Fahan has been integrating the disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in a cohesive way to our girls for a long time. This integration is a natural progression from the Reggio Emilia approach to learning, which we adopt from the early years at Fahan. There is a strong emphasis on engaging children through projects and our smaller classes allow for this to happen regularly.
At Fahan School, we have endeavoured to equip students of all ages with STEM skills and the capabilities they need both now, and for the future. Fahan girls across the School participate in high quality and engaging learning experiences that complement their existing studies, with access to leading-edge resources from our passionate teachers.
At Fahan we strive to foster the curiosity that children have in the natural world. Activities and lessons enable our girls to see that science is everywhere around us. From an early age, there is a heavy focus on inquiry and discovery learning. As students grow, they are given the opportunity to investigate their own ideas in a lab environment. This enables them to explore a topic they are interested in, as well as giving them the skills to critically analyse their results and procedures. This early start in designing experiments is a huge advantage when it comes to senior secondary subjects such as Biology and Environmental Science, in which an ability to design and critically analyse experiments is a requirement of the course.
STEM activities are also incorporated into our curriculum, giving students the chance to use the ‘innovation cycle’ of design-test-redesign when constructing. The power of STEM is realised at Fahan and students are allowed to take charge of their learning as they soon come to realise that failure is a necessary part of the design process, giving our girls greater powers of resilience, perseverance and team work.
Fahan girls have access to state-of-the-art technology and engaging learning opportunities that allow them to make their own learning visible. Students utilise various software packages that help bring their ideas and thoughts to life. Our teaching philosophy at Fahan encourages girls to think critically and use the technology available to solve problems. As they move through the School, the girls define simple problems and designs and implement digital solutions using algorithms that involve decision-making and user input. In the Senior years, girls are given the opportunity to experience design projects in the areas of 2D and 3D design creating magazine covers, animations, prototypes and architectural models.
The advantage of having girls from Kinder to Year 12 on one campus, is that it presents opportunities for collaborative work. Peer to peer digital literacy projects in the Early Learning Centre and Junior School are planned and implemented by Middle and Senior School students. Through this buddy system, various small ideas grow into investigations that are supported by digital technology.
The Mathematics curriculum at Fahan promotes the subject as an engaging and challenging daily learning experience. In the Junior School, our classroom teachers often take an inquiry stance and investigate mathematical concepts with students, while respecting individuals’ learning styles. Our staff members are committed to excellence and allowing new approaches to emerge. Both students and staff are encouraged to take risks and unlock the mathematical potential of all.
In the Senior years, we aim to continue this high quality Mathematics Program which, at its core, highlights conceptual understanding, problem solving, connections across mathematical concepts and reasoning. The girls are prepared for future career pathways and are taught an appreciation for the beauty of mathematics for its own sake. Students learn logic and order and they develop a discipline of mind that carry over into everyday life.