Harlow school defies limitations caused by Covid, finding new ways to educate students virtually.

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MANY schools across the country have been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Some have made the transition to online learning rather smoothly and some have not.

However, BMAT STEM Academy, in Harlow, refuses to be held back and is ensuring that the rules do not have an adverse effect on the students.

The school is for students in Year 10 and above and focuses in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects.

The school has been working together with its sponsors to provide students with insider knowledge, work experience as well as career prospects. Every Friday, students take part in a project with the school’s contacts, to ensure they are picking up the vital skills they need for their GCSE and A-Level courses. This includes engineering with Raytheon Technologies and programming with Loxone.

Assistant headteacher, Dave Ramsey, stated: “We are working with all of our sponsors and other companies to ensure we are still holding talks and providing opportunities for our students to take part in when visitors can’t physically come into school. We are constantly looking for opportunities for students to interact with our industry contacts, despite lockdown.”

The school also has virtual experiences outside of their sponsors. Year 10 students recently watched a live broadcast from the Army that taught them about recruitment, restrictions and multi-background career paths.

Students are taking part in the ASK (The Apprenticeship Support and Knowledge for Schools and Colleges) apprenticeship programme which gives free support to develop and transform how students think about apprenticeships. The school is given a list of five free sessions which have a variety of talks.

Mikaela Pinnock, careers advisor, said: “We are all having to work in a new way. While we cannot have visitors into school, we are working in a smarter way to give our students the same exposure to careers and experiences as we normally would, albeit virtually.”

“From a student’s point of view, they can ask their teachers about careers and we can tell them. However, it is far more powerful to enable them to speak to those living the roles they are interested in and with the relevant personal experience.”

The school has also started working with Cambridge University to provide virtual sessions to Year 12 students.

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Kian Foster

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