This week, I did a lesson with a home ed group on making fire. We had decided to do lessons about the science of things going back in time, so I decided to go back to the beginning and start with one of the earliest inventions. It was good timing as I had also finished reading The Lost Civilisations of the Stone Age by Richard Rudgley. There is plenty of science around building a fire. The first and most obvious is the fire triangle. So I lit a candle and asked them what a ca
All the science GCSEs are over and, if you took them, I hope they went well for you. This was the first year of the new GCSEs and I am very interested to see what the new spread of grades will be and also what they grade boundaries are. (In case you don't know, all the exams are marked and then grade boundaries are set so that a certain percentage of pupils get a grade 9, a certain percentage get a grade 8 etc. This means that difficult exams have low grade boundaries and eas
I'm listening to Neurotribes by Steve Silberman and Oliver Sacks. It is a history of the treatment of autism and how to approach autism. It is providing pretty disturbing reading. in the past, autistic children were seen as needing "cures" using everything from diets that help your gut to behavioral modification to bleach enemas...in 2018. Autism is not a disease. it is a different state that seems to have gained a lot of stigma through an unfortunate mix of being mistaken fo
Sometimes, I'm amazed by some of the questions I get from GCSE and A level students. Sometimes these questions demonstrate a really high level of thinking about the subject and a deep understanding. And then some of them are really fundamental that should have been told to them years ago. for example, I was once balancing an equation to a group of year 11s when one of them put up their hand and asked "So what's the difference between the big numbers and the little numbers?" "
Some last minute tips to get you some vital marks when doing calculation questions. Some might sound simple, but I know that people make have made all of these mistakes! 1) Make sure you know the difference between significant figures and decimal places. 2) Remember that the relative masses on your periodic table go to 1 decimal place. 3) Check that the numbers you put in your calculator are the same as the numbers you were given. 4) Check that your answer is to the number of
In my time as a teacher, I've met some children who are talkers. I don't mean children who talk in class. I mean children who talk to me about stuff. On the face of it, the stuff is not particularly earth shaking. what they have been doing recently, who they spend their time with, what they have been doing with their friends. I think it's important to listen to them. I think there's more going on than just simply relaying information. They want something and it is important t