STEM learning applies the knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to real-life situations. A lesson or unit in a STEM class is typically based around finding a solution to a real-world problem. Many STEM lessons involve building models and simulating situations.
We are part of the STEM Association who provide lesson plans, workshops, training and advice on teaching STEM subjects.
We have a STEM Governor who is an astrophysicist. He considers the curriculum, teaching and learning and progress in these subjects. He also shares his knowledge with us.
One of our parents is a registered STEM Ambassador who supports STEM in our school as well as other schools in the area.
Science is strong at Caversham Prep. All children have at least an hour of science per week, rising to 2 hours in Years 5 and 6. We have a dynamic, practical approach to teaching this area of the curriculum.
From Reception upwards, children are taught to appreciate the scientific world around them. We encourage children to learn through discovery, making learning more enjoyable and relevant. We follow the national curriculum, which is closely associated with the common entrance syllabus. This ensures all children leave Year 6 thoroughly prepared for science at their chosen secondary school.
We do a great deal of science outside in the natural world – bug hunting, pond dipping, in the woods identifying trees and ferns, measuring rainfall or outside temperatures at different times of the day and how the shadows lengthen.
Information Technology and Design Technology are both very important subjects in our modern world.
Computing is an integral part of the pupils’ learning at Caversham Preparatory School. Our aim is to ensure that our pupils use computing resources confidently and purposefully. It is used as a tool to enhance their learning using a range of resources such as: the use of interactive whiteboards and games during teaching input and directed activities; using the set of laptops in every class to use the internet as a research tool; using digital microscopes in Science; data loggers to record light and sound, in Science and Maths and using Lego Wii software to programme Lego to move and make sounds, using Scratch for coding, developing web pages, making digital art to name but a few.
As well as computing being an essential part of many lessons, right from Reception they also have dedicated time in the weekly timetable to learn discrete computing skills, including programming, multimedia, handling data, use of technology in everyday lives and eSafety.
To enhance the Computing curriculum we also have themed weeks and competitions. For example, we have had a ‘Programming Week’ where all classes focused on the use of programming ranging from programming a microwave to programming a device to sense dark when entering a tunnel and beep! We also had a ‘Photography’ competition where pupils took photos at home and edited and improved them to be judged as the ‘Finest Photographer’!
Design Teschnology prepares children to be active members of today’s rapidly changing world and creators of tomorrow’s world. The subject encourages them to use their curriculum‐learnt key skills to solve problems creatively, both individually and as part of a cohesive group. It enables them to identify needs and opportunities and to respond to these with an increasing understanding of aesthetic, environmental and social needs, as well as functions and industrial practices. Design and Technology helps all children to become informed consumers. Innovators on Dragons’ Den had to start somewhere!
Engineering includes both structural and electrical engineering. We develop problem solving through engineering. We make circuits and sensors, measure vibrations, build Lego and Meccano structures, often adding moving parts.
at Caversham Preparatory School our Mathematics results are exceptional. Most of our pupils are working a year ahead of age related expectations, which we believe is because we are passionate about instilling a love of Mathematics right from the Reception through to Year 6.
We do this by engaging and enthusing the pupils, using a range of teaching methods and resources. All classrooms use the interactive white boards as a tool to deliver Mathematics lessons, whether this is to play fun interactive games, watch videos as a starter for a problem-solving lesson or to simply model calculation methods. Planning is meticulous and tailored specifically to the needs of the pupils in their class. For the upper juniors, Mathematics lessons are taught in sets, where the high achievers are able to approach the Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4 curriculum. In all classes there are differentiated activities to support different needs and this can also involve providing extra support from teaching assistants to ensure that our pupils make at least age related expectations.
All teachers follow our school Calculation Policy, ensuring clear progression of the different mental and written calculation methods from Reception to Year 6. The pupils start to learn their times tables in Year 1 and by the end of Year 3 we expect them to know all their times tables off by heart. We help the pupils achieve this by having weekly Times Tables Challenges from Year 2. Each year there are exciting Mathematics events for the pupils to showcase their skills. For example, there is the yearly Times Table Challenges for the Juniors and the Number Facts Challenges for the Infants.
Selected pupils take part in the Primary Maths Challenge where we achieve excellent results. Last year we had our very own, ‘Are you smarter than a ten year old?’ assembly, where several pupils from each class solved a range of maths problems and raced to solve it against a parent! It was a great success. Everything we do in the Mathematics curriculum is about enthusing and engaging the pupils to fulfil their full potential.
We run STEM Clubs. For example: Science, Lego, Design, Coding, Nature, and Photography