re-cycling, sustainable use of forests, importance of clean water and how waste is managed. The project will utilise existing family and cultural links in increasing awareness of the sustainability issue globally. In addition pupils will develop ICT and communication skills via use of “Digital Blue” video camera’s and in the production of a “documentary” will gain experience of how science is communicated in the media, thus enabling them to better connect with the world of science and maths.

The project outcomes will include raising awareness of Science and Engineering opportunities in the world of work increased engagement and achievement in STEM and increase team working and communication skills.

Sir John Cass Redcoat School, London

The project has three aspects. Each aspect has the key aim of raising the achievement of Bengali girls in Mathematics at KS3 and GCSE level.

The first aspect is to motivate girls to see mathematics as an enjoyable and vital part of their education. This would involve two sets of activities. The first is to take groups of Bengali girls on visits to aspirational workplaces where they would see and hear from women who use mathematics at some level in their jobs. The second is to have speakers visit the school who are Bengali women who have succeeded in the world of work. The purpose of both activities is to further raise the aspirations and expectations of the girls.

The second aspect is to run additional mathematics workshops for Bengali girls. These would be in the school on Saturday mornings. The teachers would be women, with a number of Bengali staff present. The workshops would approach mathematics in a real world, problem solving context.

The third aspect is to develop the teaching of mathematics in the school so that Bengali girls’ learning needs are increasingly met in the mathematics classroom. This would involve some consultancy, evaluation, training and follow up.

Smithills School, North West

Smithills School is a large, 1500 pupil, school with a diverse range of ethnic cultures. We have a strong background as an Extended School, open 50 weeks of the year. We have identified the students who are underachieving across all subjects. These students include many who are within the STEM projects target group of Pakistani ethnic background. We believe the activities below will help address this underachievement.

The aim of this project is to develop the motivation, engagement and understanding of how science and maths are used within the workplace. It will also improve the thinking skills of these pupils through the many STEM activities that will take place utilising many of the workshops provided by the Salford SATRO.

The project will focus on three areas.

  1. The vocational GCSE in Applied Science is already taken by approximately 120 of our pupils in years 10 and 11. We will use the grant to enable these pupils to gain access to science in the workplace. The groups taking this course consist of many Pakistani heritage pupils. Links will be made or are already made with many industrial organisations.
  2. The second area of focus will be a summer school, running for 2 years, aimed at year 7/8 pupils. This will involve approximately 30 pupils consisting of all ethnic origins but ensuring that 50% are from the target ethnic groups. The summer school will focus on specific areas of maths and science such as forensic science and theme park design to demonstrate how science and maths link to the real world. We already have links in place with the local theme park and a graphic designer. The main thrust of this will be to ensure that pupils’ thinking skills are developed.
  3. The third area will be targeting the engagement of pupils throughout years 7-9. We have various activities planned which include pupils speaking to scientists from hospitals, sport, food industry and the technology industry. We already have role models from various ethnic backgrounds including an ex Pakistan cricket international player, current England cricketer Sajid Mahmood and the boxer Amir Khan, who attended Smithills School. The final aspect of this area will be a ‘Meet the Scientist’ morning at various mosques throughout Bolton in an effort to engage the whole Pakistani community with science. We will also ensure that a network of STEM activities is set up that encourages scientific and technological awareness of pupils and their parents.

St Bernard’s Catholic School, South East

The project will focus on the development of Numeracy skills among a group of Black Caribbean and Black African boys from Years 7-10, but will also include other students that are also underachieving in Maths. The school has been focussing on this ethnic group for the past 2 years and studies have shown that the boys under scrutiny do not achieve their fullest potential.

The aim of this project is to address this shortfall, by close tracking of pupils through an already established progress check system, early intervention and by placing pupils on a personalised learning programme.

The programme will involve attending a series of 3 workshops at Watford Football Club. Each student will take part in a range of Numeracy activities based in and around the day to day running of a Premiership club. The students will engage with the everyday context of the Mathematics they are being asked to use. The task will be designed to specifically engage demotivated boys by involving lots of ICT.

The workshops will also be visited by some of Watford’s high profile black players to help enthuse and inspire the boys to further success.

The project will have an incentive scheme to encourage the students to stick with the programme; tickets to a Watford home game as arranged through the club at preferential rates.

The project will also enable 2 members of St Bernard’s staff, one Math’s teacher and the Aim Higher co-ordinator, to take part in professional development to help set up a similar set of workshops closer to High Wycombe. This may then become a resource for other secondary schools in the local area.

The City Academy, South West

This project aims to raise the achievement and aspiration of students towards science, maths and technology in the target group. Students will be engaged in a series of STEM and WRL activities organised to run consecutively and concurrently in a coherent and developmental way, thus raising the opportunity of impact. Impact and awareness will be enhanced by a dynamic ‘show’ to illustrate that STEM can be theatrical and exciting. Extended STEM project work is included and will run concurrently with the shorter activities. These activities are to be derived from work contexts to develop skills appropriate to the workplace and to improve understanding of science and mathematical concepts through experiential learning strategies. Inclusion and engagement are key objectives but also important are improvements in interest levels and motivation towards STEM subjects. Aspiration is to be raised by appropriate role models and visits to selected workplace environments. Work pathways are to be illustrated to demonstrate opportunities and to raise potential vocational horizons. Teachers will support the activities either directly or indirectly so that potentially new pedagogy has the opportunity for importation into the school curriculum.




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