STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
At Sandringham school, we place a strong emphasis on STEM education throughout our curriculum. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and students will engage with this in all of the sciences, computing, design and technology and mathematics. We provide a wide variety of opportunities for our students in cross curricular and extracurricular activities to broaden students understanding in these areas and increase students STEM capital. The knowledge and skills developed in the STEM subjects are vital for all students to become creative and informed problem solvers who can thrive in an ever changing job market in the future.
In September 2015, we introduced STEM as a cross curricular focus. We have developed links with outside agencies including; UK Space Agency, Transport for London, Airbus Defense and Space; York University; Engineering Development Trust, GSK and Setpoint Hertfordshire to support our STEM provision.
Jo Cavanagh, Assistant Headteacher oversees the STEM programme and works with a team of incredibly passionate and talented staff to provide significant opportunities for students at the school. In previous years we have contacted Tim Peake on the International Space Station, sent a High Altitude Balloon into near space, and every student involved in planting over 2,000 trees to finish Heartwood Forest. These are just some examples of whole-school STEM activity. There are numerous clubs for students to join and develop their own interests in STEM.
As a result of this work, an increasing number Sandringham students are embarking upon STEM subjects as future careers. We have also worked with the Department for Education and the Institute for Physics on gender balance programmes to ensure that all of our students feel empowered to choose STEM subjects and careers.
Our aim is to help students develop their self-confidence, emotional intelligence and motivation through participation in the arts.
Sandringham has a very strong record of achievement in the Arts, both performing and visual. Exam attainment is high and our Artsmark Platinum award status recognises the outstanding provision for all students at Sandringham.
We have always acknowledged and valued the benefits of a broad education encompassing the Arts to help young people acquire the critical skills of communication, working in collaboration and problem-solving. We are proud of the rich cultural experiences we are able to offer all students through a range of classroom, enrichment and super curricular activities and projects.
All students study art, music, drama and dance at KS3 and many choose at least one of these subjects at KS4. Large numbers of students go on to study one or more of the arts subjects at A-level and then opt to follow undergraduate courses in the arts at University.
With an outstanding reputation for Arts teaching we are able to recruit the most talented staff who provide exceptional learning to students at Sandringham and to many local schools through our extensive outreach programme. This work was recognised at the National Teaching Awards in 2014 when the arts team won the Silver Award for Outstanding Team of the Year. There are a wealth of arts activities run each year and many of these take place in the SandPit Theatre: a truly stunning 280 seater auditorium which provides a professional standard venue within which young people can learn, practise and perform. The vibrant Artsweek which takes place each summer is a culmination of the wide range or artistic opportunities open to our students.
The opportunity to be involved in whole school productions brings students of all ages together and gives them a sense of pride and satisfaction in their achievements. Students benefit significantly from this curriculum and become articulate, motivated and flexible learners. The arts disciplines also come together for House Arts performances and the completion of Trinity College Arts Awards at both Bronze and Silver levels.
We aim to provide a rich and diverse range of activities which expand the horizons of our students, motivate them and develop their talents.
All students are encouraged to participate in clubs, teams, workshops, visits, performances and other activities.
We also aim to support students to understand and deal with the global nature of our World. All students follow at least one foreign language (French, German or Spanish) to GCSE level. Our International Status means we are linked with schools in the Gambia and in Europe, with many regular exchange visits and trips taking place.
We run six Extended Learning Days throughout the year to add to the excitement of learning and stimulate deep learning provided through extended projects. These dovetail with our curriculum to ensure coherent and powerful learning experiences.
There is an extensive range of trips to all parts of the globe. A team building trip to the Peak District is run in the third week of term for all new year 7 students; in year 8 the students spend a week in St. Lunaire, France; year 9 includes a week long visit to the Rhineland for everyone studying German, and there are many subject specific field trips for examinations students at KS4 and A-level. As part of our Arts Status we run many international visits and music tours. Sixth Formers have the opportunity of a once in a lifetime trip to an exotic destination such as Borneo, China, Central America, Bakino Faso and Ecuador.
We also run annual exchanges with schools in Quickborn (Germany), Annecy (France) and Seville (Spain). These are amazing opportunities for students to experience everyday life and culture in our neighbouring countries as well as improve their linguistic skills. We also have a link with Anderson College in Singapore for sixth formers.
Lower and upper school ski trips add to a fully comprehensive offering for all students.
The values of meeting challenges and being an independent learner are partly delivered through the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme. This is a core feature of activity in years 10 to 13 with large numbers of students completing awards at all levels and adds significant value to the development of students‘ leadership skills as well as being great fun.
Charging Policy for Activities
Some learning and educational activities will incur a charge to parents, but no student will be excluded from the activity if a contribution is unable to be made. An activity may have to be cancelled if insufficient contributions are made. Payments for all activities can be made by instalments. A full policy statement is available from the school office.
World Class Schools
The Quality Mark is to recognise schools that already been judged ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted and have moved beyond this judgement.
We believe that we have improved student progress, aspiration and achievement to such an extent that our standards rival those of the best schools internationally.We are preparing young people for a world which is significantly different to that of twenty years ago. Young people need to perform in a diverse global economy which is typified by technological innovation, is highly competitive and where entrepreneurism is celebrated. World Class schools equip students with knowledge, skills and confidence to thrive in a challenging international environment where those who succeed take risks and continually pursue improvement. World Class students are educated to be active and effective citizens who have qualifications which give them choices, and the competences to choose well. They have developed a level of emotional and intellectual literacy which enables them to navigate a potentially bewildering plethora of opportunities and achieve success and contentment for themselves.
A World Class student
- is highly literate scientifically, mathematically, technologically and culturally
- consistently out-performs students from similar contexts, and is committed to continually improving their performance
- is an excellent learner, dedicated to life-long learning
- is a compelling candidate in their field for higher education and/or employment, being globally aware , confident and prepared for life in an international environment.
Our development of student character and international outlook are high priorities for the school. As well as our existing partnerships within the UK as a leading Teaching School and Research School, we have strong links with our exchange schools in France, Spain and Germany and are looking forward to establishing an exchange with Singapore in November 2017.
For more information on the programme, please see http://www.worldclass-schools.org/
Through our science specialism we aim to increase students‘ interest and achievement in the sciences.
Through an enquiry based approach, we develop their skills, knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Science is delivered by an innovative team of staff in a suite of laboratories newly refurbished to the highest of standards.
We have established a challenging science curriculum to meet the needs of all students, with large numbers following triple science at GCSE and many students opting to study sciences at A-level standard in the Sixth-Form. We aim to further increase the number of students entering science, engineering and maths (STEM) courses at undergraduate level through our work as a science college.
There are many additional activities offered as a result of specialist status with clubs in astronomy, amateur radio and the environment as examples. There is also a strong science and engineering club with projects involving rocket making and racing mini formula one cars. The extended community programme of science lessons and lectures add an extra dimension to interest in the sciences.
The Science Faculty are very environmentally aware and support a Green Policy throughout the school to ensure we are as energy efficient and resourceful as possible.
“Students make outstanding progress between years 7 – 11 and their attainment in science at the end of year 11 is high. Students demonstrate high levels of independence; they are able to generate interesting questions and show a high level of skill in researching information and in designing and carrying out investigations.” Ofsted