Upper Prep pupils at Ballard have fantastic STEM opportunities and facilities available to them because of their access to our specialist teachers and equipment.
Pupils in Upper Prep also have some amazing opportunities to tackle STEM projects both in and out of school. Our Year 6 pupils take part in the CREST discovery programme – investigating the science of cycling and external events have included UK Big Bang in Birmingham and the Solent Teen Tech.
They also have a number of extra-curricular STEM clubs from which to choose.
Design and Technology in Upper Prep is all about increasing the complexity of the projects and introducing new techniques.
Pupil look at developing their problem-solving skills and develop independent learning skills that they apply through their projects. At this stage pupils look at the impact of design upon the world around them.
Computer Science in Years 6 to 8 at Ballard School lays the foundations for the pupils to use IT independently, as well as developing the problem-solving and thinking skills necessary as they progress through their education and on to work.
All the key aspects such as word-processing, spreadsheets and databases are covered, as well as internet safety. In addition, coding sessions enable a different skill set to be developed, including computational thinking and problem-solving.
Many pupils take advantage of after-school clubs to stretch their learning and take their interests further.
Our teachers use schemes of work designed by the world-renowned Centre for Innovation in Mathematics Teaching.
These resources have been developed with the primary aim of raising the standards of Mathematics teaching and learning in the UK and have many strengths, including fantastic worksheet, text book and interactive web-based resources.
Pupils are also encouraged to take part in the prestigious UK Maths Challenge provided by the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust (UKMT).
In Year 6 pupils remain in forms and study the ‘Science Bug’ scheme of work. This is designed to spark the imagination and curiosity of pupils by providing them with fun, interactive and educational programmes that instil a clear understanding of what Science is and how it affects their world.
They also take part in the national ‘CREST Discovery Awards’, where pupils collaborate on a STEM project in self-managed groups, record and reflect on their work before presenting their findings.
In Years 7 and 8 the pupils follow the ‘Activate’ scheme of work and they have access to online materials and textbooks on the ‘Kerboodle’ website. Pupils have three lessons a week which have an emphasis on practical work.
Whether it is exploring different types of energy using wind-up toys and a pendulum or making their own sparklers, our pupils love participating and gaining confidence alongside learning.
The integrated Science course lays important foundations for study at GCSE level and develops key skills; during Year 8, they take their CREST Bronze Award, which provides a real-life experience of ‘being a specialist’. This award allows pupils to experience the project process, improving their enquiry, problem-solving and communication skills, which are important tools for all aspects of life, not just Science.
Pupils will plan, prepare and cook activities, which cover aspects such as safety, hygiene and working procedures in the classroom. Practical lessons cover the making of bread, fruit salad, cookies, muffins and pizza and high fibre dishes.
In Year 8, pupils have an introduction to the four different methods of cake-making. They use research from various sources to help in the selection of ingredients. They use sensory evaluation and gain an understanding of social, moral, ethical and sustainable issues.
Practical lessons include the making of fairy cakes, rock buns, swiss roll, gingerbread, decorations and marbelling techniques.