STEM Case Studies


Primary STEM Leaders

Primary STEM Leaders

Primary STEM Leaders
2017 - 2018 Cohort 1

Case Study

In October 2017 a network of enthusiastic practitioners was established with the aims to raise aspirations and attainment in STEM education. There has previously been a lack of CLPL on offer in relation to the STEM subjects with many primary teachers describing themselves as not as confident as they would like to be in teaching the subjects. The 1st cohort consisted of 23 practitioners from establishments spread across the city. The programme as a whole was positively evaluated with many highlighting that it had raised the profile of STEM within their establishments and had given greater confidence to themselves and their peers.


Glasgow City Council participated in the National STEM Project through the Hillpark Learning Community. This further highlighted the lack of confidence that many primary teachers face in the teaching of science and technology which aligned with the previous research conducted by Aspires. In conjunction with the RAiSE (Raising Aspirations in Science Education) programme funded by the Wood Foundation, Glasgow City Council decided to form a Primary STEM Network where practitioners would be able to come together, share good practice whilst up skilling through experiential CLPL opportunities. Providing practitioners with CLPL opportunities which they can then go back to school and share with their peers is becoming increasingly popular due it often being a more relaxed way of sharing good practice with the training not always coming from the Senior Leadership Team. This was supported by the STEM Glasgow team which consists of STEM - Principal Officer, Primary Science Development Officer and STEM Development Officer. This was advertised through head teachers with 29 attending the initial information session. The session outlined the focus of the network and the need for the practitioners to help facilitate the collection of data through the Robert Owen Centre for Education Change (ROC) in their schools. Practitioners were also asked what CLPL would be beneficial to them personally and on a school basis, this helped to shape the programme for the year.


The data gathered during the duration of the project from both staff and pupils looks at science capital and teacher confidence. The Primary STEM Leaders all stated that they had seen their confidence grow over the course of the year and they had made more connections in relation to STEM including school partners, parents and the local community.

“It really has transformed my own knowledge, understanding and teaching. I feel much more confident in my science pedagogy, and feel that now I am better able to not only meet learners’ needs, but provide progressive and enjoyable science experiences for them.”

“A very worthwhile CLPL opportunity that has enabled me to deliver STEM events to pupils and raise awareness in school. We are on the beginning of a journey!”


By June 2018, 22 Primary STEM Leaders had completed the series of twilights and full days, ran events in their schools, collected data for ROC and increased the awareness of STEM education within their establishments and clusters. This was demonstrated at the Showcase Event which took place in June where each of the Primary STEM Leaders showcased a snapshot of what they had been working on in their school over the course of the year. There was great variety in projects, approaches and how they were all tailored to their own establishments. All Primary STEM Leaders when evaluated stated that STEM had a much higher profile in their school now and many were expecting still to be the lead next session and being given further support by their establishments to continue the work that they had started. Many of the Primary STEM Leaders have also stated that they wish to support the next cohort of Primary STEM Leaders and are willing to share good practice and hints and tips on how to raise awareness and aspirations in STEM education in their establishments.

Here more from the Primary STEM Leaders at:



STEM case study

Shaw Mhor Early Years Centre

Shaw Mhor Early Years Centre

At Shaw Mhor Early Years Centre, STEM is fully integrated into learning experiences. Shaw Mhor staff have been working in partnership with their colleagues in their associated primary and secondary schools through their involvement in Education Scotland’s National STEM Project. This has allowed them to share approaches and plan collaboratively with colleagues in other settings, for instance, to develop STEM bags for children to take home to engage parents in STEM learning. Staff and the wider community now actively tackle gender stereotyping and encourage both boys and girls to get involved with ‘hands-on’ activities, including those focused on engineering and construction. The Centre makes extensive use of its outdoor areas for learning and play.

Examples of activities include:

• tinker box – children use real-life tools to develop a range of STEM skills and understanding. This included using a screwdriver to make holes of varying sizes, teasing out the child’s understanding of size and measurement;

• make desk – straws are used to construct a shelter and then painted. The paint is made by the children themselves, developing their curiosity and problem-solving skills; and

• construction area – the Early Years Centre developed an innovative partnership with Scottish and Southern Electric (SSE) who supplied hard hats and barriers and helped them to develop a realistic construction-based learning area outdoors.

The focus on STEM at the centre means learners are confidently using scientific vocabulary, developing their investigative and inquiry skills, and are able to ask questions and solve problems.

Engineering Case Study