STEAM Week 2020

This week has seen all sections of Orley Farm School getting involved in STEAM week 2020, a week that celebrated an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. During a week packed with action, our pupils demonstrated all our thinking skills and in particular curiosity, initiative, risk taking and resilience as they got actively involved in numerous workshops, talks and shows and other activities.

On Wednesday, Y8 students run a spectacular assembly delivering demonstrations that communicated key scientific ideas like vaccination, herd immunity and balanced equations in a simple yet scientifically accurate way. Table tennis balls, zombie apocalypse masks, software that turns art into music and a number of balloons were involved in the delivery of what turned to be a rather explosive assembly! This was followed by four incredibly engaging and inspiring shows, delivered by the Science Museum’s outreach team.

Throughout the week, Pre-Prep classes were visiting the Science labs, having an opportunity to taste Science in a proper lab environment. Through simple DIY experiments, Pre-Prep pupils were introduced to animal classification and managed to bring art to life, making some of their spider drawings move and dance! They have been encouraged to try this at home with some parent assistance too and the Science department would be delighted to receive videos from any successful attempts!

Mrs Rebecca Oatridge from Haberdashers’ Aske’s school gave a stimulating and informative talk that was a real treat for our Y7s. They were kept engaged, started asking questions they have never thought about before and learnt about a very interesting Biology topic, that of whether animals are able to form friendships. A few days later, Mr Vardhan Rajkumar (Y7 Parent), Mr Chetan Shah (Y7 Parent) and Miss Kate Howlett (Old Orleyan, University of Cambridge PhD student), came to talk to our pupils in Years 6-8 about their exciting professional journeys, sharing tips and personal experiences as part of our Careers’ day PSHE sessions.

Every Middle School class had the privilege to enjoy watching live Science demonstrations in their classrooms, all of which have been delivered by well-trained Year 8 pupils. Rainbow fizz and elephant’s toothpaste were both a hit and generated a number of questions that impressed our Year 8s with their depth and complexity at times.

We would probably need an essay to describe in detail everything that has happened this week and even though this is just a snap shot, we hope that the photos in this newsletter capture the excitement, enthusiasm and passion that Science brings to life. Please take a look at our two short videos below.