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STEM

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STEM CURRICULUM

STEM lessons provide children with the opportunity to apply their scientific, mathematical, DT (Design and Technology), and computing knowledge to real-life practical problems, often with an engineering focus. We encourage pupils to devise sustainable solutions, emphasising human-centered design to minimize waste and instilling the idea that even small changes on a global scale can have a significant impact. Our curriculum strives for a balance between practical skills and digitally enhanced learning. We stress the importance of teamwork, research, and presentation skills. Pupils are encouraged to self-evaluate their work and suggest or implement improvements.

Reception

In Reception, the focus is on fostering a sense of "awe and wonder" and encouraging children to explore and ask questions. Practical activities are linked whenever possible to the week's theme, such as using yeast to inflate a balloon, conducting chromatography experiments with sweets, and exploring magnetism through layers of ice.

Year 1

Michaelmas Term (Little Red Riding Hood):

  • Investigate suitable bags for carrying food to Grandma, considering sustainable packaging and waste reduction.

Lent Term (Rapunzel):

  • Construct Rapunzel's tower and design an escape system for her.

Summer Term (Goldilocks and the Three Bears):

  • Explore the comfort of Baby Bear's bed and the suitability of porridge for breakfast.

Year 2

Michaelmas Term (Gingerbread Man):

  • Create a wanted poster for the Gingerbread Man, design a map to aid in his escape, and build a raft to help him cross the river.

Lent Term (The Billy Goats Gruff):

  • Build a bridge for the Goats and explore soundproofing techniques. Design a coat for one of the Goats.

Summer Term (The Little Red Hen):

  • Compare different grains, grow crops, mill grains, and make bread to understand the role of yeast in baking.

Year 3

Michaelmas Term (Space):

  • In this term, students will embark on a fascinating journey to explore the possibilities of landing on Mars. They will consider optimal landing sites, methods for collecting Martian soil samples to test for signs of life, assess the suitability of Martian weather, and design resilient buildings capable of withstanding the harsh Martian winds.

Lent Term (Energy):

  • During the Lent Term, students will delve into the world of energy. They will conduct an energy audit of the school, design self-sufficient homes, experiment with recreating the Greenhouse Effect, explore techniques for maintaining a cool home, engage in paper recycling, create draught excluders, investigate insulation, run traffic surveys, construct wind turbines, and even nurture the growth of trees.

Summer Term First Half (Pumpkins Against Poverty):

  • The first half of the summer term will focus on studying Bangladesh as a country facing food shortages. Pupils will search for suitable crops to grow in Bangladesh to combat malnutrition, cultivate pumpkins from seeds, compile a recipe book featuring pumpkin dishes, and design and create pumpkin seed packets.

Summer Term Second Half (Darwin's Collectors):

  • In the latter part of the summer term, pupils will become nature enthusiasts. They will learn to recognise different habitats and understand the importance of conserving these habitats to prevent the extinction of plant species. Additionally, they'll develop skills to identify and name common UK plants while maintaining an herbarium.

Year 4

Michaelmas Term First Half (Walls and Towers):

  • In the initial part of the Michaelmas Term, pupils will engage in hands-on construction activities. They will experiment with creating walls using wattle and daub, as well as constructing walls and towers using Lego building blocks. Additionally, they will critically assess and refine their Lego tower designs with the objective of minimizing their footprint, with a focus on creating slender towers.

Michaelmas Term Second Half (Food Technology):

  • In the latter half of the Michaelmas Term, pupils will explore the world of food technology. They will delve into the sensory aspects of food, including taste, texture, and appearance, investigating the factors that make food enticing to eat. Sustainability in food production will also be examined, considering concepts such as food miles, the water footprint of food, and the environmental impact of food packaging.

Lent Term First Half (Wheeled Vehicles):

  • During the first part of the Lent Term, pupils will embark on a journey into the realm of wheeled vehicles. They will gain insights into various types of wheeled vehicles, familiarise themselves with the essential components of these vehicles, and take on the challenge of designing and crafting a model car that is powered by a rubber band, engineered to transport an egg along a predetermined path.

