Fran Dainty's public profile

UsernameFran Dainty
OrganisationNational STEM Learning Centre
Current RoleConsultant/adviser

I am Head of Content and STEM Expertise at the National STEM Learning Centre in York where I lead the team of Science, Technology, Maths and Computing experts in primary and secondary education.

I am a Chartered Science Teacher with over 15 years of experience of teaching and leading science in three secondary schools in the Yorkshire and Derbyshire regions. I have taught science, including biology to A level and have led two science departments before becoming Assistant Head teacher with responsibility for leading Teaching and Learning and CPD across the school. I was also a voluntary Lead Practitioner in Science for Yorkshire and Humberside for seven years before embarking on my current role.

My interests are ensuring that what we do has a maximum impact on young people and teachers by helping provide opportunities to create a spark about STEM in the classroom. Areas of expertise are leadership, strategic planning of CPD for teachers and technicians, addressing the gender balance in STEM subjects and creating pathways of engagement for all learners.

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Simple STEM activities to do at home: Fantastic fruit

I was surprised by how many questions can be asked about a simple activity from ‘Starters for STEM’ using fruit that you already have in the house.For this activity Freya picked a selection of fruits and drew a picture for each one. Together we sounded out the phonemes to help her practice the spellings, names of the fruits and their colours.We...

Simple STEM activities to do at home: making Jelly

Making jelly is a fun and easy way of identifying solids and liquids and exploring how things dissolve.We separated the cubes of jelly and added them to a large bowl. Using a measuring jug we mixed one half warm water and the other half with cold water, we then waited for the jelly to dissolve.I explained to Freya why having a large surface area...

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Simple STEM activities to do at home: NHS rainbow

It has been heart-warming to see so many “thank you NHS” rainbows placed in the windows of our neighbour’s houses with “stay safe” and “be kind” messages to show support for our local community and lift spirits.Freya and I decided to not only create a rainbow but to jazz it up with some sparkly jewels. We sang the old rhyme “Richard of York Gave...

Standard for teachers’ professional development: subject specific CPD is the answer

There is nothing quite like the feeling of bouncing out of the door with a spring in your step; full of motivation, enthusiasm and confidence as you are armed with a box of new ideas, a new perspective and a new found love for your subject.Yes! That is the feeling of having participated in subject specific, effective professional development. Now...

Can teachers be researchers – on top of everything else?

Teachers often feel like they are not only expected to be a teacher but also fulfil the role of social worker, police officer, parent, advisor and general expert in everything in their day to day practice.So it is of no surprise that Professors John Hattie and Dylan Wiliam have recently raised concerns over another expert role that a teacher is...

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