Science and technology top of the agenda at Haverstock summer school

Haverstock School governor Jim Mulligan dressed as chemist Lord Henry Cavendish with Mohammed Islam,

Haverstock School governor Jim Mulligan dressed as chemist Lord Henry Cavendish with Mohammed Islam, who is joining the school in September. Picture: Polly Hancock. - Credit: Archant

Science and technology have never been more important and for children starting at Haverstock School in September, the learning begins before they step foot inside a classroom.

Last month, 28 children due to start at the secondary in September attended a three-day science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) course at the school in Haverstock Hill, Chalk Farm.

It is the latest in a long line of summer schools which Haverstock teachers have been running each summer since 2000.

Nikki Haydon, Haverstock’s community partnerships co-ordinator, has organised all of the summer schools to date and believes the new STEM school will benefit pupils no end.

She said: “They are the subjects everyone is trying to get children into at the moment. For anyone who wants to get into computing, engineering or medicine, you have got to be good at all these subjects.

“There is also a desire to get more girls involved because historically, girls haven’t been as involved in STEM as boys.”

During the course, which ran from Wednesday to Friday last week, pupils were given the chance to visit Westminster University for an insight into how STEM subjects are taught at university level.

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Pupils also received a visit from the outreach team at the Science Museum in South Kensington.

There was also a chance for some hands-on fun, including a “make your own lava lamp” session and experiments with fire and air pressure.

The summer school is one of eight to be held this summer, led by teachers assisted by a handful of former pupils and current sixth-form students.

Around 100 children from primary schools across Camden, due to start at Haverstock in September, are taking part in the summer schools.

In addition to the STEM school, new this year, there are other long-running schools on offer, dedicated to performing arts, sports, media and many other subjects.

Ms Haydon insists the summer schools are essential to help ease the transition from primary to secondary school for Year 7 pupils starting in September, and better prepare teachers for their arrival.

She added: “Our teachers get to see the children and how they interact, so that when we come back in September we’ve got a very good knowledge of their skills and the kind of the people they are. So we are at a real advantage.

“We want to make sure we are including every student possible in a positive transition into secondary school, to raise achievement for all and so they enjoy learning.”