Skip to content
Show Menu

Grants & Funding: CoachBright – Girls in STEM

Published: 9 March 2018

In 2017, The Ogden Trust helped to fund two CoachBright Girls in STEM programmes and through these, we have now worked with more 16 girls in Year 6 and Year 9 from schools in the Exeter region.

For the Year 6 students, we hosted intensive summer school sessions with Year 10 mentors who introduced the students to secondary science, tackling some of the gender stereotypes faced in STEM subjects whilst developing new skills. Students met inspirational role-models and looked to the future, with discussions on STEM careers and a visit to Exeter University.

Year 9 students on the CoachBright programme got one-to-one maths and science coaching from undergraduate mentors, who helped the pupils become independent, reflective and resilient learners.

These Girls in STEM programmes help to narrow the gap between perceptions of self and perceptions of people in STEM, improve girls’ knowledge of STEM careers, and boost aspirations in these careers and in university progression. Overall, the programme aims to improve attitudes and confidence towards maths and science, as well as academic attainment in the subjects.

And, our feedback tells us that the programme is working! The anecdotal feedback we get is resoundingly positive and we see the girls grow in confidence and assurance as they move through the programme.

In our student surveys, the Year 6 pupils were asked to think about their attitude towards science and maths: did they think they were good? did they enjoy the subjects? They gave their answers on a scale of 1-5 and after their Girls in STEM sessions there were improvements across the board.

  Before After
How good are you at science? 3 3.9
How good are you at maths? 4.3 4.5
How much do you like science? 3 4
How much do you like maths? 4 4.1

In our Year 9 surveys, the results also show improvements in every marker: 82 per cent strongly agree or agree they have become a more confident learner; 90 per cent strongly agree or agree that their grades/marks will improve as a result of coaching; 76 per cent strongly agree or agree that the programme has made them more motivated to succeed in their studies.

Pupil statements related to learning and university Before coaching After coaching
I have high expectations of my work 85% 88%
I know the steps I need to take to improve as a learner 72% 82%
I plan to take the steps necessary to improve as a learner 82% 90%
I feel that I have the ability to go and study at university 88% 92%
I plan to go on and study at university 88% 92%
I plan to go on and study at a top 30 university 68% 82%

CoachBright is a social enterprise that exists to tackle educational disadvantage, and our ethos is closely aligned with that of The Ogden Trust: our vision is of a fairer society where no child’s background determines their future.

We partner with schools and universities to increase access rates to higher education for pupils from low-income backgrounds leading to increased social mobility over time. In the short-term, our coaching programmes support a pupil in improving their grades, confidence and expectations so each of our pupils knows what it takes and has the ability to challenge for university.

Mary McPherson and William Mitchell
March 2018

Back to case studies