STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Through STEM, students develop key skills including: problem solving, creativity, critical analysis, teamwork and independent thinking, At Jells Park, we incorporate STEM into our daily routines, encouraging students to explore, engage, question, modify and change.
Science is integrated into the curriculum at Jells Park Primary School from Foundation through to Level 6. Students are challenged to develop their skills of inquiry, exploration, collaboration and teamwork across the year levels. They are provided with engaging ‘hands-on’ opportunities, making connections between units of investigation and everyday life. At Jells Park we explore the four main areas of Science – Physical, Earth and Space, Biological and Chemical Science. Science develops and enhances the key skills of curiosity, critical thinking, perseverance and reflection.
One lunchtime per week students are given the option to participate in our Science Club. It is provided by Science For Schoolers as a hands on, interactive lunchtime activity. Through the Science Club students are given the opportunity to continue to build on their skills and work with students from different year levels.
At Jells Park Primary School we view Technology as a means to enhance our teaching and learning rather than as a means to an end. Each classroom is equipped with an eBoard or a Smartboard which we use to explore concepts, model writing and undertake interactive learning experiences.
We run a 1:1 device program from Level 4 to 6 and the lower years classrooms have banks of laptops and iPads which are used in a multitude of ways. Students are exposed to Digital Technology and work on the skills required for these tools in specialist ICT lessons from Foundation to Level 2. Our robust network allows us to stay connected, both within the school and beyond, and children are taught about online safety and etiquette. Jells Park Primary School is an eSmart school and this program is used as a basis to frame student learning and school policies and practices around eSafety.
Coding is another skill explored by the school and this not only readies our students for a world in which they may need to explicitly program, but it also equips them with everyday sequential thinking skills. We have multiple technologies to explore this, such as Bee-Bots, Lego robotics and various online tools.
The school also runs several creative media related activities using our technological resources, such as our green screen room. These are used by students to explore many skills as they produce content like Jells Park News. Student led activities like these allow for genuine learning and let children implement their knowledge in the process of creation.
Jells Park Primary School is committed to empowering students to have a positive impact on the environment. Our aim is to educate and create passion around sustainability by developing an appreciation and responsibility for the environment. To achieve this aim, we have Environment Captains who drive many programs within the school. The Captains participate in weekly environmental meetings to discuss ideas, run daily recycling, a rubbish collection competition and programs such as Earth Hour.
The school recently won a grant to build a Vegetable Garden out of old pallets. The beds were built by students, teachers and parents, and the grant helped pay for a rainwater tank that supplies water to the beds. The fresh fruit and vegetables grown here will be used by the school community.
In an effort to be environmentally sustainable, and to reduce our footprint on the environment, we have: 3 worm farms, 4 large water tanks, paper recycling, 15kW solar panels and inverter, veggie gardens and plastic recycling.
In Mathematics the school has a philosophy to engage students with problem solving and real world tasks wherever possible. This ensures students make connections between concepts and see Maths as a part of their world, not just something done in the classroom. This approach is supported by the inclusion of resources such as ‘reSolve: Maths by Inquiry’ to promote students’ thinking in mathematics.
The school runs a highly successful Maths Talent Quest program where students are invited to do an investigation into a topic of their choice and find all the maths involved. Past projects have revolved around ideas including Natural Disasters, Sports, Cooking, Gardening, Picture Story Books and Holidays. Class projects are also common throughout the school for Maths Talent Quest.
Maths lessons will also regularly include games or exercises to build on the proficiencies of numeracy. The school has a subscription to online tools including Mathletics, which help support students learning in the classroom and at home. Students also engage in coding in maths using resources such as the Bee-Bots.