STEM lessons offer children the opportunity to apply their scientific and mathematical knowledge as well as their DT and computing skills to real life practical problems often of an engineering nature. Pupils are encouraged to come up with sustainable solutions, focusing on human led design to reduce waste as well as embedding the concept that a small change on a global scale can have a big impact. The curriculum aims to achieve a balance of practical skills and digitally enhanced learning. We emphasise the importance of team work, research and presentation skills. Pupils are encouraged to evaluate their own work and suggest or realise improvements.
The focus is on ‘awe and wonder’ and encouraging children to explore and ask questions. Practical activities are related wherever possible to the week’s topic. For example, can yeast help blow up a balloon, chromatography with sweets and magnetism through a layer of ice.
Michaelmas Term – Little Red Riding Hood
Investigate which is the most suitable bag for carrying the food to Grandma and make a bag. Consider how to package the food for Grandma in the most sustainable way – can all their picnic rubbish be recycled or composted?
Lent Term – Rapunzel
Build Rapunzel’s tower and help her to lift things up to her tower before designing an escape system for her!
Summer Term – Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Why did Goldilocks prefer Baby Bear’s bed? What made it so comfortable? Is porridge the best thing to have for breakfast and if so, what kind of porridge?
Michaelmas Term – Gingerbread Man
Draw a wanted poster of the Gingerbread Man and design a map to help him escape. Test the map and write instructions to go with it. Explore which materials are most suitable for building a raft to help him cross the river and then build it. Design a trap to catch the Gingerbread Man!
Lent Term – The Billy Goats Gruff
Build a bridge for the Goats to cross the river. Evaluate the design and improve its span and strength. Investigate which materials will sound proof the bridge so that the Troll doesn’t hear them crossing the bridge. Make a coat for one of the Goats to keep them warm in their new field across the river.
Summer Term – The Little Red Hen
Compare different grains, (wheat, barley and oats) and grow some ‘crops’. Mill the grains and compare the flours produced. Make bread and explore the role of yeast in bread making. Make bread using sour dough and soda bread for comparison.
Michaelmas Term – Space
Imagine landing on the planet Mars. Where would it be best to land, how could you collect samples of Martian soil to test for life, is the weather suitable, is there anything there that could help us live on Mars, design suitable buildings to withstand the Martian winds.
Lent Term – Energy
Energy audit of school, design a self-sufficient home, recreate the Greenhouse Effect, find out how to keep your home cool, make recycled paper, make a draught excluder, discover what makes good insulation, run a traffic survey, make a wind turbine and grow a tree.
Summer Term First Half – Pumpkins Against Poverty
Study Bangladesh as a country where food shortages occur, search for foods that are suitable for growing in Bangladesh to help prevent malnutrition, grow pumpkins from seeds, compile a recipe book of pumpkin recipes and design and make pumpkin seed packets.
Summer Term Second Half – Darwin's Collectors
Recognise different habitats and understand the need to protect different habitats to prevent extinction of plants. Learn how to identify and name some common UK plants and record this in an herbarium.
Michaelmas Term First Half – Walls and Towers
Wattle and daub walls, lego walls and lego towers. Evaluate and improve lego tower to reduce the size of its footprint (slender towers).
Michaelmas Term Second Half - Food Technology
Explore taste, texture and appearance of food (what makes food attractive to eat). Consider whether the food we eat is sustainable (food miles, water footprint of food and food packaging).
Lent Term First Half - Wheeled Vehicles
Different types of wheeled vehicles and the key parts of the vehicle, design and make a model car propelled by a rubber band to carry an egg down a pre-determined course.
Lent Term Second Half – Furniture
Different types of chairs and the materials used to make them, scale drawing of model chair for favourite toy, build a prototype.
Summer Term First Half -Textiles: Cushion
Make a cushion to fit their chair, print a pattern onto the cushion and fill it with recycled textiles.
Summer Term Second Half - Ditch the Dirt
Learn about the daily task of collecting water in many parts of the world, consider water quality and how to make water safe to drink.
Michaelmas Term First Half - Bridges
Build bridges from drinking straws and newspaper to investigate strength, span and height. Build a model suspension bridge to consider forces of compression and tension.
Michaelmas Term Second Half - Polar Exploration
Investigate the design of ice breaker ships and design and build an icebreaker ship. Make a diver to understand how submarines descend and rise.
Lent Term First Half -Textiles: Fabfix Repair Kit
Consider the importance of repairing textiles to reduce waste and design and make a repair kit to meet all their family’s repair needs.
Lent Term Second Half – Flight
The physics of flight, hot air balloon, balloon helicopters, paper gliders, rubber band propulsion and bottle rockets!
Summer Term First Half – Lighting
From flames to LEDs! Candle making and lampshade design and creation.
Summer Term Second Half - Food Technology
Food provenance including animal welfare, hygiene and safe storage of food and yoghurt making.
Michaelmas Term - Beat the Flood
Why is flooding a problem for so many people in the world and how can they cope better when their homes are flooded? Design, build and test a model of a flood proof house.
Lent Term - The Island
Imagine your plane has crash landed on an Island – what are the first 3 things you need to do and how would you do them? Water collection and filtration system, vegetable garden design, keeping animals, making a waterwheel, making a raft, sheet sleeping bags to make the most of minimal resources.
Summer Term - Horse Feed Project
Visit a stud, research and create a new horse feed, design business cards and packaging, build a website to market your product and film an advertisement for your new feed.
Michaelmas Term First Half - Rethinking Textiles
How much waste is there in the clothing industry and how can we make clothing more sustainable, design a multi-purpose item of clothing and prepare to repurpose an old item of clothing into something new!
Michaelmas Term Second Half - The Great British Space Dinner
Plan a menu to be eaten in Space! Remember no crumbs that could float away while you are eating and astronauts have different nutritional requirements as life aboard the International Space Station is different to on Earth.
Lent Term First Half – Espionage
Code cracking and cipher code. How do radars work?
Lent Term Second Half - Solar Challenge
What are the energy challenges facing a village in rural Zimbabwe? Can you solve these challenges using 10 solar cells?
Summer Term First Half - Code and Rescue Resources
Engineers play a huge part in search and rescue operations all around the world. Make a flashing light sequence for an emergency vehicle, Morse code, ultrasonic object finder and winch someone to safety.
Summer Term Second Half - Floating Garden Challenge
Design, make and evaluate a model of a system to help people grow crops on flooded land.
Michaelmas and Lent Terms - The Grand Challenges
Clean Growth - assess the electrical usage and heat loss in conventional buildings, design an ecohouse to design out the wastage.
Ageing Society - consider the challenges facing the elderly, research and design a ‘gadget’ to help an elderly person live independently more easily and for longer.
Future Mobility – through research pupils gain an insight into how hydrogen fuelled vehicles work and the possibilities of improved air quality and health., design an investigation to measure pollution in an urban area then present their findings to the ‘local government’ to persuade them of the benefits of low or zero emission vehicles.
Artificial Intelligence – pupils will consider the importance of artificial intelligence and machine learning, they will explore how to create intelligent programs using block-based programming, whilst training a machine in different contexts, using different types of data.
Summer Term First Half - Rude-Goldberg Machines/Fixperts
Solve a tricky problem in an imaginative and innovative way!
Summer Term Second Half - The Natural History of Nowton Cricket Club
Trees are our most powerful weapon with which to fight climate change, capturing and storing carbon, but do we know which tree is which?