Journey into Rail begins with a platform for learning.

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

Funding from the Department for Education Opportunity Area Programme, Derby STEAM shone the light on primary education at Cherry Tree Hill School in Derby this week in an initiative to raise aspirations in STEAM (Science, technology, engineering, arts and maths).

The Destination Rail programme delivered by Learn by Design (a DERBY STEAM Programme) has brought together 1,440 learners and 60 teachers from 4 primary schools across Derby with STEM ambassadors and STEM communicators providing experience days that build on the transferable skills to enhance employability skills, as well as raising awareness of the breadth of careers within the rail industry.

Schools taking part in the Derby STEAM programme include:

Cherry Tree Hill Primary St Albans Catholic Primary School Ravensdale Junior School St Peters School

The Rail Journey at Cherry Tree Hill School:

Embedded curriculum projects for two-year groups spanning a 6-week period took, Cherry Tree Hill School on a journey of STEAM discovery to develop their pupils in new skills for the world of work, in line with D2N2 Employability framework.

The carousel of workshops brought pupils on an imaginary train journey during which they faced a STEAM challenge that highlighted a career opportunity linked to the rail industry. With outcomes being centred around embedding skills such as self-motivation, self-confidence, aspiring, resilience, teamwork, aware, achievement and communication, the range of experiences delivered by Learn by Design reached its peak at week 6, as pupils showcased their learning via poster design, reflection and a creativity activity.

The sessions highlighting careers

Running through each of the sessions the Railway Journey set the scene, as a platform for career exploration within the Rail industry. Linking to key stage 1 and 2 curriculum aims and developing children’s learning portfolio.

Weeks topics included:

Week 1: Introduction to Rail careers – JOB ROLE RELATED TO: Multiple

Week 2: Circuits and Vernie (robot software) – JOB ROLE RELATED TO: Electrical engineers/Signallers

Week 3: Ecology and Electric trains – JOB ROLE RELATED TO: Ecologists/environmental scientists

Week 4: Enterprise Challenge and communications – JOB ROLE RELATED TO: Station managers/business owners

Week 5: Race to Construct Challenge using K-Nex – JOB ROLE RELATED TO: Construction

Week 6: Assembly presentations – JOB ROLE RELATED TO: Project Managers

Positive Outcomes for the DerbySTEAM programme:

1. To provide positive images of STEAM

2. Assist in improving academic outcomes for learners in STEAM subjects

3. Strive for a better diversity in children and young people by tackling stereotypes

4. Engage pupils in a STEAM experience day with opportunity for employer engagement

5. To engage teachers/support workers and promote engineering concepts in schools

6. Use STEM ambassadors as role models

7. Build a strong evidence base of effective STEAM practice that includes the voice of children and young people

8. To build partnerships with learning providers and enable schools to utilise funding dependent on regions.

“The children particularly enjoyed and benefited from the K Nex engineering session. The sessions encouraged teamwork, critical, but also creative thinking to complete tasks. They realised their achievements during self-reflection wonderfully.”
Mr Key – Cherry Tree Hill Primary school teacher

Check out the photos from the day here

Children's Quote:

"To make a circuit all pieces must be connected if not it won't work. We were trying to make a bulb light up. Most of us did it, but some didn't. Some did it so well they got a buzzer. You can do lots with with circuits. Circuits are amazing. It was quite challenging for some."
"We made lines of code to get our robot from the start to the finish. We had to get it to check points without getting zapped. My team did it 5 times without getting zapped, it was amazing!"
Asked "Can I put on my poster, Thank you Destination Rail for teaching us about trains" he did confess it got him out if English and Maths which was cool. He did say he wanted to be an engineer.
They said the best bit was the lights and LEDs. They also learnt that circuits were in lots and things and pointed around the room at the lighting and switches.
We loved the Robots session. We moved ours forward and backward, which was fun.

Learn by Design would like to thank the Head Teacher at Cherry Tree Hill Primary School, Derby Paul Appleton for welcoming us into the school. The children are an absolute delight!

If you would like more information on the workshops and sessions that Learn by Deliver - please email: or call 01827 316 297

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