"On Monday (26th November) we both went to an amazing STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) National child-led summit of primary schools at the Doubletree Hilton hotel in Congresbury. There was even a Skype link to a companion event in the North of England.
There were 100 students from a range of year groups and their teachers from 25 local schools across North Somerset, Somerset and Bristol. The 2 hour session involved schools "pitching" their ideas of what the schools might work on next term as an environmental science project. There was opportunity for discussion and debate and a great demonstration of how any action of an individual can be felt all over the globe. There were many interesting and worthy proposals but after a democratic vote "reducing plastic pollution in the oceans" (Mary Elton children’s idea) was the clear winner both here and at the twin event in the North. This amazing event was initiated, organised and led by Mr Thurgur with teachers from some of the other schools and he managed to secure guest speakers from Bristol airport, Nissan, and two local engineering companies Hydro International and Edwards. They all told the assembled students about how their work links to STEM and how science and engineering could be an exciting and rewarding career choice for girls and boys. Jago attended with dual purpose as a governor at Mary Elton and also representing Edwards, explaining how we remove harmful gases used to make computer chips and use electrostatics to remove particles from gases. Each student was able to see what it was like to be a store for electrostatic energy by using a van der graaf generator and some found it a 'hair raising' experience.
We were so impressed by the enthusiasm and maturity of our young people and the passion with which they spoke about the need for action. Our future is in their hands!"
Hilary Neal & Jago Snook
"Governors have been attending whole school assemblies to talk to the children about themselves and what Governors do. It’s provoked some interesting debate including what it means to be a volunteer! Helen Shallcross and I went in on Monday morning (18th June) to talk about democracy. We were very impressed by the range and depth of the children’s knowledge. They were especially knowledgeable about the suffragettes – and how unfair it was that only half the population were allowed to vote. They were sure that wouldn’t work in elections to the School Council!"