Response 180062879

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About You

What is your organisation?

Organisation
Mount Cameron Primary School, Gaelic School and Nurseries

Questions

1. Do you agree with the definition provided of STEM for the purposes of this Strategy?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

2. Do you think the aims of this Strategy and the four priority themes are the right ones to address the challenges identified?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

3. Are these success criteria right?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

4. Do you think the scope of the Strategy is right? Tell us if you think it should exclude something or include anything else. For example, should it include training and development that employers provide for their workforce?

Do you think the scope of the Strategy is right? Tell us if you think it should exclude something or include anything else. For example, should it include training and development that employers provide for their workforce?
I think the strategy needs to have an increased focus on nursery and primary outcomes and approaches as it is vital STEM permeates education from an early age in all schools and that strategies and funding take full account of these contexts.

5. Give us your views on whether you think the actions already underway across the sectors on STEM fit well with the Strategy and will contribute positively to it.

Give us your views on whether you think the actions already underway across the sectors on STEM fit well with the Strategy and will contribute positively to it.
Yes though STEM delivery is incredibly variable in schools and I believe that simple, prioritised and practical support for schools that are not focusing on STEM for school improvement or indeed delivery is needed.

6. Tell us about activity currently ongoing – either included in this document or not – that you think could be adapted or stopped and why.

Tell us about activity currently ongoing – either included in this document or not – that you think could be adapted or stopped and why.
The profile of the STEM Ambassador scheme (including STEM Ambassadors for Coding Clubs and Food Technology) could be raised much more as many schools are not aware of this and how it can support learning and outcomes. Careers Education support for Primary Schools is needed and the profile of 'World of Work' could be raised more with Primary Schools. Much more could be done to support engineering in nursery and primary schools please. Apprenticeship opportunities or showcases should be introduced to Primary Schools.

7. Do you agree with the principles set out for implementation?

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

8. What else should Government do to ensure a more coherent approach and maximise impact?

What else should Government do to ensure a more coherent approach and maximise impact?
Provision of funding for STEM and/or NSEW initiatives including support with partnership work with Science Centres. Although some funding is already allocated to e.g. Generation Science to work with schools, schools still have to put in bids or fundraise for the rest of the money due to continual year on year cuts in budgets and many schools may simply not put in bids for STEM experiences. Provision of a Learning Community STEM Ambassador would be a fantastic opportunity for staff who are not confident in STE of STEM to be able to deliver STEM in schools. Basic STEM training (perhaps accredited?) for teachers would be vital to a coherent approach to maximise impact.

9. Overall, do you think this Strategy is clear and action focused? Do you think that the actions that we propose to take nationally will achieve the aims and intended outcomes?

Overall, do you think this Strategy is clear and action focused? Do you think that the actions that we propose to take nationally will achieve the aims and intended outcomes?
Yes, as someone who is dedicated to STEM outcomes and leads this in my school I think the strategy and actions are good, taking into account though my previous answers. There are so many Government documents like this one and all with timescales, outcomes, actions - so much for school staff to go through and act on just now and a lot of them look the same. How will this one stand out so that it achieves intended outcomes?

10. Will this Strategy improve equity of outcomes? If not, tell us what else it should include, in particular for women and girls and other groups of people – disabled people, care leavers and minority ethnic communities.

Please select one item
Ticked Yes
No

11. What could schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, science engagement providers and museums do to support the areas for action?

What could schools, colleges, universities, community learning and development, the voluntary sector, science engagement providers and museums do to support the areas for action?
Work more closely together. Have network lunches. Collaborate in online events. Have local and targeted, basic training. Self evaluate together. Dedicate some of inservice days to training and collaboration. Secondary teachers to work with primary teachers on STEM events (no funding or cover for this at present). Create an improvement plan together. Share good practice with practical advice on how to make it happen. Create family learning opportunities. Set prioritised targets. Give advance warning of contextualised and current learning opportunities e.g. Tim Peake project Have Space Ambassadors visit schools. Celebrate success.

12. What could professional organisations and bodies and third sector organisations do to support the areas for action? This includes, in particular, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the CLD Standards Council, the teaching unions and representatives and the Learned Societies.

