Friday, 26 April 2013


A model of the Ludendorff Bridge was the focal point of a bridge-building challenge at St Dunstan’s Catholic Primary School this week.  Year 6 pupils learnt about forces, structures in the environment, design and construction techniques for bridge-building before being set the task of building their own bridge.  Working in small teams, they manufactured paper sticks to create their models.  The activity provided great opportunities for problem-solving, team communication, creative thinking and practical application.  The teachers commented that the activity was “an excellent engineering workshop” which increased their pupils’ knowledge.  The children enjoyed a novel way of learning about science and technology and many positive comments were received:

                “My skills of teamwork have improved well”
                “This activity was exciting and made me confident to work with a partner”
                “It has inspired me to become an engineer”

We acknowledge sponsorship from the CP Charitable Trust which part-funded the event.           

Thursday, 25 April 2013

A-Mazing Maths

On Wednesday 24 April 130 children took part in SATRO’s Fun Maths workshop at Loseley Fields Primary School .  Working in pairs or threes, the pupils were presented with a range of mathematical puzzles to solve within a time limit.  The variety and graded levels of the puzzles enabled pupils of all abilities to participate, including some special needs children.  Comments received from the pupils included:
“It made me want to do more maths!”    "That maths doesn't have to be boring to learn something"
The teachers were equally impressed with the new skills learnt by their pupils: teamwork, co-operation, perseverance, problem-solving, following instructions and reading a question carefully! 

SCC Councillor Steve Cosser very kindly donated funding towards these workshops.  The school was delighted to welcome Cllr Steve Cosser for a short visit to see the Year 6 pupils applying their mathematical skills in a practical way. 

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


SATRO introduce SATROCLUB. This is a new venture where we are building a local network of companies and talented students. The aim is to provide information and guidance, focusing on the STEM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths), to students for the purpose of improving their opportunities and options - at school/college; for further education/training and employment.

SATROCLUB will use their specialised local industry contacts to promote their engineering skills requirements to supplement student/parent knowledge for course selection and careers advice. Also, a confidential register of students’ academic records will be used to meet company/industry searches for university sponsorship, placements, internships, apprentice and training courses.

To register your interest for SATROCLUB email

Thursday, 18 April 2013


This week “Healthy Eating” was the focus of two morning workshops at Micklefield School in Reigate.  Year 5 and 6 pupils had the opportunity to explore different aspects of food through three practical activities.  An initial presentation about the digestive system and importance of diet, led by a SATRO Associate, provided a good introduction to the topic.  The children then split into three groups to work with a volunteer leader on making flapjack, planning a meal within a budget and being a packaging detective – analysing food labelling.  The pupils enjoyed a fun and informative session, with the added bonus of being able to take home a piece of hand-made flapjack at the end of the day.

Pupils' comments on what did you learn...
"How much salt, sugar and fat is in food and how to eat healthily." 
"I learnt how to read packaging, how to spend a low amount of money for a healthy meal and the dangers/how to be careful with hygiene."

Wednesday, 17 April 2013


Pupils at Bisley Primary School enjoyed a novel way of applying their mathematical skills on 16th April.  In a Fun Maths workshop they were challenged to complete as many puzzles as possible within a time limit.  Working with a partner, the children tested their knowledge of addition, subtraction, sequencing, shape recognition, logical and lateral thinking.  They also learnt the importance of carefully reading instructions and understanding a task before tackling the problem.  The teachers were impressed with the workshop as, “a great opportunity for children to learn in a different way,” and that it improved the children’s confidence and perseverance. 
The children commented that this activity made them view maths in a more positive way:
“When you try, it works.”
“We found it easier to work together.” 
“It helped me a lot because I don’t know maths really well.” 

We are grateful to Cllr. Lavinia Sealy for funding this event.

Friday, 12 April 2013


Barnardo’s Moving Forward Project aims to empower disabled young people by developing their independence, enabling them to engage in new experiences, providing opportunities to socialise and make friendships and by giving them a voice to express their views on issues that affect their lives.

