Media release - 30/4/2009

ETB research demonstrates fast implementation of Rose recommendations will inspire more young people, particularly girls

The Engineering and Technology Board (ETB) and Primary Engineer welcome Sir Jim Rose’s review of the Primary Curriculum and its call for a more applied learning approach to inspire youngsters in core subjects like science and maths – a plea which is backed up by new ETB research 1 which reveals children aged 7-11 prefer applied technology subjects to subjects like science and maths in which they cannot always see the real world application.

The preliminary research, entitled the Engineers and Engineering Brand Monitor, reveals that:
· Only 59% of girls enjoy maths and science as opposed to 92% who enjoy applied technology subjects like design and technology.
· Only 60% of boys enjoy maths and science, compared to 70% who enjoy applied technology subjects like design and technology.

The ETB and Primary Engineer also welcome the report’s call for increased use of digital technology in the classroom, including internet applications such as Google Earth, Wikipedia and Podcasts, as well as the recommendation that class work be more cross curricular with an emphasis on six broad areas of learning including ‘mathematical understanding’ and ‘scientific and technological understanding.’

Paul Jackson, Chief Executive of the ETB said: “Primary school is one of the most crucial times to interest young people in science, technology, maths and engineering. It is vital we use this time to get the basics right so that children go on to understand the way these subjects are applied in the real world.

“The Rose Review’s recommendation that practical, cross curricular activity plays a vital role in skills development is extremely timely. The Government should act quickly to implement this recommendation in order to make sure that as many young people as possible have the opportunity to benefit.”

Susan Scurlock, National Director of Primary Engineer, said: “The review will enable pupils to engage with topics without seeing the division of subjects which has traditionally created such negative responses from children. It will however require teachers who are confident, well resourced and with easy access to professional development in order to deliver the recommendations in the classroom.

Combining science with technological understanding will essentially offer ‘STEM by Stealth’ however pupils will still need to consider design and its use despite this now being dropped from the previous Design Technology subject – it is essential that children are encouraged to develop an innovative creative flair for design as well as a sound technological understanding – this review offers an opportunity to bring together all these elements and with the right support change many pupils attitudes to school, learning and careers.”

The report, authored by Sir Jim Rose the former Director of Osted, was published by the QCA on behalf of the DCSF. Its recommendations are that:
· ICT should join English and Maths at the core of the Primary Curriculum
· There should be clearer progression routes between different Key Stages in Primary Education.
· There should be an increased focus on literacy and numeracy up to the age of seven.
· Teaching should focus more on personal development, application and creativity.
· Subjects should be taught on a thematic basis that cuts across different syllabuses.
· Teachers should be given training in current technology to ensure that they are up to date with relevant ICT

Notes to Editors

Primary Engineer: Primary Engineer has been working nationally with primary and secondary schools to develop the skills knowledge understanding and enjoyment in primary pupils and teachers. The practical application of Science, Maths and ICT to Design Technology activities has been developed though sequential courses for teachers and comprehensive resources to support the classroom delivery of thematic projects.

For further information please contact:
Gareth Lyon, Communications Executive, EngineeringUK
Tel: 020 3206 0445 or (m) 07887 943 017

Download as pdf: ETB research demonstrates fast implementation of Rose recommendations will inspire more young people, particularly girls