Lent Term Second Half (Furniture):

  • In the latter part of the Lent Term, pupils will explore the art of furniture design and creation. They will acquaint themselves with different types of chairs and the materials commonly used in crafting them. To put their knowledge into practice, pupils will engage in scale drawing exercises to create a model chair, specifically tailored for their favourite toy. Subsequently, they will construct a prototype of their designed chair.

Summer Term First Half (Textiles- Cushion):

  • The first part of the summer term will be dedicated to textiles, where pupils will undertake a creative project to fashion cushions for their chairs. They will add visually appealing patterns to these cushions through printing techniques and then fill them with recycled textiles, promoting sustainability and creativity.

Summer Term Second Half (Ditch the Dirt):

  • In the latter half of the summer term, pupils will delve into an important global issue—access to clean water. They will gain an understanding of the daily challenges faced in collecting water in various parts of the world, ponder water quality considerations, and explore methods to ensure the safety of drinking water.

Year 5

Michaelmas Term First Half (Bridges):

  • In the initial part of the Michaelmas Term, pupils will immerse themselves in the fascinating world of bridges. They will engage in hands-on activities by constructing bridges using materials such as drinking straws and newspaper. Through these experiments, pupils will explore concepts of strength, span, and height. Additionally, they will undertake the challenge of building a model suspension bridge, gaining insights into the forces of compression and tension that affect such structures.

Michaelmas Term Second Half (Polar Exploration):

  • In the latter half of the Michaelmas Term, pupils will embark on a virtual journey into polar exploration. They will investigate the design and functionality of icebreaker ships and take on the task of designing and constructing their own miniature icebreaker ship model. To deepen their understanding of underwater exploration, students will create a model diver, providing them with insights into the mechanics of submarine descent and ascent.

Lent Term First Half (Textiles- Fabfix Repair Kit):

  • During the first part of the Lent Term, pupils will delve into the realm of textiles with an eco-friendly twist. They will contemplate the significance of textile repair as a means to reduce waste and promote sustainability. Pupils will put their creativity to work by designing and crafting a repair kit capable of addressing a variety of family repair needs.

Lent Term Second Half (Flight):

  • In the latter part of the Lent Term, pupils will soar into the world of flight. They will delve into the physics of flight and explore various flight-related concepts. Hands-on projects will include the construction of hot air balloons, balloon helicopters, paper gliders, and the exploration of rubber band propulsion. The term will culminate in the thrilling endeavour of building and launching bottle rockets.

Summer Term First Half (Lighting):

  • The first part of the summer term will illuminate the subject of lighting. Pupils will journey through the history of lighting, from traditional flames to modern LEDs. They will engage in creative activities, including candle making and the design and creation of lampshades, gaining a deeper appreciation for the art and science of illumination.

Summer Term Second Half (Food Technology):

  • In the latter part of the summer term, pupils will explore the realm of food technology. They will investigate food provenance, considering aspects such as animal welfare, hygiene, and safe food storage. Additionally, students will explore the art of yogurt making, gaining insights into the culinary world and fostering an appreciation for food preparation.

Year 6

Michaelmas Term (Beat the Flood):

  • In the Michaelmas Term, pupils will confront the global issue of flooding and its devastating impact on communities around the world. They will investigate why flooding poses a significant challenge for numerous regions and explore ways in which affected populations can enhance their resilience against floods. As a practical project, pupils will embark on the design, construction, and testing of a model flood-proof house. Through this project, they will gain valuable insights into architectural and engineering solutions to mitigate the effects of flooding.

Lent Term (The Island):

  • During the Lent Term, pupils will embark on an exciting imaginary adventure. They will envision a scenario where their plane has crash-landed on a remote island, prompting them to think critically and creatively about survival. Pupils will identify and prioritise the first three essential tasks they must undertake and devise practical methods to accomplish them. This adventure will include designing a water collection and filtration system, planning a vegetable garden, learning to care for animals, crafting a functional waterwheel, constructing a raft, and creating sheet sleeping bags to maximise the use of limited resources. Through this immersive experience, pupils will enhance their problem-solving skills and resourcefulness.

Summer Term (Horse Feed Project):

  • In the Summer Term, pupils will delve into the equine world by undertaking a unique project. They will visit a stud farm to gain a deeper understanding of horses and their dietary needs. Through research and experimentation, pupils will formulate a new horse feed with a focus on nutrition and well-being. Additionally, they will engage in entrepreneurial activities by designing business cards, packaging, and a website to market their innovative horse feed product. To showcase their creation, pupils will produce an advertisement, honing their marketing and communication skills. This project will provide pupils with a holistic perspective on animal care, nutrition, and business development.

