Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM)

Linked to Enterprise, Sustainability & The Real World Curriculum Driver


Chris Dayment (Maths Lead)

James Strode (DT Lead)

Lucy Hay (Science Lead)

Bridget Megson (ICT Lead)

STEM subjects at Bluecoat Primary aims to provide first hand opportunities for pupils to engage directly with scientific processes and concepts. Wherever possible, they are linked to or taught through the year group topic.

Through investigation and problem solving, we aim to encourage the development of curiosity and confidence and to support the development of scientific thinking and understanding. Links are made with the real world to see science in action.

Able Mathematicians

What makes a good mathematician? What skills do you need in order to be efficient? What do you learn about in maths? Who helps you and how? We asked some of our mathematicians at Bluecoat School. Watch the films to find out their thoughts!

Thank you Megan, Will, Matthew and Hayden for your contributions.

Maths Research

During 2019, Dr Ruth Trundley and Dr Helen J. Williams worked in collaboration with two schools – Great Torrington Bluecoat Church of England Primary School in Devon, and St Ives Infant School in Cornwall – to investigate how variation theory (Marton & Tsui, 2005) might be applied to the teaching of early number in year 1 (children aged between five and six years old).

The project had three aims:

  • To increase understanding of how variation theory might be applied in relation to younger learners.

  • To further understanding of how variation might foster young children’s developing mathematics sense.

  • To develop pedagogical subject knowledge of the effects of conscious (and unconscious) decisions regarding resource-use.

The project ran during the spring and summer terms of 2019, and involved three teachers in three year 1 classes. The mathematical focus was on the move from ‘counting-all’ to ‘counting-on’, which research indicates is critical to numerical understanding (Nunes & Bryant, 2009).

PE & Sports

Sports Mark Gold Award

Primary Sports Funding 2019-2020

We are delighted to announce that we have achieved the School Games Gold Mark Award for the 2018/19 academic year. The School Games Mark is a Government led award scheme launched in 2012, facilitated by the Youth Sport Trust to reward schools for their commitment to the development of competition across their school and into the community, and we are delighted to have been recognised for our success.

The school was offering a varied and strong sports programme, including:

  • The schools comprehensive tracking system allows the school to target all young people (pupils less active, pupil premium, SEND) with school sport opportunities and actively encourage them to take part in physical activity.

  • The school provides all pupils with two and a half hours of timetabled PE per week (within the curriculum only) and have an additional 15 minutes per day of 'physical blast'. In addition, evidence per term highlighted that, on average, just over 80% of pupils take up extracurricular sporting activity per week. Kari also demonstrated a strong understanding of their less active young people. The school also identified 163 pupils who were not regularly participating in after-school clubs and have high aspirations to get them active. So far, the school has successfully engaged 18% of the least active cohort in extracurricular sporting activity.

  • Discussions highlighted a strong competition calendar for all pupils. During 2018/19, the school took part in 13 and 6 School Games formats at intra-school and inter-school level respectively, as well as providing a number of personal challenges throughout the year. The school also provided opportunities through inter-school for young people to participate in B and C team standard competition in 3 School Games formats.

  • The school places a strong emphasis on engaging pupils in leading, managing and officiating School Games activity. During 2018/19, all KS2 students (100%) were actively engaged in intra-school sport leadership. The ethos of High 5 netball (leading, coaching, officiating etc.) has been applied to other sports in order to train young people in leading, managing and officiating. The schools Play Leader also promote health & wellbeing, lead break/lunch-time activity and support sport for all. Sports Ambassadors take on the role of the 'sports crew' and meet every half-term and all have individual roles and responsibilities to support the planning and development of School Games.

  • A number of external coaches, clubs and leisure providers support the delivery of school sport and physical activity through a range of opportunities for young people. In addition, the school has established active links with several local community sports clubs/providers; 15 as a signposting function and 10 formalised links where the school has regular communication with them.

  • The sport offer at the school is supplemented by strong CPD opportunities. During 2018/19, three teaching assistants completed a 10 week level 5 PE specialism training course and there is a strong ethos of learning from each other within school. The Devon School Games and local SSCO offer provides additional CPD which the school accesses at events/festivals.

  • The school engages with Facebook and Twitter very well, promoting all the aspects of their School Games activity regularly, and this is also supplemented by school sport updates in parent mail.

With a huge amount of young people competing in local inter-school competitions this year, we are extremely proud of our pupils for their dedication to all aspects of school sport, including those young volunteers, leaders and officials who made our competitions possible. As part of our application, we were asked to fulfil criteria in the areas of participation, competition, workforce and clubs, and we are pleased that the hard work of everyone at our school has been rewarded this year.

Swimming Provision at Bluecoat

There are many benefits of learning to swim. Swimming keeps your child’s heart and lungs healthy, improves strength and flexibility, increases stamina and even improves balance and posture. Swimming is inclusive; children of any age or ability can take part and it is more accessible for children with additional needs than almost any other sport. Swimming provides challenges and rewards accomplishments, which helps children to become self-confident and believe in their abilities.

Most importantly, swimming can save your child’s life. Drowning is still one of the most common causes of accidental death in children, so being able to swim is an essential life-saving skill.

Devon Swim 100

The National Curriculum states that all schools must provide swimming instruction either in Key Stage 1 or Key Stage 2 and in particular, pupils should be taught to:

  • swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres

  • use a range of strokes effectively, for example, front crawl, backstroke and breaststroke

  • perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations

In addition, Bluecoat follow the Devon Swim 100 curriculum (available to download above) which provides a broad range of water based skills and knowledge, supporting children reach a new minimum standard and expectation of swimming 100 metres by the end of Key Stage 2. The programme was developed by the Devon PEDPASS team in response to headteachers’ request for a more robust swimming provision. It aims to improve the outcomes of school swimming by setting a new minimum standard and expectation of all children swimming 100 metres by the end of Key Stage 2.

Weekly swimming lessons are currently provided for all children in years 3 and 4 (on a half termly rota) at 1610 Torrington Swimming Pool. Lessons are led by Sue Tyrrell, a Qualified Level 2 Swimming Instructor with 13 years experience.

Schools are required to publish how many Year 6 pupils have met the national curriculum requirements relating to swimming and water safety.

Our results for the 2018/2019 academic year are:

  • 92% could swim competently, confidently and proficiently over a distance of at least 25 metres

  • 92% could use a range of strokes effectively

  • 92% could perform safe self-rescue in different water-based situations

Forest School

Real World

Bluecoat Group - Chickens.pdf