Engineering Clubs Clusters for KS2/3

This initiative is to help schools to embed Engineering & Technology into their ethos and curriculum using micro:bits as a catalyst.  It was piloted in MATs in rural and coastal  Norfolk as part of an initiative to increase aspiration and educational opportunities in smarter rural and coastal economies.   Over a term of 1 hour after school meetings, a group of c10 students work together to design engineering projects using BBC micro:bits and a range of components, supported by an adult volunteer.  These in-house expert Student Engineering Ambassadors and adult volunteer then help their teachers provide stimulating project-based learning activities in STEM using micro:bits with KS2 classes.  Working in a local partnership with a cluster of primary and secondary schools they share, kit, expertise, ideas and expertise, as well as plan joint events and KS2->KS3 transition.  The projects can qualify from CREST and Suoerstar awards.  This bottom-up approach to improve provision for STEM in the schools' ethos and curriculum is also what Ofsted is now looking for in the new inspection criteria.

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Subject(s)STEM Clubs, Computing, Cross curricular, Engineering, Mathematics, Science
Age7-11, 11-14
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Adrian Oldknow

There is a new posting in the iSTEM+ group https://www.stem.org.uk/community/groups/99628/ks23-engineering-club-clusters/465485

Also a new document has been added to the pdfs here.

Jo Mitchell

Hi Adrian

Thank you for sharing the information on the cluster clubs. Schools working collaboratively is something that the STEM Clubs programme is keen to encourage. There are lots of ways for schools to work together whatever the age groups of the students, we are particularly keen for secondary schools to support primary schools and using older students as club leaders in primary schools is a super method, offering excellent benefits to both schools and students.

The newly published Student-Led Handbook offers useful information on how to operate a cluster approach for clubs and thank you for mentioning it in your documents!

We firmly believe that the more schools can work together, sharing best practice, advice, resources etc. then the more benefits students will receive whatever their age, helping to develop a firm understanding not only of the subjects being incorporated but helping to enhance valuable life skills.

One of the new STEM Club workshops we offer, How to be successful and thriving, firmly embeds the benefits and opportunities for cluster working. The workshop is free to attend for non-fee paying secondary schools across England. All of the new workshops are designed to maximise the benefits of having clubs in schools and to raising awareness that there are many ways to run a club and engage support from a wide variety of sources. It is important that club leaders feel supported and not ‘on their own’. Encouraging secondary schools to engage in STEM Club activities within primary schools is a wonderful opportunity for both and helps with the transition years.

Thank you for sharing your cluster club approach, it would be good to hear from other club leaders who work collaboratively in this way.

Kind regards

Jo Mitchell

STEM Enrichment Coordinator - STEM Learning