Page 10 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 10

   Focus on STEM for girls
Overwhelming response to extravaganza
West eld School, Newcastle,
was overwhelmed by demand
to attend its recent event aimed at encouraging girls to pursue careers in STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Called ‘The Girls in STEM Extravaganza’, invitations extended to local primary schools resulted in West eld expanding the event so that over 90 girls could take part. Alongside 16 West eld pupils/students, over 70 girls from Gosforth East Middle, South Gosforth First
and Holystone School took part in a carousel of STEM related activities and demonstrations spread throughout the day, culminating in a presentation for pupils, their teachers and parents.
Added expertise and insight
came from Newcastle University Outreach team, Procter & Gamble and Northern Powergrid, whose representatives shared their STEM career experiences with the girls in a series of presentations and activities.
Fiona Swift, West eld School’s STEM Co-ordinator explained that West eld’s diverse curriculum clearly recognises the value
of inspiring girls in every way, whether through literature, music, art or sport, but she considers that particular attention must
be given to encouraging girls to
seriously consider STEM subjects and careers. She said:
“STEM sectors are a key area
of future growth and one in which women are currently under-represented. The encouragement and intensity of these STEM events will give girls the con dence to step forward into stereotypical male roles and to become a new generation of women in STEM.
“Research indicates that by the age of 10 or 11 a signi cant proportion of girls have decided that a STEM career isn’t for them. At West eld School, we plan to tackle this by running exciting education events which will help to inform and inspire girls about STEM careers and give them the opportunity to do some fun, hands-on science and engineering.”
Neil Walker, who joined the school at the beginning of September as Headmaster, added:
“This has been a wonderfully inspiring day for everyone involved. As well as the importance of the STEM activities, the girls have embraced additional positive skills such as problem solving, enterprise, team work and putting creative ideas into action as well as building self-con dence, personal and social abilities.
Registrar wins top student award
Conference insights
Bolton School is to become a partner school and hub for trainee teachers striving to achieve a Post Graduate Certi cate in Education and gain Quali ed Teacher Status (QTS) as part of the National Modern Languages’ School Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITT) programme.
More Modern Languages’ teachers are needed as the government
is committed to increasing the proportion of pupils gaining language quali cations. The MFL SCITT offers the choice of teacher training in state and independent hub schools in Shef eld, London and Bolton. At the centre of the scheme is the top comprehensive
- Silverdale School in Shef eld, where students receive curriculum development along with the University facilities of Shef eld Hallam and the Hub schools. Silverdale is able to offer students a year of teacher training through placements in excellent and vibrant Modern Languages’ departments such as Bolton School, Dulwich College in London or in Shef eld. Bolton School has a thriving MFL
department which teaches up to Key Stage 5 in French, German and Spanish and pupils regularly engage in school trips, exchanges and a range of cultural activities.
Student teachers will be based in Bolton School working alongside the staff in the MFL Department and complete professional training at Bolton and Silverdale School. Whilst at Bolton they will have the support of the SCITT lead teacher who coordinates the course with Silverdale School and a school- based subject mentor who will meet with them formally each week and support them throughout their time in school.
Headmistress Sue Hincks said: “Schools across England need more Modern Languages’ teachers and
we are delighted to help out in this respect by becoming a centre for teacher training. We look forward
to welcoming and working with aspiring teachers in our Senior School in the coming months, where I know they will bene t from being under the guidance of our highly accomplished language teachers.”
Students got an insight into
the wide range of career opportunities that studying Science and Engineering subjects can bring, as Benenden School, Kent, hosted its  rst ever STEM Conference.
More than 150 students, from independent and state schools from across Kent and the South East, joined girls from Benenden for the event which was run in conjunction with the Wise Young Women’s Board and The Royal Society of Chemistry.
The Conference was organised
to give young people the chance to hear from a variety of experts already working in the Science and Engineering  elds and to  nd out the path they took to their chosen careers.
The day-long event opened with a talk from Patricia Mawuli, an aviation engineer and Ghana’s  rst female pilot. There were then a range of eminent speakers from institutions including the Medway School of Pharmacy, Shell Oil, P zer, Citrix, the University of Surrey and University College London.
The Maynard School, Devon, has once again found itself celebrating a Top Student Award although on this occasion, for a member of its staff as opposed to a pupil.
Wendy Parker, the Registrar, recently discovered that not only had she passed the AMDIS Certi cate in Admissions Management, but that she had done so with Distinction! The Top Student Award from AMDIS, of cially recognises her as one of the best in the country for admissions.
“I am really quite overwhelmed! Preparing a research assignment
on developing the school’s admission plan was really tough, especially as this had to be done in the very little spare time that I have,” said the full-time Registrar and mother. ”I haven’t had to submit homework for years which made the whole project even more nerve wracking but it would appear that I’m a better student now than I was when I actually went to school!”
“We are incredibly proud of this achievement,” said Headmistress Sarah Dunn.
Helping with recruitment of MFL teachers
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