B17 SLT Secondary Schools Education Programme

2023 Update

We have produced the set of Learning Support Materials for GCSE Science and A Level Design and Technology. They are known as ‘Spotlight on Specifics'. These have been produced using a group of 5 Trial schools in the Essex area in conjunction with their STEM representatives and overseen by HMI. As a result, the scheme has been approved for use in all English Schools and is currently lodged with a number of Publishers awaiting a commercial opportunity to launch on the open market. Commercial opportunities are currently limited by Covid, RAC concrete and the Cost of Living finance issue within schools.

June 2021 Spotlight on Specifics

After 3 years of trialling in a group of 5 Secondary Schools, we have completed a package of Learning Support Materials which use 'Steam Power' as the learning context. They support various activities in GCSE Science courses and are clearly linked to the Assessment Objectives in the National Curriculum. A further package can be used to deliver A Level Design and Technology linked to the syllabuses from the various Examination Authorities. These materials have been developed by our Team in conjunction with Teaching Staff and STEM Co-ordinators in the trial schools.

It was our intention to compare the predicted results in 2020 (using our Materials) with the actual Examination results obtained in order to verify the validity of our scheme. Whilst approx. 50 students at A Level and 200 at GCSE were involved, the examination was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic.

Subsequently, we obtained extended funding and ran the scheme for a further year but the Examination was cancelled again in 2021. Despite this, we have agreed on a comparative review of our Assessments with the final Teacher Assessed marks within the Trial Schools. HMI and STEM will be involved in this exercise so hopefully we will get a positive outcome and a recommendation for the use of S-o-S materials in any school from next September. We will then need to find a Publisher willing to publish the scheme on our behalf.

Since moving to Sheffield in October 2020, we have been contacted by a small group of Secondary Schools in the Sheffield area, wanting to know more about our Learning Support Materials. This has been discussed with them and we propose to start a small trial group of schools on the materials in September. Initially these schools will be given the use of our materials for free in the first year only and we will gain valuable experience in distanced learning.

Further Education – Craft Apprenticeships

As a Charity, we are committed to improved Training for young Engineers. We believe that Training is improved by the use of real-life contexts. Students learn skills and processes much quicker if they can identify with the task in hand. Therefore, using our New Build Project as a learning context must have advantages over a 'virtual' process. We have started talking to Employers, Colleges and Training Agencies in order to see how we can set up a 'premium' training scheme for Engineering students. We are interested in talking to anyone who can help us facilitate a quality Apprenticeship scheme (currently known by us as Alpha Training) and we hope to report definitive progress by the beginning of the next Academic Year.

'Spotlight on Specifics' in Schools - January 2019

This coming week sees the first Moderation Trial for Design Assignments in A Level Design and Technology. All the trial schools completed their first Design Assignment before Christmas, and this coming week, we will meet with STEM Co-ordinators and examples of students work in order to standardise our levels of assessment. This will be repeated after completion of the second Assignment in March.

On Sunday 20/1/2019, I was invited to attend a 'Burns Lunch' at New Hall School, Chelmsford, Essex - one of our trial schools. During the lunch the 'Welcome to the Haggis' was given by Arthur Jarvis (previously Senior Draughtsman at North British Locomotive Works), the Toast to the Lassies was given by myself and the reply was given by Ms Elizabeth Hope (Vice Chair of Chelmsford Lions). Following the formal speeches, I was invited to talk to the guests about the work of the Trust, with particular reference to our work in Schools. In all, there were 62 guests present and this certainly represented a different audience for the Trust. I hope that we might get other invitations in the future. Larry Sampson.

Educational Support Initiative

In an attempt to inspire a younger generation with this new build Steam Project, the Trust is developing a range of Educational Support Materials for Secondary School students in England and Wales. These materials are entitled 'Spotlight on Specifics' and focus on GCSE Science and GCE A Level Design and Technology. At GCSE level, they comprise specific Lesson Plans/Practical sessions, whilst at A level they comprise specific Design Assignments; all related to Steam Power and its applications.

These materials are used by the Subject Teacher with help from the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) Coordinator in each School and cover all relevant topics in the course. Currently we are testing these materials in 5 trial Schools; progress will be evaluated by the Trust, STEM and representatives from the DfE (Department of Education) at the end of the first year. It is hoped that the completed Support Materials will be available to all schools following a successful trial.

The program is aimed at developing students’ understanding of scientific principle, as well as to inspire them with the possibilities for Engineering in the 21st Century. If any school would like to find out more, please contact Larry Sampson on 07749 317373.