This year will certainly be one to remember! The first Year 7s of The Aquila School have shown nothing but enthusiasm and eagerness towards their science lessons. Their investigation skills and their constant questions show their enjoyment for this subject.
When we found out we were going to start home learning, I decided to provide my pupils with a choice of subjects they wanted to learn. They chose chemistry – after all, science is about ‘blowing things up’ – a phrase I regularly hear. Yes, a lot of projects in chemistry allow you to investigate reactions and of course the Year 7s did not want to miss out on this experience. They wanted to be introduced to the periodic table and understand how reactions happen.
As a teacher, you are given endless resources and the labs in Aquila are brilliant spaces, so to find out we would be teaching from our own living rooms gave more meaning to – ‘thinking outside of the box’. Suddenly we didn’t have access to all the equipment in the classrooms and had to make do with resources commonly found at home.
It wasn’t just the pupils who have risen to the challenge. I have been stretching my creativity in all areas of my planning and have utilised the many different materials and substances found at home, in order to introduce elements on the periodic table. Pupils were given the chance to investigate the properties of everyday materials they use in the kitchen, bathroom and living areas.
As they learned more about chemistry, pupils presented their understanding of elements through platforms such as tiktok and messenger, recorded themselves naming the first 20 elements then researched and presented findings of element groups. All these projects demonstrated that pupils’ independent and amazing learning is still achievable outside of the classroom.
The support of our parents has definitely not gone unnoticed, as they continue to provide positive comments and support on the lessons provided. This is providing a positive impact on their child’s learning. I see that every time a pupil turns their work in, because the standard is just as high – which brightens up my day!
This way of learning may not be our preferred option – and I know the pupils can’t wait to be back in the lab (as well as myself) – however, the hard work, resilience, dedication and commitment to continuing their efforts in learning, is most definitely contributing to each pupil’s growth and ability to adapt in unusual circumstances. I am so proud of what they have demonstrated so far!