British Science Day 2019 at Newminster Middle School
On Friday 15th March, we had our annual British Science day. This has become somewhat of a Newminster tradition now. British Science Week is a 10-day programme of thousands of events running throughout the whole of the UK with the aim of celebrating science, engineering, technology and maths. The aim of the day was to
- Raise the profile of science and technology in the school and wider community
- Learn about careers in STEM
- To get pupils interested and thinking about STEM subjects (a little more!)
We are very fortunate that we had STEM Ambassadors who contributed from a range of sectors and made the day very special. Here is an outline of the workshops that took place. Each student participated in 5 workshops.
||STEM Ambassador organisation
|Roller Coaster engineering
|Friction and Forces
||I Mech E
||I Mech E
|Virtual Reality Workshop – Space
|Live animal workshop
||Bugs n stuff
||Year 6 staff
|Flood Awareness and Resilience Measures
|Microscopes and DNA workshop
|What a waste!
|A day in the life of a vet
||Northumbria Police-Darren Stapleton
|Science or engineering?
|Crime Scene Investigation
||Northumbria Police – Kirsty Potter
|Radiation in the world around us
||Northern centre for cancer care
Mrs Razzaqi would like to say a huge thank you to all of our STEM Ambassadors (some of whom are also parents) for travelling to us and offering a chance for the students to get involved in stimulating activities as well as having the opportunity to find out about careers in STEM. If you would like to help us out for BSW 2020 please get in touch with Mrs Razzaqi via the school office.
Here are some quotes..
“I learnt a lot about science, working as a team and communication skills. I loved it all!
“This was a very interesting and educational day; my favourite parts were where you could get involved in a practical manner. I learnt about engineering and how science helps to invent medicine and cure disease.”
“I learnt so much about careers that I had not previously heard about and I would now like to study science further. The DNA and CSI investigations were active and great fun.”
Enterprise Day took place on Friday 1st February 2019, the theme this year being ‘Build a business’. Students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to work within with their house groups and with other year groups.
The event was supported by Carole Richards from Northumberland Education Business and Partnership accompanied by 35 Business Ambassadors who came into school to facilitate the activities and challenges throughout the day. We would like to extend a huge thank you to Engie, Northumberland County Council, HMRC and DWP for allowing the Business Ambassadors to support the programme.
The aim of the day was for the students to recognise and develop enterprise and employability skills such as team work, innovation, creativity, decision making and problem solving. Students had different roles, designed a brand as well as developing prototypes before pitching their product in a Dragons Den style presentation to the Business Ambassadors.
Quotes from the day:
‘I loved making a product!’
Today was amazing fun and I enjoyed creating a new brand!’
‘I’ve enjoyed making a TV advert’
‘I like that there’s people from every year and there’s togetherness and teamwork’
On Friday 19th October, Local Councillors were invited into school, as part of ‘Local Democracy Week 2018’ to offer Year Seven Students the opportunity to pose questions to a panel of County Councillors.
Councillor Beynon, Councillor Towns, Councillor Byard and Councillor Tebbbutt were keen to engage with our students and offer an insight into their own roles as well as tackling local issues. This project was delivered in collaboration with the Northumberland Youth Service.
On Friday 5th October, Year 8 students entered the world of work and for the first time ever, the annual Careers Conference took place at Linden Hall.
The core purpose of the day was to provide students with the opportunity to engage with employers from a range of different sectors. The day is a central part of the careers programme for Year 8 students as they will soon embark on their journey towards high school education and be required to make GCSE choices very early on. We hope that this day. along with various other planned events in Year 8 will help prepare the students to make informed career choices for the future. The event highlighted alternative careers pathways such as apprenticeships as well as the more traditional routes into employment.
The careers speed dating session involved students grilling employers and Business Ambassadors from a range of local employment sectors to get a flavour of career pathways and typical working days.
The afternoon workshops were delivered by Northumberland Fire and Rescue, Police, RAF and the Navy. The workshops highlighted all of the different roles in various organisations as well as key skills needed to be successful and addressed common misconceptions.
Liz Kinninment, Headteacher at Newminster Middle School, gave a keynote speech to launch the day’s activities.
“At Newminster we are committed to encouraging students to think about their future careers from a very early stage. Being able to offer students the opportunity to experience a live working environment like this is invaluable. The experience certainly opens their eyes to the possibilities available and will hopefully help inspire their future career choices.”
