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This year’s annual Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) week at The Coleshill School had a focus on encouraging more girls into STEM careers.  Across all the world there is a shortage of women continuing to study science, technology, engineering and maths and ultimately this leads to a shortage of women in STEM industries. 

At The Coleshill School we want to change this balance and alongside our everyday enthusiasm for promoting STEM subjects, there was a real focus on encouraging the girls during STEM week. All the students took part in forensics lessons, engineering tasks and talks throughout the week, but there were also sessions just for the girls. We welcomed graduates from Rolls Royce to speak to our year 10 girls about career opportunities within the company and how to relate their current skills and interests to the aeronautic industry. Liz Greasley from JLR demonstrated laboratory equipment used to test materials and gave the students experience of different, less-well-known jobs within the car industry. During STEM club, our students took part in a 5 week project to design a method of moving a breakable object across a ‘bottomless cavern’. Our winning group, comprising of 4 year 9 girls won the competition with their ingenious mechanical crane designed and built during the project entirely by the group. We were also delighted by the success of our all-girl year 8 STEM group who took part in the local Faraday Challenge day and won!

Kathryn Rollason, STEM Co-ordinator commented“It is so important that girls realise they have the same opportunities as the boys when it comes to studying STEM subjects and applying for STEM careers. The role models the students met over the last few weeks, the activities they have undertaken and the enthusiasm shown by our students will go a long way to bridge this gap.”

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Students at The Coleshill School took part in a week of activities to celebrate and raise money for Sports Relief.

 During PE lessons students took part in Rowathlon challenge using rowing machines, spin bikes and step boxes.  The challenge was to keep the rowers going during PE lessons,  students represented their houses using the 4 rowers in week long inter house competitions After each lesson the number of meters covered contributed to an end of week total. The overall total rowed was an incredible 251,578 meters, overall 156 miles. The School also took part in the Sport Relief app step challenge and by the end of Friday had stepped a massive 4.8 million steps the equivalent to 3000 miles. The distance would be the equivalent of traveling from Birmingham to Ndjamena, which is situated in the middle of Africa.  

Further challenges during the week consisted of ‘taking part in Joe Wicks fitness DVD during tutor time; staff v students basketball and netball matches. 

 Students held a non-uniform day on Friday 23rd March with all proceeds going to Sports Relief.

Adam Gray, Head of PE, commented “It was great to see students and staff coming together and engaging in the challenges over the week.  Sport is the perfect vehicle for bringing people together and raising money for a worthwhile charity.  The pedometer was a real really simple but effective way to raise awareness of physical activity but also highlight the sedentary lifestyles that we can physically change. We hope to continue step challenge in years to come and showcase how active the students and staff are at The Coleshill School.

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On Wednesday 5th March 2018 a team of students from The Coleshill School took part in the Digital Schoolhouse Esports regional qualifying tournament at Staffordshire University.

The Digital Schoolhouse, powered by PlayStations National Esports Tournament, is designed to engage and inspire students with careers and opportunities within the games, esports and creative industries, it uses play-based learning to engage the next generation of students and teachers with the new computing curriculum.  The aim is to bridge the gap between industry and education to prepare the next generation for a digital age.

The Digital Schoolhouse eSports Tournament started in January 2018 with 20 schools taking part and an estimated reach of 1500-2000 students.  Two teams from The Coleshill School entered and team ‘Ben Hyper Carry’ went through to the regional qualifiers. 

Lisa Cooper, Teacher of ICT said “The team were given some great advice from Ramesh Singh, a former professional player.  They played really hard against very strong competition and came joint third .  This was a fantastic day for our students taking part in a national competition and they enjoyed the whole experience of the eSports Challenge!

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Students at The Coleshill School enjoyed a full week of exciting Science activities as part of British Science Week.  Throughout the week various challenges were set including a ‘Plastercine Boat Challenge for Year 8 students and a ‘Spaghetti Tower Challenge’ for Year 9 students.  Selected Year 9 students also took part in a Jaguar Land Rover visit, discussing the different apprenticeship options available in the company. The students then took part in a poster competition to share this information with their peers – the best ones are now displayed in the school career area. Year 7 took part in a forensics session were they had to use their critical skills as well as their scientific technique to solve a crime.

Year 10 students took part in a ‘real-life’ crime scene, analysing blood splatter, fingerprinting, weapon imprints and  ballistics. Students enjoyed dressing up and using real equipment to read the evidence left by the perpetrator.

Year 7 students were visited by Jaguar Land Rover where they used real laboratory equipment to study different materials used in vehicles and test its density and hardness. They also enjoyed using a powerful microscope to look at the fine structure of metals.

Selected Year 8, 9 and year 10 students took part in the national Biology Challenge, where they competed against schools across the country in an online biology quiz which covers GCSE biology ideas as well as general knowledge about British natural history.

Our STEM Club students visited the Big Bang Fair at the NEC, a celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths, which included taking part in experiments and activities such as building a gravity racer, walking through a wind tunnel and rocket building. The STEM club also took part in a five week challenge to build a machine to transport an egg across a bottomless cavern. The final was held and the winning team – ‘Team Egg’ was crowned after developing a sophisticated crane method of transporting their egg.

The week ended with an invited guests, Mr Chris Webb who delivered a session on alternative routes into Engineering to Year 11 students and the team from Arconica who spoke to the Applied Science Year 12 class about engineering and apprenticeships. Students for this were chosen based on their aspirations to follow careers in mechanics, engineering or design through apprenticeships or University courses after leaving school. This enrichment session gave the students a valuable hands-on experience to aid their future careers.

Ms Rollason, STEM Coordinator said “The week has been an opportunity to involve all our students in the exciting diverse world of science, technology and maths and show them how everyone can enjoy it.   We run a weekly STEM Club which is very popular with our students and local primary children who this year have taken part in a number of projects in both maths and in science, most recently transporting an egg across an obstacle course without breaking it.  The STEM club is growing every year and there will be more exciting activities later in the year to look forward to!”

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Staff at The Coleshill School dressed up for World Book Day and students enjoyed being taught by a whole host of characters including  a Golden Ticket, Hagrid, Jon Snow, Cruella de Vill, pirates, an Oompa Loompa, Miss Trunchbull, Miss Honey, Fantastic Mrs Fox, Sophie from BFG and James with his Giant Peach to name just a few!

Students received book tokens and have taken part in ERIC Everyone Reading In Class, as well as discussions on books in English.

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