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News Rocket launch fires children’s interest in science

Budding astronauts have been given a fascinating insight into a career in outer space. Redcar & Cleveland College teamed up

with Saltburn Primary School to lay on several activities as part of Science Week, a promotional campaign to get youngsters interested in the subject. Year Six pupils worked in a science lab

at adjoining Huntcliff School, where they got their first glimpse of a Bunsen burner and explored the properties of various materials such as sand, wood, salt water and stone. They also got the opportunity to quiz Jim Penketh, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) coordinator at Redcar & Cleveland College, on all things science and the skills needed to forge a career in the industry. But the highlight for many was learning

how to create and test-launch their own rocket – an activity designed to get them thinking about fundamental principles of science, including the impact of heat, kinetic energy, pressure and gravity. The school has also been in contact with

Saltburn-born astronaut Dr Nicholas Patrick, who famously blasted off in the Discovery and Endeavour space shuttles to carry out work on the International Space Station, in an attempt to set up a live Q&A session for the pupils. They are also taking

part, along with Huntcliff students, in the space seed experiment that astronaut Tim Peake is running in conjunction with the Royal Horticultural Society. The programme of activities is part of a

wider aim to get more children engaged and interested in STEM subjects at school. The hope is that many of them will go on to study these subjects at college and university, forge successful careers in science-based industries and help employers tackle key skills shortages. Elizabeth Axe, science coordinator at

Saltburn Primary School, added: “We were thrilled to team up with Redcar & Cleveland College to enhance our pupils’ understanding of science. “The rocket launch in particular was

great fun and it made the children more aware of the different career options available in the space industry. It isn’t just about being an astronaut, either; there are fantastic opportunities for budding mathematicians, physicists, engineers and medical specialists. “There are also rewarding careers to

be had in many other scientific areas so it’s our job to promote this message to young people by working with secondary schools, colleges, universities and employers.”

National Deaf Children’s Society helps education professionals to be deaf friendly teachers

Education professionals working in early years,

primary, secondary, special schools and in further education can now access simple tips through online tools, videos and booklets to help them effectively support the achievement of the deaf children that they teach. Deaf children and young people can miss out

on effective learning at school and often have lower literacy levels than other children their age. Almost two thirds (58.9%) of deaf children are failing to achieve the government’s expected benchmark of five GCSEs at grade A* - C (inc. English and Maths), compared to just 35.8% of other children with no identified special educational need. Deaf children can also experience difficulties

The National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS) has launched new flagship supporting achievement resources to help education professionals develop deaf friendly teaching techniques for effective inclusion in the classroom.


around incidental learning and may struggle to pick up what others are saying which can restrict social integration with peers. Commenting on the recently released

resources, Ian Noon, Head of Policy and Research at the National Deaf Children’s Society said: “Deafness is not a learning disability and with the right provision and encouragement from

families and professionals, deaf children can develop and achieve as well as any other child. Having high expectations of deaf pupils is vital and it is important that teachers of deaf children can identify the pupil's strengths, weaknesses and highlight any particular barriers to making progress. We hope these tools will help education professionals work better with deaf children and really support them to achieve their full potential.” Tina Wakefield, a Teacher of the Deaf said: “It

is hugely important that teachers of deaf children and young people understand the effect deafness or hearing impairment has on learning. We know that even mild hearing loss can have an impact and if teachers are aware of barriers they can identify targets and support strategies to address them. These resources are a really simple and accessible way to learn new teaching approaches and enable deaf children to feel fully included in all areas of their school life.” April 2016

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