We aim to encorporate STEM learning opportunities into a wide various of subjects and school events. As well as planned curriculum topics, we also offer extra-curricular opportunities to inspire and enthuse students. Extra Curricula activities are a great way to build relationships, network, along with building fantastic skills and character with no constraints of curriculum.
Year 5 Science Club
Every year, we invite local primary school students in year 5 to join our after-school science club. This wonderful and popular club not only allows young students to see secondary-school labs first hand, it also gets them excited about science and their forthcoming transition to year 7.
The club runs in 6-week blocks and stuents refine their practical skills with chances to disect a heart, investigate acids and learn how to use basic science equipment such as bunson burners and microscopes.
All students are invited to join our dedicate Code Club, which runs every Tuesday from 3-4pm. Here, they can learn how to code in Python, Scratch, Visual Basic and C# under the guidance of a volunteer from Microsoft Inc, Reading. It is ideal for students who enjoy programming and want to develop programming skills outside the school’s regular curriculum. It is also helpful to those Computer Science students who find programming challenging and require extra support to catch up with class work.
KS3 Science Club
Running after school on Tuesdays, our science club gathers together our communities science enthusists for a lot of fun.
Here are a few examples from their Witchcraft & Wizardry Themed Sessions:
"Fire Magic": The students learned how to make a flame leap from a match to a candle, witnessed fire snakes emerging from burning sand and observed vibrant purple flames produced when introducing alkali metals to water. Students then had a go at making a fireball erupt from a bowl of water
"Water Magic": Students were shown water-based magic tricks, from bending water to creating clouds in bottles and setting fire to methane bubbles!
Textiles and Fashion Club
This creative after school club on Tuesdays at 3pm invites students to learn new design skills including:
- Fashion drawings - learning how to draw human figures they can use to communicate their design ideas.
- Mono printing - printing technique to create repeat patterns on paper and fabric
- Halloween theme decorations - Applique & hand embroidery skills
- Mannequin challenge - Remembrance day dress. This developed their hand sewing skills and creative fashion designing, by draping and manipulating fabric onto a mannequin.
- Upcycling clothes
- Garment construction techniques
Simon Singh Maths
Simon Singh, MBE is a British popular science author whose works largely contain a strong mathematical element. His written works include Fermat's Last Theorem, The Code Book, Big Bang, Trick or Treatment?
Simon Singh is working with over ten schools across the country, including The Bulmershe School. We are working very closely with Singh and through his support, we have set up a Top Top Maths Set (TTS) in both KS3 and KS4. In these classes we select the ablest Mathematicians based on their CATS results and also their KS2 data. These students are taught by our very experienced, specialist and talented Maths teachers in the department and are presented with much more challenging and advanced Maths throughout the year.
The hope is that TTS will challenge the pupils and keep them interested in the subject. The project recognises that people who struggle with maths are not the only ones who sometimes find the subject dull. Singh had been worried that a lack of mathematical stretch during the school years could hinder the country’s best maths talents.
The following shows the difference in difficulty between a question given to a top maths set and a top-top set:
Solve the following:
The top set
The top-top set
STEM Learning Mentoring
STEM Learning’s national online mentoring programme runs in partnership with Brightside
and aims to help 13–19 year-olds explore their future career options in STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Students receive one-to-one personalised support over a 10-week period from a STEM mentor who works in the industry, with an enhanced safeguarding certificate, who has volunteered to be part of the programme. The mentoring programme helps students to understand the real-world applications of their learning. They also learn about different careers, gaining insight into the range of pathways into different industries. It helps raise aspirations by giving students the opportunity to meet a wide range of inspiring role models and raises awareness of the skills that are important in the workplace.
Students will also gain access to resources to help them make informed decisions about their future and cover topics such as:
- Job hunting, applications and interviews
- Their options – to work out the best path for them.
- Study skills
- How to deal with challenges and uncertainty
- Where they can find trustworthy information and answers
- Training on how to use a secure and moderated online messaging system
- Money, housing and independent living
Student Feedback on their STEM Mentoring:
Mentor: Andrew B
Job: Consultant Engineer with 20 years of experience - specialises in Indoor Climate Systems
Student Feedback: We have talked about what his job is like and the similarities in his career with Architecture (which I plan to do in the future). He has been helpful so far in talking about the rewarding side of his job and how Physics would be a good subject for me to study, as well as Maths and Art.
Mentor: Cathryn S.
Specialised: Chemistry, manufacturing and physics, Education degree: PHD in organic-physical chemistry
Student Feedback: We are currently talking about future options in the science industry mainly medicine and also finance in university and what kind of skills one needs to succeed.
Mentor: Sanjeer T.
Student Feedback: We have talked about 6th form and college so far and I hope to get lots of useful information out of the experience.
Mentor: Vusa M.
Job: Aviation regulator
Student Feedback: is a wonderful person who supports me with any questions I have, he currently is an aviation regulator that makes sure that his business follow regulations and applies them. We talk about work experience and different paths to help me achieve my goals. We are currently in the middle of trying to find a work experience placement.
Mentor: Hassan K
Experience: 20 years in Accounting Controlling, global engineering companies Alstom Transport and MAN AG of Germany.
Student Feedback: I asked my mentor about 2 career choices I have, he gave me a good response and idea. I hope to learn more careers about the subjects I wanna do in university or apprenticeship.
Role: BAE systems doing a level 6 apprenticeship in mechanical engineering.
Student Feedback: We've mostly talked about apprenticeship options for me and have come to the conclusion that I should talk to people I know to find out about any opportunities for apprenticeships that I may be interested in.