Schools’ windfall to boost STEM learning

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THE Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust (GFM) have been awarded £24,000 to promote the teaching of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) in local schools.

The Gosport and Fareham Multi-Academy Trust (GFM) says the key focus is to promote vocational skill-based learning through STEM subjects.

The money was awarded by the ENTHUSE project; a partnership between the government, charities and local employers.

The partnership was launched at the Tech Deck Centre and included staff from the 11 associate schools alongside business representatives from organisations including Ineos – the sponsor of Ben Ainslie Racing – Winchester Science Centre, Gosport Marine Scene and 1851 Trust.

At the forefront of this partnership is Gomer Junior School which recently won a national award for its approach to STEM learning.

Executive headteacher Georgina Mulhall said: ‘We are using today to bring together all our partner schools. We will be looking to embed STEM into our curriculum and plan enrichment activities for all our learners.’

The GMF also believes the partnership will enable schools to share good practice.

‘We have already invited in teachers from other schools. We can use our good practice over the last three years to support schools within the partnership,’ added Ms Mulhall.

A key focus of the partnership is to use the STEM approach to raise attainment in maths which in recent years has regionally been below floor standards.

A key supporter of STEM learning is the 1851 Trust. Education manager Beverley Smith believes strongly in the application of vocational learning.

‘Children learn through STEM that what they do in school has a very real application. For example we show them that learning the area of shapes has a significant role in boat design.’

The GMF hopes the partnership will help increase the uptake of STEM subjects which has declined in recent years.

STEM ambassador Professor Adrian Oldknow said: ‘We have a serious shortage of students doing engineer-based subjects. A key focus is to engage students between the ages of 8 and 13 before they take their options.’