Year 7

Michaelmas Term First Half (Rethinking Textiles):

  • During the first half of the Michaelmas Term, pupils will dive into the world of textiles and fashion with a sustainability focus. They will investigate the extent of waste in the clothing industry and explore ways to make clothing more environmentally sustainable. As part of this project, pupils will design a versatile, multi-purpose clothing item and prepare to transform an old garment into something new, giving it a second life. This exploration will foster creativity and an understanding of sustainable fashion practices.

Michaelmas Term Second Half (The Great British Space Dinner):

  • In the latter half of the Michaelmas Term, pupils will embark on an out-of-this-world culinary adventure. They will task themselves with planning a menu fit for consumption in the zero-gravity environment of space. Considering the unique challenges astronauts face, such as avoiding floating crumbs and meeting specific nutritional requirements, pupils will craft a space-friendly menu. This project will engage their problem-solving skills and expand their knowledge of space exploration.

Lent Term First Half (Espionage):

  • During the first half of the Lent Term, pupils will delve into the intriguing world of espionage and code-breaking. They will learn about the art of deciphering codes and ciphers, unraveling hidden messages, and understanding the technology behind radar systems. This project will stimulate critical thinking and hone analytical skills.

Lent Term Second Half (Solar Challenge):

  • In the second half of the Lent Term, pupils will take on a real-world challenge by addressing the energy needs of a rural village in Zimbabwe. They will explore the energy challenges faced by the community and brainstorm solutions using only ten solar cells. This project will encourage innovative problem-solving and raise awareness about sustainable energy solutions.

Summer Term First Half (Code and Rescue Resources):

  • The first half of the Summer Term will immerse pupils in the field of search and rescue operations. They will learn how engineers play a pivotal role in these missions. Pupils will engage in practical activities such as creating a flashing light sequence for an emergency vehicle, mastering Morse code, developing an ultrasonic object finder, and simulating a rescue operation using a winch system. This project will nurture teamwork, technical skills, and a sense of responsibility.

Summer Term Second Half (Floating Garden Challenge):

  • In the latter half of the Summer Term, pupils will tackle the issue of agricultural productivity on flooded land. They will design, build, and evaluate a model system that enables people to cultivate crops in flooded areas. This project will foster innovation and ecological awareness as students explore sustainable farming practices in challenging conditions.

Year 8

Michaelmas and Lent Terms - The Grand Challenges:

In the Michaelmas and Lent Terms, pupils will embark on a journey to address significant global challenges through innovative projects.

  • Clean Growth: Pupils will evaluate the electricity consumption and heat loss in conventional buildings. Their task is to design an eco-friendly house that eliminates wasteful practices and promotes clean growth.

  • Ageing Society: This project revolves around understanding the unique challenges faced by the elderly. Pupils will research and create a useful 'gadget' to enhance the independence and quality of life for older individuals.

  • Future Mobility: Pupils will delve into the world of hydrogen-fuelled vehicles, investigating their operation and potential benefits, including improved air quality and health. They will design an experiment to measure pollution in an urban area and present their findings to local government officials to advocate for the advantages of low or zero-emission vehicles.

  • Artificial Intelligence: Exploring the realm of artificial intelligence and machine learning, pupils will explore the creation of intelligent programs using block-based programming. They will train a machine in various contexts, utilizing diverse types of data to understand the significance of AI.

Summer Term First Half (Rude-Goldberg Machines/Fixperts):

  • During the first half of the Summer Term, pupils will tackle challenging problems in an imaginative and innovative manner. They will engage in projects that require them to design intricate, Rude-Goldberg-like machines or employ inventive solutions to real-world issues as "Fixperts."

Summer Term Second Half (The Natural History of Nowton Cricket Club):

  • In the latter half of the Summer Term, pupils will explore the fascinating world of trees and their pivotal role in combating climate change by capturing and storing carbon. They will undertake an educational journey to identify and distinguish different tree species, fostering an appreciation for the environment and ecological awareness.

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