Update 1 – January 2020


How has my reading, or events, or conversations influenced my thinking?

Since my last post, I have had the opporutnity to reflect greatly upon my enquiry question and my method of carrying out my enquiry. It wasn’t really until the recall day last week that I really started for form a coherent plan of action for my enquiry through discussions with my peers.

What’s happening in my enquiry?

In partnership with the PT at my school, and the pupil council, STEM areas have started to be set up within the middle and upper stages shared areas for the children to access freely. It is through this that I will be setting STEM challenges for the children to participate in through different mediums, for example, laptops, kapla, lego etc. In regards to the early years and infant areas within the school, I am creating lists of potential STEM activities for them to have in their shared areas and classrooms for their children to access as part of their timetable

To gather the data to which I can compare to around March/April time, I am going to choose 4 children from each stage and question them about their current opinions about STEM areas and whether they believe the area belongs to one gender or both through a short questionnaire. This will be carried out during the time that I have with each class throughout the week.

Throughout the course of this enquiry I will be using observations, and discussing with my colleagues their observations of who has been using these areas the most. Is there one area that is female dominated? Is there one area that is male dominated? Or do the children choose a mix of areas.

What’s working?

It is hard to comment on this right now as the STEM areas have not been fully set up but will be by the beginning of next week, with the focus groups beginning then too. It has been really interesting to continue engaging with colleagues both within and outwith my school about the importance of STEM and the exposure to a wide variety of STEM from an early age.

What am I not sure about?

At this point, I am unsure exactly how often the STEM areas in the middle and upper shared areas will be used as this is a new concept within our school to have focused areas. I  am also dubious as to whether staffing and timing will allow for teachers and myself to observe who is accessing the areas but equally I was unsure as to whether a tally system for the children to complete when they access an area was going to be completely reliable…

2 thoughts on “Update 1 – January 2020”

  1. This was an interesting read, Jayne. Choosing four children from each stage sounds like a good, manageable way of gathering evidence.When you mention a questionnaire, do you mean you will leave the children with a questionnaire to fill in with a pencil? Or will you have a set of questions which you will ask each group/child and then you record their verbal answer? Or a mix of the two? Like you, I was wondering how easy it would be for teachers to observe who is accessing each area. Have you thought of creating a simple map for each of the STEM areas (literally just named boxes showing locations of each area on a sheet of paper)? Perhaps add a B and G in each area box for boys and girls. Then it might be quicker and easier for teachers to look over to the STEM area, do a quick count of boys and girls in each area and mark it in the corresponding box on the map. This would provide quick snapshots of how many boys and girls are using each area, and it might not be practical or achievable to aim for any more than that. See what you think.

  2. Hi Emma,
    Thank you for your comment. With the questionnaire I have left the P4-7’s to fill in the questionnaire independently and with the P1-3’s I have sat with them and done these questionnaires verbally due to them being unsure of what to do.
    I really like your idea of the map and boxes to record the STEM areas – thank you for your advice.

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