I had a fantastic opportunity to attend the Nord Anglia Education Regional STEAM Conference in Prague from 1-4 March. This involved presenting at the Conference alongside Ms Westwood, Deputy Head of Primary. We spoke about Project Based learning and the importance of using a variety of teaching approaches to meet the needs of all students in a truly inspiring setting, incorporating STEAM, (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics) into our teaching. Project Based Learning is a teaching method in which students gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time to investigate and respond to an authentic, engaging and complex question, problem, or challenge. In Year 1, the children are given a variety of Project Based Learning tasks within the classroom and also for home learning. This allows them to challenge themselves, work in a team, and solve problems. An example of a Project Based Learning task that we presented at the conference was bridge building. The audience had to use the materials given to them to create a bridge strong enough to balance a goat and tall enough so that a troll would not reach the goat. They were given a variety of materials and part of the challenge was to select the most appropriate materials. This challenge created a lot of discussion and trial and error approaches. Project Based Learning allows children to learn that it is okay to make mistakes and to continue to try, try, and try again until they succeed.
STEAM education has risen in popularity over the past number of years and it is vitally important to keep up to date to provide our children with the best opportunities in life. By engaging our children in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths, we prepare young people to become lifelong learners and hopefully, tomorrow’s innovators. STEAM fosters a growth mind-set that includes skill acquisition, artistic growth and promotes technological ingenuity. For most children, an educational institution can be the first place the value of technology in formal learning can be experienced. At Nord Anglia International School Al Khor, the teachers utilise iPads, laptops, and interactive whiteboards to enhance teaching, record progress and assess learning. By attending the conference, I was able to learn more about STEAM education and share new ideas and methods with all my colleges.
Year 1 Teacher