Why is STEM important?

The subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are vital in everything we do and will appear in everyday lives worldwide. It is an emerging subject area which, it is estimated, will provide the most employment opportunities by the time our students complete their education. These careers are not only in jobs that currently exist but also in jobs that will be created in the future as a result of continued global development. STEM skills are some of the most highly valued with employers who are constantly looking for candidates who have the ability to transfer skills and apply them in a variety of situations and contexts.

The STEM faculty vision at OSSMA fully supports the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths curriculums. It does this by teaching topics consistently, with the aim of improving performance.

The vision of the faculty has its core foundations and values including resilience, independent thinking, creativity, innovative thinking, problem-solving and a curriculum offer that is locally/nationally/globally aware.

To do this successfully, we have taken proactive steps in sequencing STEM curriculums, ensuring students have ample opportunities to develop independence and a sense of wider schema. We take a faculty-wide approach to the pedagogy associated with key identified cross over content and learning and ensure that staff within the faculty are making use of continuous career and professional development opportunities both internally and externally.

Our curriculum extends beyond that of the classroom with the faculty developing excellent opportunities for students to engage with our curriculum at Key stage 2. Strong links with local colleges and universities ensure students have opportunities to become fully prepared for the next steps within their education. We also offer a fantastic and diverse enrichment program that includes visits, trips and access to a number of local and national competitions. At the same time, we have strong links with a number of locally-based national and international companies within an industry setting and are looking at developing these into trust-wide competitions. We expose students to what life is really like within a wide and diverse range of STEM career pathways.

A STEM learner at OSSMA will develop a strong sense of connected thinking within the faculty. They will have a wealth of opportunity, both within lessons and enrichment, to get a real sense of the wide and varied job roles and industries working under the STEM umbrella. Academically students will learn key subject content, but through successful cross-curricular teaching and learning approaches, students will have the ability to successfully transfer skills and techniques, all with the aim of improving their overall confidence, awareness and outcomes.

Our approach to teaching and learning within STEM is unique to OSSMA and one that has ensured a collaborative approach from all subject areas within the faculty. The approach is completely student-focused, with the objective being to raise the number of opportunities students have to demonstrate applied skills across different subject areas. The result is a deeper understanding of cross over skills, improved confidence and improved outcomes.

Formulate It is a teaching resource we have developed for use within the STEM Faculty – this is primarily a teaching and learning tool with strong links to knowledge recall within the Key Stage 4 curriculum. At Key Stage 3, we explore STEM in accordance with the values of our ‘conscious curriculum’, including; Confidence, Resilience, Empathy, Enthusiasm, Challenge and Kindness.

It is the faculty’s aim to improve the understanding of STEM, helping students to harbour the critical thinking skills and creativity required to be successful in a shifting employment landscape.