A cross-curricular approach to raising attainment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) with a focus on mathematics and numeracy. This interesting practice exemplar demonstrates how St. Andrew’s Secondary School in Glasgow has developed a STEM course for all S1-S3 young people to develop their numeracy and mathematical skills.
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The course is delivered by a range of teachers from across the school and has positively impacted young people’s engagement, confidence and attainment in numeracy and mathematics within the practical STEM subject areas.
This exemplar could be used by practitioners wishing to develop their BGE courses to support attainment in STEM through numeracy and mathematics. The exemplar could be explored individually or as a team.
It will give you an insight into how one school has developed and implemented an approach to boost learners’ skills and confidence.
These reflective questions will support you as you consider your approach to developing numeracy and mathematical skills through STEM within a secondary school context:
- How has the school identified the numeracy and mathematical skills to be developed across STEM subjects?
- How does this course achieve progression for young people in STEM skills?
- How has the school supported staff in developing and delivering the course?
- How important is the young person’s voice in this course?
- How do staff know that engaging with this STEM course is raising attainment for all?
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What was done?
These videos demonstrate how St Andrew’s Secondary School have developed a consistent approach to support young people as they acquire skills in numeracy and mathematics across a range of STEM subjects. The Principal Teacher of Numeracy explains the rationale and the approach taken. Staff and learners explain the difference the course has made for them.
What brought about the change?
Staff wanted to achieve consistency in the approach and methodology used to teach selected mathematical and numeracy skills. Staff also wanted to raise pupil confidence and attainment in STEM. The school wanted to ensure learners had the best opportunity to develop numerical and mathematical skills within the S1-S3 broad general education. A working group audited the school’s practice and developed a course to support the young people’s needs. The course has now been successfully implemented for two years.
What was the impact?
Learners have increased confidence in their numerical and mathematical skills and report reduced anxiety as they are able to select the appropriate skills to apply in a range of contexts. Learners are able to articulate how this approach has improved their understanding and how these skills will help them across the curriculum. Staff have reported that the increase in learner confidence has allowed them to spend more time looking at STEM subject concepts in depth. Staff can articulate the impact this approach has had on attainment.
What are the next steps?
- continue to develop the S3 course to support S2 learners as they transition into S3, these learners have already benefited from the course through S1 and are currently in S2
- continue to monitor uptake and attainment in STEM subjects as the learners who have benefited from this course transition into the senior phase
- identify and provide targeted support for learners that would benefit from continued numeracy support in order to improve STEM attainment in the senior phase
Introduction to STEM Numeracy by Depute Head Teacher
In this video, the Depute headteacher explains why the STEM Numeracy course was developed and the importance of collaboration.
Staff share STEM Numeracy
In this video, staff share how the STEM Numeracy course was developed, how it is implemented within the school and its impact.
Pupils reflect on STEM Numeracy
Young people share their experience of the STEM Numeracy course and how it has helped them.
Principal Teacher of STEM Numeracy
In this video, the Principal Teacher who leads the STEM Numeracy work reflects on the course and the difference it is making for young people in St Andrew's Secondary School.
Assessment and support in STEM Numeracy
In this video, the Principal Teacher explains how STEM numeracy is assessed and the support offered to pupils.
Impact of STEM Numeracy on Attainment
In this video, the Principal Teacher shares the impact of STEM Numeracy on attainment
Pupil engagement and next steps in STEM Numeracy
This video explains how young people are involved in influencing the course and the Principal Teacher looks ahead to the next steps for STEM Numeracy.
PDF file: Practical numeracy - Assessment marking guidelines (315 KB)
PDF file: Practical numeracy - Steps to success and worked examples (1.2 MB)
PDF file: Numeracy Skills in STEM Audit (220 KB)
Excel file: Pupil Assessment Tracking - Blank (98 KB)
Zipped file: S1 Coursework (4.1 MB)
Zipped file: S2 Coursework (6.8 MB)
Zipped file: S3 Coursework (1.7 MB)