Planning a coherent STEM programme
Find out what considerations are most important for a coherent Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) enhancement and enrichment programme, and why.
There are a number of aspects to be considered when planning a programme of STEM enhancement and enrichment.
- Is it consistent with the overall aims of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and effective STEM enhancement and enrichment – raising awareness of STEM workforce and careers; collaboration between STEM subjects in school; engaging outside agencies, parents, governors, etc. in the school’s programme?
- How is it contributing to progression 11–19, particularly when there are option choices at Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5?
- How will it enable the tracking of individual pupils of all abilities?
- In what ways can it contribute to the positive profile of the science department/whole school in providing engaging and worthwhile activities for all pupils? What are the roles of the senior leadership team and science subject leader in this?
- How will the programme be sustainable over time?
If the programme is seen to be contributing to these overall goals of a school for its pupils, then it is more likely to attract the funding and time allocation for those who run it and evaluate its impacts. It should also result in the recognition that all teachers should have the opportunity for professional development in this area as it will improve their classroom practice, and not be seen as an optional extra.
However coherently planned the enhancement and enrichment programme is, there must also be space for the opportunistic event or project and for pupils to contribute in ways which they choose. Therefore coherence is best seen as an enabling framework. It facilitates communication around common goals, it may improve access to funds and other support and it assists in recognising and reporting success. It should not, however, preclude unplanned initiatives or hamper further development which will enhance pupil learning and engagement.