Students in west London with a passion for STEM subjects have a unique opportunity to follow a ‘Space Pathway’ to academic excellence.
Year 7 students in Feltham are being given the opportunity to attend two schools on one site to hone their talents for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM). Rivers Academy West London and Space Studio West London (SSWL) sit side-by-side on the Aspirations West London campus.
Both provide supportive environments in which to learn and allow academic brilliance to flourish.
Students begin their secondary education journey at Rivers and then make a seamless transition to Space Studio West London in Year 10 where they focus on project-based STEM learning.
This ‘Space Pathway’ currently has 30 Year 7 places on offer for the academic year beginning September 2023. For more information email Luke Homer, Acting Principal at Rivers: email@example.com.
A passion for STEM is nurtured at Rivers during the first three years of secondary school through six dedicated Applied Transdisciplinary Lessons (ATL) each week.
Year 7 STEM projects students engage in include Python Programming and planning the colonisation of Mars.
The lessons are sewn into a timetable that follows the Government’s National Curriculum and ensures students still complete all targets set by the Department for Education.
The ATL sessions focus on projects that sew in elements from different science subjects and involve students spending time at SSWL each week.
This gives students the chance to build a rapport with teachers at SSWL and become familiar with the STEM lessons that will be taught from Year 10 onwards.
Describing the benefits of this learning opportunity at the West London Campus of Aspirations Academies Trust, Luke Homer, Acting Principal at Rivers Academy, told the Hounslow Herald: “The STEM focus of the ATL lessons will be taught by us [Rivers] and Space Studio West London. Lessons are planned with teachers at both schools. Places on the Space Pathway are currently limited to 30 Year 7s.
“ATL projects our current Space Pathway students have been working on include creating Roman bridges, catapults and even a mission to Mars for colonisation. They are also enjoying Python Programming and are currently working on creating original experiments for a Science Fair that will see their work showcased before the end of the Summer Term.
“Our ATL lessons provide an opportunity to apply subject learning to real-world problems.
“This develops traits like interpersonal skills, initiative and resilience that they’ll need to succeed.
“ATL sessions are taught in the same groups with the same one or two teachers. This helps create real connections, strong teacher-pupil relationships, good behaviour and a sense of belonging.
“The Space Pathway offers a unique opportunity for an innovative way to learn and a nurturing environment for the engineers, scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs and aerospace experts of the future.”
At Rivers Academy West London in Tachbrook Road, Feltham, 65% of students achieved a Grade 4 or above in English and Maths, up from 63% in 2019 when they last sat GCSE exams. And 50% of students achieved a Grade 5 or above for English & Maths up from 40% in 2019.
At Space Studio West London (SSWL) in Letchworth Avenue, Feltham, 76% of GCSE students achieved Grade 4+ and 52% of students achieved Grade 5+ in English and Maths, 80% of students passed Maths and 88% passed English.
At Rivers Academy 33.3% of students at the school achieved 3 or more A-levels graded A*-B this year compared to 25% in 2018 and 5.5% in 2019 when they last sat exams.
At Space Studio West London (SSWL) – a STEM-focussed school – a third of A-level Mathematics students achieved an A* and half of all Physics students achieved a grade A* to B.