We were very happy to award The Reach Free School a grant to purchase some excellent science resources to help bring the subject alive, particularly for EAL (25% of pupils), SEN and disengaged students. Sushil Rishiraj (Head of Science) sourced some great practical equipment as well as some highly illustrated science dictionaries. The practical equipment included structure and bonding class kits and sets of Virtuali Tee tee shirts which utilise AR to show the body’s organs, circulatory system etc whilst pupils are wearing them.
Sushil made a strong case for each element of his bid:
“The Virtuali-Tee takes Science to a new dimension enabling our pupils to learn about the human body...on a human body. With beautifully designed augmented reality and amazing 3D learning experiences it will allow out pupils to explore the circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems with fully immersive 360 video. There is also a holographic guide to the body, which navigates and talks you through the anatomy and physiological systems in the body, describing processes such as the Circulatory system in detail using Scientific literacy. This interactive and novel way of seeing inside the body is a submersive experience and will no doubt engage and allow pupils to visualise concepts which we cant see with the naked eye. To support EAL pupils it is also available in 11 different languages… This set of resources will also work wonders within our sessions with our local primary school in which we can hook them into the love of learning and the wonder of Science.
Unfortunately, we do not have the budget to award grants for class sets of core text books to schools, as vital as we know these are. However, Sushil made a good case for the dictionaries, explaining why and how they would promote effective learning not only in the subject but across the school:
“There are feature panels on key topics such as electricity, classification, metals, and the periodic table, all fully supported by 2-colour diagrams and illustrations. Clear, accessible definitions and cross referencing give full clarity to complex scientific entries.
All of these features build into ensuring our pupils yes can spell all key words but more so be able to define and apply terminology within work and longer style questioning. This would benefit every pupil in the school and would not just be beneficial to Science but to every subject taught. Improving the literacy of our pupils is paramount in Science as there are many words they will not use elsewhere within the curriculum. Having Science specific dictionaries that are laid out both pictorally and with the required definitions will be hugely beneficial to every pupil but also including our EAL/SEN groups too.”
And finally, the case for kinaesthetic learning of a complex area:
“Fundamental teaching in Chemistry is the structure of an atom, leading into the subatomic particles and how they interact to form what they do. This concept is extremely difficult for most pupils and as much we can use sweets or other models within lessons to have a set of designed and fit for purpose models that can be used and adapted would be amazing. Using the Atomic Structures and Bonding model, students can explore (individually and in groups) atomic structure with enough components to build two atoms up to Atomic number 20 (i.e. calcium).”