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Supporting English skills with STEM

Published: Nov 9, 2020 3 min read

STEM learning

Last week a report from No More Marking suggested that new year 7 pupils are “22 months behind expectations” when assessing their writing skills. As literacy is such a fundamental subject when engaging with any other study, this statistic will be concerning for many teachers. 

Therefore we asked our Merseyside and Cheshire STEM Ambassador Hub, All About STEM, to tell us about their Reading is STEMsational programme.  Launched earlier this year the programme is a fantastic cross-curricular initiative created in partnership with Reading Rocks. It enables both literacy and STEM subjects to support each other and can be used to deliver a school STEM week in primary schools. Here's what they said:

"At the heart of the project is the desire to use great books to inspire a love of STEM, and STEM topics to inspire a love of reading. The National Curriculum states that 'All pupils must be encouraged to read widely to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in', and when a young person establishes an appreciation and love of reading they gain knowledge right across the curriculum. We have curated sets of fiction and non-fiction texts, focused on particular STEM themes, which primary schools can loan from us, free-of-charge. Teachers can use the texts as the basis for their STEM Week Literacy and Science lessons and as a spring-board for the rest of their weekly planning.

Assemblies, other subject lessons and extra-curricular activities for the week all focus on the STEM theme explored in the texts. Each themed book set references the relevant Science National Curriculum content for year groups 1-6, and cover the themes of conservation, engineering and blue planet."

"In addition to using the texts, the school’s STEM Week can be enriched through visits from other organisations (including STEM Ambassadors) and activities planned to engage with parents, in order to develop pupils’ careers awareness and to encourage pupils’ involvement in STEM activity outside of school.”

So far the programme has been a great success! You can download a full guide to Reading is STEMsational here.

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