What I Did

In December, I created the Plan for my Enquiry Focus – which can be  found here:

Now I will go through the plan and reflect on the following points:

What did you actually do, with whom and when?
What changed and why?

1 – Identifying the Focus
My focus has remained unchanged.

2 – Research 
Research that I did prior to this enquiry has fed into a PG Cert I have undertaken and vice versa, reading undertaken for the PG Cert course has influenced my enquiry.

3 – Specific Focus
My original specific focus was In what way does the creation of a STEM area in a classroom address the gender gap? This has had to change due to the fact we have not created a STEM area in the classroom. I have had to taken alternative action to this enquiry which is detailed below.

4 – Plan and Implement
The original plan of creating STEM boxes for classrooms and to work alongside SLT to develop STEM areas in the shared areas has changed due to the time constraints, lack of engagement from pupils in the shared areas, and not being able to implement this fully. Instead, I have ensured that through the 90 minutes I have with each class during the week there are ample opportunities to explore gender in STEM, as well as through a wider variety of visitors during our Digital Learning Week.

5 – Gather Data
The gathering of Data was carried out in January with a focus group of 4 children per year group (2 boys and 2 girls). The plan was to revisit the questionnaires with the children before the end of term 3 (april holidays) however, with recent events and restrictions placed upon schools I am now going to carry out a questionnaire with our P4-7 pupils and use this questionnaire in two ways:
1 – to pick out those who had previously completed the survey and compare results.
2 – to use results as a way of seeing where we are in the upper school in regards to our attitudes towards STEM and how I can use this to inform the future of STEM in our school.

6 – Analyse Data
The gathering of Data was carried out in January with a focus group of 4 children per year group (2 boys and 2 girls). The data gathered was analysed and showed a clear bias towards. The results of the other questionnaires are still pending but I will update this once I have the results.

7 – Evaluate and Report
I will report my findings back to my SLT and colleagues which will inform us of how we can move towards tackling the Gender Gap in STEM as a whole school.

8 – Take Informed Action
This will be decided upon conversations between myself, SLT and colleagues.

9 – Repeat
The hope would to be to carry out the questionnaire annually to see how attitudes of our children are changing.

Update 3 – March 2020

What’s Happening in my enquiry?

I am writing this update on the back of our very successful third Digital Learning Week in the school. Although, it wasn’t without a few hiccups of visitors arriving late, cancelling 30 minutes prior to their visit and one visitor turning up without us knowing they were coming BUT the school was buzzing with enthusiasm and excitement.   At the end of the week, I gathered feedback from staff, pupils and visitors and will share some of the results within this update. 

What’s working?

Within my enquiry, and from having Digital Learning Week the conversations I have had with children across the school towards the potential careers in STEM have been enlightening.  The Digital Learning Week has acted as a catapult within the school with some teachers  now more willing to use STEM inside their classroom more.

Staff Feedback

  • All enjoyed Digital Learning Week and felt that their pupils benefited from it.
    • “The pupils had the opportunity to interact with a variety of people from jobs in the digital sector and most were inspired, in some way, to pursue a career in the digital field in the future.”
    • “I thought that it was great for the children to hear about the uses of technology in various workplaces. The visitors were very good at engaging the children and they answered their questions well. The children benefited from hearing about online safety and data being shared by social media sites etc. This has made them more aware and hopefully will keep them safer.”
    • “The content of some of the presentations and workshops were very relevant to the digital world the children live in. The variety of visitors and vocations was also great. Data lab was great and very informative.”
    • “They enjoyed the variety of companies/visitors who came in to inform them of the vast opportunities that are out there in this ever growing digital environment. It opened their eyes to things that they knew didn’t exist.”
    • “They were able to talk to people actually in these jobs who could explain what they do and give them an insight into some of the tools they use. They were also able to work on the laptops while receiving positive feedback and advice to improve their design.”

Pupil Feedback

  • “Being given the opportunity to see what’s available and trying the different things out. Getting the opportunity to see how technology could become part of a career choice.”
  • “We enjoyed all of the visitors and learned lots about the many different jobs that are available to us within a digital capacity.”
  • “We learnt lots of new things about digital learning. It was very interesting to learn about new technology in jobs and about hackers. We enjoyed having a variety of visitors into our classroom. It has encouraged us to try hard and aim for our dreams.”
  • “It was a really interesting week but some of the workshops were a little less engaging than others.”

Visitor Feedback

  • All enjoyed the event and would like to be part of it again.
  • The children were all engaged, well behaved and asked relevant questions.

What am I not sure about?

The past two weeks I was meant to be collating data to compare against my first set of questionnaires but with the absence rate of the school dropping day by day due to the Covid-19 this has been very difficult. As a result of school closures to the majority of children and with the council moving towards having Hubs, I don’t know when I will next see the children I questioned. Therefore, I have decided to use the wonders of the online classrooms that we have set up for our P4-7 children to ask all children to complete a questionnaire. This questionnaire will serve two purposes:

1 – to see where we are as an upper school in terms of Gender Bias in STEM with the hope that this can inform how we tackle STEM and the Gender Gap in the future.

2 – I will be able to pick out the children that I had originally complete the questionnaire in January and compare their views.

Hopefully, with the collection of the questionnaires alongside the catapult that has been Digital Learning Week we will be able to, as a school, take the next steps towards tackling the Gender Gap in STEM.