Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School – Lower School Timekeeping Project

Background

Founded in 1527, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School is the third oldest school in the West Midlands and is one of the leading state schools in the country, offering education to boys and girls from Years 7-11 and sixth form.

Challenge

The school’s new timekeeping project is aimed at Key Stage Three pupils, specifically those in year 8, with a focus on students designing and making their own working clocks, using the new laser cutter the grant will help buy. STEM plays a massive part in the school’s culture, including a specialist STEM block which opened in 2017 and science A-Levels the most popular in terms of uptake.

What impact has it made?

This project has allowed students to raise their skill levels and give them access to areas of DT (Design Technology) they would not normally cover in lesson time. Expected interest in the project has resulted in the school making the decision to run the project twice during the academic year.

The funding has also allowed the school to support outreach work with local primaries, which will develop Key Stage Two pupils and give them access to cutting edge technology, inspiring them to consider a future in STEM.

Example of the equipment in action is below:

Laser Cutter

Why did they receive a small grant?

Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School presented a clear proposal which identified a challenge within the local area. They put forward an insightful and imaginative project which brings STEM to life in an engaging manner. Similarly, they seek to extend the legacy of the project through outreach to other schools in the local area, widening the overall impact the grant would have on STEM education.

 

This is an interesting application of the capacity of the laser cutter; it gives the students a physical and working product at the end, and exposes them to CAD and CAM processes. It’s also outside of the realms of projects they might undertake within the confines of the curriculum.

“We have focused on Key Stage Three because due to curriculum restrictions our pupils do not have as much exposure to the practical elements of Design Technology as we would like. Ultimately, it’s our aim to encourage greater numbers of pupils opting for Design Technology as a GCSE subject; we then aim to put on A-level courses in the near future, to support design and engineering careers.

Skye Bowen, Head of Design Technology, Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School

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What We Funded
  • Timekeeping project that is aimed at raising skill levels in DT (Design Technology) for year 8 students.
  • Support for outreach work with local primaries, giving key stage 2 students cutting edge technology to advance their skills and learning.
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