Practical Ways for Departments and Teachers to Work Together

Stage: 3 and 4

Some general tips, many of which could be implemented during start of year planning or as a focus on a training day:

  • knowing roughly what is taught, to whom, and when
  • knowing some of the ways particular key topics are introduced in different departments so that these methods can be referred to
  • including different levels of activity in schemes of work which will allow teacher and student comfort to grow as they progress through the STEM levels: be sure staff are comfortable with the small things before attempting more complex tasks
  • spending some time in a staff meeting to learn the 'STEM history' of your staff, TAs and lab workers - do any staff have particularly strong practical or educational backgrounds in engineering, technology or science? This is an opportunity for 'non-specialists' to shine.
  • observing a cross-departmental lesson or attending a planning meeting of another department
  • learning from humanities teachers who often work in a cross-curricular fashion

And most importantly - be prepared to ask for help!  No one can be expected to know everything, not even you!

To get started on STEM in your school it can be useful simply to get the views of interested parties. These simple questions can be a good focus for discussion.

  • What do you think might be key elements of good STEM practice?
  • What do you think might be key obstacles hindering cross-curricular teaching?
  • What curriculum areas do you think might offer rich opportunities for collaboration?
  • Can you suggest any practical ways for the departments to work together/to support teachers?
  • Do you have any general ideas for lessons and learning?
  • Do you see any potential sources of confusion between departments?