The conference day was delivered in partnership with Northumberland Business and Education Partnership and we would like to thank all of the businesses that made the day a success.
Contributors for the speed dating activity included
- NCC Apprentices
- Newcastle College
- Newcastle University
- Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service
- Police Service
- British Army
Here is what the students had to say:
“There are a lot more job opportunities in some jobs that you wouldn’t expect”
“It was an inspiring day”
” I have a new understanding of my future career”
A group of Year 8 pupils attended the Bring It On event at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland on Thursday 4th October. The event showcased many exciting engineering businesses and opportunities across the North East and aimed to inspire, educate and motivate pupils to explore Engineering as a future career.
Pupils took part in many exciting activities including gaming demonstrations, using 3D plastic printing, creating cable structures, operating machinery and using virtual reality headsets.
Pupils really enjoyed the event and came away with lots of inspiration for their future careers.
Congratulations to all of our Big Bang Fair Competition Entrants – on Thursday 4th October they presented their CREST STEM projects to judges at the Regional Fair, which was part of the ‘Bring It On’ exhibition at the Beacon of Light in Sunderland. Pupils spoke confidently about their work, the judges were extremely impressed and two projects were awarded with prizes. One of our projects will be representing the North East at the Big Bang Fair National Finals 2019 at the NEC in Birmingham, and these pupils have also been invited to a special event at Parliament next month. Well done everyone, we are very proud of you.
On November 9th, Year 5 children were treated to an energetic and entertaining performance from Guy Bass, award-winning author of the Spynosaur, Stitch Head and Dinkin Dings series.
Guy explained that his books reflect the way he pictured the world as he was growing up and confessed that he created the Spynosaur series to indulge his childhood ambition to be a dinosaur!
Guy drew upon his background in the theatre to debunk some of the white lies we tell our children – carrots help you see in the dark; spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them; the ice cream van plays its jingle when it has run out of ice cream – and reduced the audience to helpless laughter with his portrayal of an aggressive spider!
Aided by a member of the audience dressed as Spynosaur, he rounded off his performance with a lively reading from his latest novel, Goldenclaw and took time to have a proper conversation with every child that had bought one of his books.
We all enjoyed this event enormously and the clips will give you a flavour.
On Tuesday 14th November, all Year 7 students took part in an Energy Quest workshop ‘The Energiser Event’.
The STEM workshop included hands-on activities, careers information and stories from real engineers working in energy.
Concepts of energy generation, sustainability and technologies were explored and pupils were left with exciting ideas to explore.
On Monday 9th October, 16 members of the Newminster Student Voice went along to the Council Chambers as part of Local Democracy Week. During the course of the day the Student Voice deepened their understanding of youth democracy opportunities such as the Youth Cabinet, Youth Parliament, and the national youth consultation – ‘Make Your Mark’. All the students passionately campaigned about issues which they cared about.
Many of the students prepared questions to pitch to the local Councillors Dodd, Thorne, Murray, Dunbar and Moore.
Abbie and Tom proudly received a certificate of participation at the end of the day. The visit was followed up by workshops for our KS2 students on Thursday 12th October.
Year 5 had a full day dedicated to thinking about their future careers and study pathways during the ‘Hopes and Dreams Day’ on 30th June 2017. The purpose of the day was to raise an awareness of a range of different careers.
This is the first year that we have trialled a full day of CEIAG (Careers education information and guidance) for our year 5 students and the day proved to be popular with the students.
Here are some quotes from the students…
“It was a fun way to think about what you want in your future.” Lily
“Amazing day and it really helped me to think about what I could do in the future.” Anna
“I enjoyed the police workshop and looking at all of their equipment.” Elliot
The event was supported by a range of organisations as outlined below.
- NERAP (North East Raising Aspiration Partnership) – An organisation that works in partnership and on behalf of all of the North-East Universities – they facilitated a fun, interactive activity that outlined the benefits of higher education, focusing on the careers it can open up
- British Army – a variety of army equipment was brought in for the students to see / touch and try on. This included clothing / webbing / power suits / headsets etc. They also brought along a Land rover vehicle so that students could take a look inside
- Northumbria Police – A hands on and interactive session. The session explored separate roles within Northumbria Police
- Accenture (IT and technology company) – The team from Accenture outlined who they are and what they do as a business. They will be brought mini robots for students to programme and test.