We occasionally get a bit of stick at SHINE about our application criteria -particularly the focus on core subjects. With Let Teachers SHINE, we are looking for innovative teacher–led ideas which focus on raising academic achievement levels, specifically in core subjects. However, we all recognise that English, maths and science aren’t the be all and end all. We also know that all school subjects are complementary and interlink. It wasn’t until I studied A Level French that I fully understood verbs, possessive pronouns, or the subjunctive tense. (To be honest, I’d still struggle with that one!)
The truth is, if we take a moment to think, the links between subjects is endless. Can you use some of these connections and turn them into a project that is extra innovative? So please be assured that if you’re not an English, maths or science subject specialist there is still room for your idea to be considered as a Let Teachers SHINE project. How does your subject complement or enhance a core subject? Could you work together with a colleague and develop something truly unique?
Let Teachers SHINE isn’t just focused on innovation from single subjects. We want to fund rich, multifaceted projects that inspire creativity and out–of–the–box thinking. This has always been strongly reflected in the Let Teachers SHINE portfolio and is something we’re passionately committed to. Past Let Teachers SHINE projects have fused together many different subjects and haven’t been solely focused on English, maths and science:
- Music to Coding to Maths – Music Maths Robots
- PE to Phonics – Active Phonics and more recently Phonics Fit
- English to drama – Play Righters
- Maths to Geography – The Maths of Migration; Big Data in Maths
- English to Wellbeing – The Story Project
- Latin and Greek to English and spelling – Vocabulous
Let Teachers SHINE is also about supporting teachers with good ideas that go beyond the classroom and tackle wider issues. Let Teachers SHINE grants can certainly be used to help develop pastoral–based projects, for instance. Can this funding help you to trial out a new system or approach? Past SHINE projects include Vulnerable Learners – a way of identifying and tracking students that risk falling through the gaps. Stronger Me – Empowering Vulnerable Girls; a programme to build self-esteem and confidence that they could take back to the classroom to become more resilient learners.
We’re currently supporting several projects with a big focus on parental engagement and helping parents to be more active in their child’s learning – Maths Masterclass and Flipped Tuition are good examples of this. Perhaps you’re interested in the science of learning and have an idea of a project that explores this in the classroom – we want to hear from you too! The Science of Learning project explored some of the techniques that we use in the classroom and how using them affects outcomes in different subjects. Be the Examiner explored metacognition, particularly in exam situations and Measuring the Impact of STEM 7 challenges students to reflect on the skills they’re developing as well as subject content.
We know that teaching – and learning – isn’t limited to raising attainment in core subjects. It goes far beyond that, as you will hopefully be able to see through some of the projects we have supported. Could your innovative cross-curricular idea come to fruition in the next round of Let Teachers SHINE?