Inspiring girls in the STEM subjects
Over the last few years we have had a great focus on developing science and have managed to really raise the profile of science here at Ridgeway. We’ve done this by implementing a number of key strategies such as:
• introducing a more robust assessment system,
• providing science CPD opportunities for staff and;
• developing the teaching and learning to try to engage children as scientists.
Within each science lesson we encourage the children to transform themselves into real scientists by wearing lab coats and goggles. Our teaching focuses heavily on working and thinking scientifically as opposed to just content driven learning.
As a result of all these developments our pupil’s science attainment has improved significantly. However analysis shows that our boys do better than the girls. We understand that to keep the boys inspired, but to also try to engage the girls more we need to tailor planning to ensure all pupils are learning through meaningful projects that they can take ownership of.
We have begun to think carefully about the reasons behind this gender gap and through the project have started to try to put strategies into place to try to narrow the gap between the boys and girls. So far we have:
• developed a strong partnership with the local secondary school where a group of sixth form positive female role models came to deliver a STEM investigation club linked to the project, for just our girls,
• we plan more ‘girl friendly’ science investigations and;
• within each science lesson, teachers work closely with all girl focus group.