November Diary

posted Nov 20, 2014, 10:01 AM by Mrs Payne   [ updated Jan 8, 2015, 2:21 PM ]

Targets for November:

  • A successful CPD session for Academy staff – positive feedback received and impact seen in the classroom (to be evaluated in 3 months time, along with best practise shared in faculty meetings)

  • Successful Year 7/8 Event – Positive student and Teacher feedback

  • Continue to finalise bookings and planning for STEM festival

  • Complete timetable for CHaOs event on 5th December and liaise with CHaOs and Bury Trust schools

A busy month – CPD, STEM events, planning and a trip to Derby!                                                                
Staff met from across the trust for a day of CPD linked to Enquiry led teaching. Teachers from across the phases worked together on enquiry based projects and also received training on how to use IPADs in lessons to promote enquiry. It was great to plan investigations with our primary and middle school staff and share ideas. The feedback from evaluation forms was extremely positive – many of the staff enjoyed the variety of ideas that they could take back into the classroom and said that it had made them think about how to change the focus of the lessons so that it was more student led.      
On the 14th November we hosted a Year 7/8 gifted and talented day for students from across Bury St Edmunds. We were overwhelmed by the response from the schools (each middle school in town was represented – not just our immediate trust). 72 students worked together on an engineering project that saw them planning and constructing a chain reaction using only the equipment given to them. They had to use five different scientific ideas within their sequence (such as pulleys, levers, electromagnets, chemical reactions etc) to snuff out a candle with the sequence beginning with a simple blow. It was astounding to see the variety of ideas that the students had and it was exciting to see how the students dealt with set backs and problems during the day. The adapted plans, amended constructions and solved problems as teams. Thank you to all the middle school staff that emailed me after the event with their comments – all had said that the students had gone back to school enthused and excited by the activity. The buzz that day was absolutely amazing – the smile on students when they actually got their sequences to work and the cries of ‘YES we did it!’ was something I will remember for a long time to come.                                                                                                                                                 
The staff from across have also been busy finalising the plans for our main December event – this will be a CHaOs event. Students from Year 4 – 8 will be joining us at the upper school to take part in a hands on science engagement day. University students from Cambridge will be running workshops with lots of bangs, crashes and messy science. They will also be working with our Science Captains in year 12/13, giving the students the opportunity to ask the undergraduates questions about careers and university.                                           
Planning for the STEM festival is going really well, I have been amazed with the number of local industries that have already agreed to run a workshop at the festival. I also had the pleasure of attending the Science Prize award evening on 10th November – what an inspiring evening! All of last year’s entries gave me food for thought for our own project. The trip to Derby was also really exciting – I personally loved the LEGO Trent engine.


Staff CPD                                                                                                                                    Year 7/8 day

Targets for December:

  • Successful CHaOs day – positive evaluations from students

  • Department to complete planning for Stargazing event – meet with primary staff to support planning of Astronomy activities in class to complement this.

  • Colin, Nadine and John to continue with STEM festival plans and start marketing of the event.