BMAT STEM Welcomes First CohortPosted: 22nd August 2018
The first cohort of students set to attend a specialist STEM school have had a taste of their unique future.
The group of 50 students who will join Year 10 of the new BMAT STEM Academy from September took part in an induction day.
The school is working closely with local employer partners to carve out a curriculum which will help to fill the major skills gap in the area.
Students looking to pursue careers in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) have been attracted to the school as it offers the latest technology, high-end facilities and expertise in those industries.
New subjects students at the school will be able to study include GCSEs in engineering, astronomy, statistics, computer science and 3D design.
With securing skilled jobs for its young people the ultimate aim, the school operates like the workplace – with traditional school uniform replaced with office wear and detentions swapped for HR meetings with the head to discuss conduct.
Enrichment lessons will form the last hour of every day, up to 4pm, to help to develop students’ personal skills and attributes, as outlined by employers.
Lisa Tooley, head of school, said: “Each half-term, students will be given targets to meet which are bespoke to them. They will cover attendance, progress and enrichment. Students will meet with the Senior Leadership Team each half-term to review those targets and to make sure they are on track, producing a file of evidence, just like they would be expected to do in the workplace.
“The more they achieve, the higher the band of rewards they will receive, such as trips and internship opportunities.”
Students took part in a team challenge to get to know their new classmates and their surroundings, hunting around the building for answers to questions about the school’s sponsor – BMAT – key members of staff and procedures.
Teams were then give a £100 budget and access to a shop of items from rulers and cello tape to glue and sticks and challenged to build a tower which stood one metre tall and could withstand the weight of a pack of jelly sweets.
The rest of the day was spent sampling lessons in computer science, engineering, astronomy, 3D design and science.
Engineering teacher David Ramsey said: “Engineering is one of the subjects not available in many schools because of a lack of resources and expertise. We are very lucky to have both and to be able to teach these challenging courses.
“There is a national shortage of engineers and so anyone with these qualifications will be able to walk into a job with a good level of pay and opportunities to travel the world.”
It was this range of subjects which attracted Courtney Loft to the school. She joins from Mark Hall Academy, in Harlow, and said: “My mum read about this school in the newspaper and thought it had the range of subjects I was interested in. Here, I can take subjects such as computer science and biology and I’m excited about that.”
For Thomas Caruso, moving across from Stewards Academy, in Harlow, the opportunity to be the person he wants to be is what made him choose the school. He said: “I like how they teach here; we are being encouraged to be independent and that is how you learn best.
“I am looking forward to 3D design and engineering; they are more the subjects I will be interested in studying.
“When this school opened, my parents could see how excited I became for the new opportunity. I am excited to get started.”