Faraday Challenge 2024
Parkside hosted a Faraday Challenge Competition this term, which was run by the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET). A number of our Year 8 students took part in teams of six; and we were also joined by teams of pupils from three other local schools.
The IET Faraday® Challenge Days are cross-curricular activity days covering Science, Design and Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). They are held at schools, organisations and universities around the UK.
The students taking part had the opportunity to research real-life engineering problems. They had a great day coming up with designs and solutions to these problems; and learning about how engineering is relevant in many situations. They worked well together in their teams, behaved exceptionally well and really enjoyed the experience.
Tomorrow's Engineers Week 2023
All pupils have enthusiastically engaged in a STEM week to celebrate Tomorrow's Engineers week (6th-10th November) and recognise National STEM Day (8th November). As part of a whole school assembly, pupils were given information on what STEM stands for, how it links to “Every Lesson Counts” and the potential influence STEM subjects could have on their futures.
Each year group participated in STEM virtual visits from many outside speakers.
Year 5 had a presentation about gaming and esports and how technology has enhanced the way people play video games. The guest speaker talked about Virtual Reality (VR) headsets and some pupils went on to design their own VR gaming platform. The pupils were extremely enthusiastic with one year 5 pupil stating “the talk gave me lots of ideas about what I can do when I’m older”. The guest speaker said “I really enjoyed the session with the children. Their enthusiasm and energy were absolutely humungous!”
Year 6 had a presentation from a Navel Architect. They were also given the opportunity to become a STEM PenPal with a lady who works as an Engineer. These postcards have been sent off to the Engineer who will personally respond to each pupil. We excitedly await these replies.
On Wednesday, Year 7 had a virtual visit from a gentleman named Ollie. He is a motorsports engineer and presented about his career in the Pitlane. There were so many question answered about Formula 1 racing and the career pathway Ollie had taken. The pupils enjoyed “learning about who inspired him” and finding out about what qualifications are needed to become a Pit Lane Developer.
Finally, Year 8 pupils had two question and answer sessions. One with a STEM ambassador regarding STEM careers and routes into various professions and a second with a medical statistician. She discussed what the job entails, her route into the career and why they may wish consider this in the future. The guest speaker said “the pupils certainly seemed very engaged” and she would happily come to speak with our pupils again.
It has been a busy yet fun-filled STEM week. We are incredibly proud of how they represented the school during the week; demonstrating the Parkside Standard at its highest. The feedback from the pupils was also overwhelmingly positive with many pupils inspired for their futures.
World Space Week 2023
On Friday 6th October, year 7 and 8 pupils recognised World Space Week with a virtual space talk. The guest speaker, Dr Vicky Fawcett is an astronomer from Newcastle University. She discussed how to become an astronomer (sharing her career pathway) and explained her research into black holes.
Following the virtual talk, pupils were given the opportunity to ask Dr Fawcett further question. Pupils were also given the opportunity to discuss their own career thoughts and research the pathways into those careers.
Pupils said “she explained the facts very well” and they found “telescopes and her educational journey” interesting.
Leaves on the Line
On Thursday 29th June, Year 5 welcomed National Rail into their classroom for an hour STEM workshop called “Leaves on the line”. Pupils were challenged to think about solutions to when leaves reduce the railway services.
One pupil from 5JB said “I enjoyed mixing the liquids and solids to make a new gel to stop leaves getting on the railway line”.
The pupils worked brilliantly in teams applying their knowledge of Science (electrical conductivity) and represented the school perfectly (demonstrating the Parkside Standard).
STEM Works KNEX Challenge
Architectural drawing workshop, featuring Artist: Jeanette Barnes.
On Friday 21st April some select pupils from KS3 had the pleasure of working with visiting architectural artist, Jeanette Barnes.
The pupils focused on architectural drawings using charcoal and other media to capture famous landmarks. They also had the opportunity to think architecturally, considering and creating interesting yet practical architectural sculptures.
The pupils were inspired and commented on how memorable the experience had been.
STEM Works KNEX Challenge
17th February 2023
Once again, we had the pleasure of welcoming Sarah into our school for the STEM works KNEX challenge. Pupils were given the task to create a robot which had the ability to sort items within their model factory. Their model had to include a robot, a set of shelves and parcels. All the pupils represented the school with excellent attitude, conduct and used resilience to complete the task. They presented confidently to the group and could answer question about the relevant parts of their design. The pupils who were selected as the Parkside winners will go on to the final to represent our school in June.
15th February 2023
Well done our latest cohort of fully graduated Police Cadets. They have worked superbly for 6 weeks with PC Nash understanding basic forensics, Police communication and some of the basic Police processes used to solve crime and keep the public safe.
We look forward to starting with the next group of year 5 pupils after half term.
Sports for Champions
On Monday, 13th February, Parkside welcomed decathlete Matt Lee to school for an inspirational day of fitness circuits, wellbeing and fundraising. Our fantastic Sports Leaders supported Matt in organising a challenging, timed fitness circuit, with every pupil in the school taking part. Our pupils had 5 stations of activities - burpees, leg drives, half or full press-ups, tricep dips and star jumps. Pupils had to complete as many as they could at each station, with Matt circulating, encouraging and joining them in their efforts. Pupils had to show the Parkside Values of Teamwork and Resilience in order to complete the circuit.
This was followed by an inspirational assembly, where Matt Lee shared his story about his life as professional athlete. He talked openly about some of the challenges he faced in school and how sport was his area to thrive. He talked of his time at Aston Villa football academy and the reasons why he transitioned to athletics and the decathlon. He demonstrated some of his sports, and impressed the pupils with how far and high he can jump! He finished his assembly with a question and answer session, where our pupils asked a range of interesting questions.
Matt commented on the exemplary attitude and efforts of all of our pupils - he was impressed with their behaviour, but also their resilience during the circuits. He also commented that our Sports Leaders are some of the best he had ever seen!
We would like to say a huge thank you to our parents, carers and families for the wonderful support that you've shown in the fundraising. We raised a phenomenal £3639 for our school fund and are very proud of all of our pupils for their effort on the day. We hope that they enjoyed the experience.
Meet the Astronauts
Kids' Inventors Day
On Tuesday 16th January 2023, to recognise Kids' Inventors Day, Year 6 took part in an inventor's challenge. They were given play dough and spaghetti and set the challenge to create a free-standing structure or a bridge. They had limited time and resources. All pupils demonstrated excellent resilience to achieve the task.
Trip to Birmingham Think Tank
On Friday 13th January all our year 8s visited the Birmingham Think Tank Museum.
Children got to explore the award-winning science museum and even managed to experience interactive Science shows. The children relished the opportunity to explore the vast number of galleries and historical artefacts, modern interactives and fantastic futuristic facts. The whole of year 8 represented Parkside beautifully and we look forward to taking them on their next trip soon.
On Thursday 3rd March, all pupils watched an assembly delivered by the Medical Mavericks. During the assembly, pupils volunteer to demonstrate the use of a range of medical equipment (such as an infra-red vein scanner, an electro cardio graph and an ophthalmoscope).
Throughout the assembly, pupils were informed of NHS career pathways (including a vascular scientist, a medical engineer and a cardiac physiologist) and routes into those careers. The pupils were very enthusiastic and engaged throughout the assembly.
One year 5 pupil said "I enjoyed finding out about the different jobs in the NHS that weren't medical".
Whilst another pupil reported "I liked seeing the different medical equipment and seeing what they do".