This year I have had the privilege of being part of the ‘Building Educational Bridges’ project linking ten headteachers from England with ten headteachers from Singapore. The project was funded jointly by the D of E / British Council and involved working together for a week in London and a week in Singapore. The commission question was, “What are the key factors that influence success in the UK and Singapore’s teaching of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) subjects at both primary and secondary level? What learning points and recommendations could be drawn from this that would benefit and impact on our English systems and context?” Irchester Community Primary School was chosen to be part of this project due to our excellent work in promoting high quality primary science education.
We visited outstanding schools, observed STEM teaching and learning, and met with education leaders in London and Singapore. My Singapore partner ‘head’ was Sharon Siew, principal of Riverside Primary School, in northern Singapore. I had the opportunity to visit her school to observe lessons, talk to teachers and view resources.
Since returning the English heads have written a report with recommendations for the future development of STEM education and will be presented to the school’s minister. On a school level this experience had provided excellent learning opportunities to share with staff in order to further enhance the curriculum and share best practice on an international level.