High on our agenda was how we continue to be forward thinking schools who prepare young people with the skills, aptitudes and attitudes that they will need for their future lives.
We all agreed about the importance of wanting our students to be able to inquire, think, investigate, and innovate so that they have the chance to become the educators, researchers, and leaders who can solve the most pressing challenges facing our world, both today and tomorrow.
STEM education was also a key topic as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are vital to our future - STEM is everywhere and it shapes our everyday experiences. STEM skills therefore are in high demand in every field and so by the time our students are ready to enter the work force, it is of course advantageous if they have enough knowledge to make valuable contributions to STEM industries.
While at BISS Puxi we do not offer a fully integrated STEM programme, we are already preparing young people for STEM orientated futures. Scientists and engineers get to do some pretty cool things. They challenge their brains to examine, explore, and solve real life problems. They develop hands-on projects to make new discoveries and use technology effectively. They work collaboratively in teams, sharing expertise, and knowledge, generating multiple ideas to complete projects. The principles of STEM—critical thinking, asking good questions, observation and exploration—are truly at the heart of every discipline so we try to make core subjects like Maths, Science and Technology relevant for students. At the same time, we foster creativity, curiosity and a passion for problem solving, and create learning environments full of active classrooms where multiple right answers abound and failure is regarded as a positive step toward discovery and a successful solution.
We also increasingly adopt a project-based way of teaching and learning, allowing students to exploit cross-curricular skills, and to understand and appreciate the relevancy of their work to the world around them. A simple project such as “jewellery” could take a group of students on a full design process from their computer generated designs all the way through to finished pieces made on the 3d printer. Programmed robots could be designed and built to complete real life tasks or students could be tasked with creating viable solutions to optimal food growing in small urban spaces. Endless possibilities, where we feed natural curiosity and give students enough room to kick start their journey toward becoming creative, innovative, critical thinkers.
As we move forward, we will continue to keep a sharp focus on STEM; building on our curriculum offer, expanding STEM orientated resources and providing wider educational experiences. As an educational company, we are also forging strong partnerships with industry and exploring partnerships with centres of STEM excellence such as MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). It is an exciting future for our young people and we want to excite them to be ambitious for their own futures and the world they can help shape.
Niki Meehan, Vice Principal