What could professional organisations and bodies and third sector organisations do to support the areas for action? This includes, in particular, the General Teaching Council for Scotland, the CLD Standards Council, the teaching unions and representatives and the Learned Societies
Provide teachers. Provide teacher cover. Train teachers appropriately. Create online learning units that are fun and multimedia, possibly matched to accreditation.

13. What more could science centres and festivals do to complement and enhance STEM formal education, to inspire scientists of the future, and to ensure their activities support those of the Scottish Government and its agencies?

What more could science centres and festivals do to complement and enhance STEM formal education, to inspire scientists of the future, and to ensure their activities support those of the Scottish Government and its agencies?
Fully fund science centre visits (including buses as no budget for this) and visits to schools for workshops. Have a lending library. Engage in facetime or other online events with schools. More competitions like Scottish Young Engineer. Introduce more engineering experiences. Design specific activities for children and young people with disabilities in mainstream schools or ASN schools. Contribute to Career Days in schools and careers education in general. Get feedback on events from children at the end of the event - children do not enjoy some of the approaches to activities and learning.

14. Should this Strategy identify more actions for particular sectors, for example in relation to workplace and work-based training and development? Please make suggestions on what these actions could be.

Should this Strategy identify more actions for particular sectors, for example in relation to workplace and work-based training and development? Please make suggestions on what these actions could be.
Yes please see previous comments.

15. Tell us what you think about this Improvement Framework. How can we best ensure uptake of this Framework in early years learning settings, schools and clusters?

Tell us what you think about this Improvement Framework. How can we best ensure uptake of this Framework in early years learning settings, schools and clusters?
I think the improvement framework will seriously put schools off STEM as it is too challenging event at the first stage and my suggestion would be to start at a much more basic level so that schools can see that they are at least doing something and celebrate this. It's also quite wordy and in my opinion for people to use it then it needs to be cut down or a bullet list etc. Sorry but I just want it to be used.

16. Tell us what you think of our proposal for developing a model of collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. How should we now take this forward?

Tell us what you think of our proposal for developing a model of collaboration between schools, colleges, universities and employers. How should we now take this forward?
Having a coordinator for this in each area would be vital as it is so time consuming.

17. Tell us what you think of our proposals for a Scottish STEM ambassador network. How should we now take that forward?

Tell us what you think of our proposals for a Scottish STEM ambassador network. How should we now take that forward?
Sounds good though in practice you will get people involved who are already keen on STEM so how would staff who would really benefit from this and need this support be involved? People can ignore online emails and information as they are so busy with all of the other NIF actions and everyday care/education so 'what is in it for them' if they take time away from something else to focus on this? Local networks are best but how would teachers be able to attend (no cover, teacher working time agreement for hours worked)?

18. What other groups, organisations or people need to be involved in delivery of this strategy?

What other groups, organisations or people need to be involved in delivery of this strategy?
Code Club Colleges and universities need to get much more involved in this with schools.

19. Tell us about what you are doing in your organisation, establishment or community that supports the aims and priorities of this Strategy.

Tell us about what you are doing in your organisation, establishment or community that supports the aims and priorities of this Strategy.
NSEW activities Whole school STEM challenges led by P5 children Scottish Young Engineer Competition annually Transition partnership work (e.g. S6 STEM Ambassadors involvement, meetings with secondary science staff, ASG) Curricular pathways mapped out and audited, improved in line with 3 year strategic plan and incorporating STEM Using HGIOS4, HGIOELAC, Leadership Evaluations, Planned Classroom Visits Evaluations, Pupil Voice, parental engagement, family learning to evaluate and improve Learning Community Plan and agreed actions Putting in regular funding bids for specific projects Organisation of extended learning experiences including after schools clubs (e.g. Code Club) Organisation of annual Career Day with parents of the school showcasing their job skills and P5-7 children writing to businesses and services to invite workers Maths challenges Whole school involvement in specific STEM projects e.g. Tim Peake Project Written our own ICT programme and built extensive ICT resources e.g. 3D learning and teaching Staff training and leadership groups (all staff) taking forward improvements Etc.

20. What could employers do to attract and retain more diverse STEM talent?

What could employers do to attract and retain more diverse STEM talent?
Link in more with schools.