Today, 10 young people from the 'Moving Forward' Project took part in a SATRO CV Review Workshop. They learnt what makes recruiters look at CVs and indeed, what makes them read all the way through without discarding them.  Also, how to present the information in an attractive and logical fashion.

The workshop was followed by a few one-to-one sessions, so that they could start formulating their own CVs.

When asked what sort of jobs they would like to do, the answers varied from Personal Shopper to Riot Officer in the Police to Kennel Worker. 
"[The] Presenter was very friendly and explained clearly," one of the attendees commented.
Good luck in their quest for employment!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Surrey’s Top Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians of the Future?

SATRO had a particularly busy spring term with our Science, Engineering & Maths Challenge events attracting well over 1200 participants from across Surrey and the wider South East. We used the opportunity to conduct our annual survey of 6th formers to see where they are hoping to take their qualifications – the results were very different to last year!
You might recall that in 2012 there was a great deal of discussion about the newly introduced university fees – last year our survey revealed that 24% of boys, and 10% of girls had decided not to go to University as a direct result of the introduction of higher fees.
Of those students who had decided they would not go to University, most were intending to go straight into Employment or Apprenticeshipsbut all of them indicated that they were not really sure how to find vacancies and were worried about their future.
The 2013 Survey reveals that the vast majority of A level students taking part in our Challenges this year are intending to go straight on to University – although there is still a worrying 16% of respondents who feel they have received insufficient guidance from their schools/colleges about their options. Again, they indicated that they did not know how to look for non-University options such as apprenticeships or jobs (clearly their schools and colleges should be talking to SATRO about how we can help their students find out the full range of options!).
There is a very interesting trend in the variety of subjects being studied – as our Challenges involve Engineering and Maths, the vast majority of our respondents were studying for A levels in Maths, Further Maths or Physics. For young men, these were typically taken alongside Chemistry and/or Economics. For young women, there was a much broader spread of subjects appearing alongside Maths – Biology, Chemistry and Physics scored highly, but other subjects ranged from Textiles, to Philosophy, Politics to History.
It is always a pleasure to meet the hugely impressive young people taking part in our Challenges – and we wish them all the very best as they go on to even bigger and better things! We hope that taking part in our events has spurred them on to even greater success!

Wednesday, 3 April 2013


As schools plan for implementing Pupil Premium for 2013-14, SATRO programmes can help raise the attainment of more disadvantaged pupils, whilst closing the gap between the lower and higher achievers in schools.

SATRO can offer a flexible and diverse range of activities to improve attainment and raise aspiration, including:
  • Dynamic half or full day workshops, aimed at inspiring students about their future through fun activities such as business games, problem solving challenges, STEM based events, numeracy days, after-school computer clubs and innovative healthy-eating workshops.
  • I-MAP workshops, helping students identify clear goals and a route to achieve them. Proven to boost individual motivation and build self-esteem and confidence.
  • One-to-one business mentoring – our well established programme which helps underachieving students address immediate issues and explore future aspirations. In 2011-12 SATRO organised over 300 student/mentor pairings in 25 Surrey schools. 75% of mentees said that it improved their self-confidence.
  • Mobile Construction Classrooms – our team of tutors from the construction industry come to your school to teach building trades skills (carpentry/joinery, plumbing, bricklaying etc) to a BTEC qualification – bringing in their ‘Skills Bus’ all the tools, materials and equipment needed. Typically, but not restricted to, Years 10 & 11 students. All the benefits of a practical vocational programme. We taught over 400 students in 2011-12 with an 86% pass rate for the BTEC, a qualification which is still allowed in school performance tables.
  • Bespoke programmes for small or large groups. Our facilitators and volunteers are trained to deal with children of all abilities, including those with learning difficulties and Special Educational Needs.

We understand the requirement for schools to demonstrate their use of the Pupil Premium and its impact. All our programmes are evidence-based, with clear outcomes developed over many years of feedback and evaluation. We publish impact and monitoring data of our own for every activity we run. We can work with schools to ensure we provide all the data needed to meet accountability requirements, in a format approved by Ofsted. SATRO can also provide case study material to use in communications with parents, and to share with other schools.

Contact us now to find out how SATRO can support schools' Pupil Premium Grant strategy.