Where one mixes creativity
and technology, rich innovation
Where one mixes creativity and technology, rich innovation can occur.
The Primary Technical College brings primary schools and industry together, in The Innovation Room to
Play, Teach, and Create
About the Primary Technical College®
The Primary Technical College is supporting schools and their children by offering up to one-week long, project-based sessions dealing with real problems in the world of STEAM. Schools would sign up to take part in a specific project that would be based at The Innovation Room. The PTC would be open across the 38 week academic year and host up to 3 school groups of 30 per week. This would equate to 38% of the primary schools in Cumbria.
How the Primary Technical College® will benefit pupils
Overcoming the increasingly challenging barriers to accessing education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) with the longest tail of positive impact in the skills arena Development of a knowledge-rich curriculum that broadens the minds and horizons of all children.
- The children have a lived STEAM experience from curriculum to front line delivery
- The children learn more as a result of this curriculum
- Access to impactful, innovative and STEAM-skilled ambassadors
Enriching the PTC curriculum
The equipment and technology could be used extensively across the projects to encourage innovation in problem solving as the technology would not likely be accessible to the children in their home environment.
As part of each project, each piece of equipment and technology would come with free CPD for the visiting school staff to enhance their understanding of the ‘art of the possible’ within their home school curriculum.
Showcasing the tech company products for schools
The equipment would be available for the year and the innovation room would be opened up to all schools on experience days when it wasn’t being used by the PTC. The installation also covers classroom furniture and learning environment design. It would be a free installation to those companies who wish to ‘donate’ their equipment and through year-round use and experience may result in sales.
Wider community use
Building on the previous ‘Fab Lab’ principle, the installation would be available to the community in the evenings and out of term time.
At the end of that year, the installations would be replaced with the next generation of equipment so that each visitor experience is ‘current’.
Primary Technical College launch
The launch of the Primary Technical College on June 23rd was a resounding success. The sun was shining at Ullswater Community College as children from Stanwix and High Hesket primary schools arrived with their teachers and TAs to test the concept of bringing primary schools and industry together to play, teach and create.
Earlier in the month, STEM staff visited the schools to deliver lessons supported with resources and technology to both pupils and teachers. When they arrived on the day, everyone was ready and curious to see what would happen next. Building on lessons already delivered, the children were supported by STEM experts to build and programme mini robots which had to be able to traverse specific terrain – in this case, a shiny drama studio floor.
The children were deep into the iterative process of working out how to make their robots work when a surprise guest arrived – Spot the Dog and his handler Duncan. Spot’s unannounced entry was greeted with shrieks of terror and delight in equal measure from all – this fantastic robotic ‘dog’ is so lifelike (although handler Duncan was quick to emphasise ‘he’ isn’t alive) and at the cutting edge of technology, adults and children alike were delighted to see him in action. (The writer can confirm that the hair on the back of the neck did indeed stand up!)
After the excited children completed their session with a race off between their robots and went back to school, the session will be followed up by a repeat visit to their classroom from STEM professionals.
The success of this first day suggests that the concept works: overcoming challenging barriers to accessing technology in primary classrooms, encouraging innovation in problem solving, and delivering a lived STEAM experience from curriculum to front line delivery had resulted in a demonstrable impact that was clear for all to see.
Headteachers from other schools in the North of the county were invited to visit the launch day.
‘The launch of the Primary Technical College represents a fantastic opportunity to enrich our curriculum and make it more meaningful, through building links with industry and STEM professionals. I was amazed by the technology I saw on the launch day and, as a small school headteacher, am really looking forward to seeing what the PTC can offer and how we can incorporate it into our long-term curriculum.’
Karl Laithwaite, Headteacher, Temple Sowerby Primary School, Penrith
The second launch day will take place on September 28th at Furness College. All Headteachers in the south of the county will receive an invitation to come and see for themselves how the PTC works. A third and final launch will be on November 21st and 22nd at the National College for Nuclear Education at Lillyhall and schools in the west of the county will be invited to attend.
We are looking forward to making the Primary Technical College concept a reality, and to be able to support primary schools across the county to access impactful, innovative and STEAM skilled opportunities to support their curriculum, and broaden the minds and horizons of all our children.
The most recent Primary Technical Event took place at Furness College, Barrow-In-Furness. Two local primary schools attended, George Romney Junior School and St Pauls C of E Junior School. The event saw the pupils creatively problem solving to build a model that could move. The pupils tried and tested different prototypes and measured how far their model would travel, discussing the benefits or pitfalls of each test. The pupils tested their models against each other’s to see who had a model that could move the furthest and why. A special guest appearance from Spot the dog took the pupils breath away as he casually walked into the hall! Spot even had a race with the children although his battery was exhausted following this! The next Primary Technical College event is taking place in West Cumbria in mid-November.
Play, Teach, Create