Sunday, 7 July 2013

I can see clearly now...

The Sun is shining, temperature is ratcheting up and the smell of BBQ is in the air. This can mean only one thing! Yes summer is almost here/here already. It is a curious thing being a core subject because in all honesty I don't feel like I have any real gain time to speak of, however I do have lots to do to fill this fictional extra time!

My friends who teach subjects like history and psychology who no longer have year 11 and sixth form all seem to have days of non-contact in order to plan and prepare (or muck about) before September. I think I have gained 3 lessons over the week...

Anyways the Sun is shining and there are 2 weeks left until the end of term so there is nothing to really complain about. Although the last week has been a bit of a rush.

Being science we always seem to get called in to do the transition 'stuff' which I can understand. If you do an experiment with year 4/5/6's in a lab then it is something they have never experienced and they go away with a good impression of your school. My friend even went so far as to get his year 4 classes who were in to wear lab coats while testing acids and alkali's. Which was very cool.

I spent 3 days doing transition work this week. Tuesday I was making fruit batteries with year 4's and Wednesday and Thursday I was in a local primary school doing CSI days with their year 6.

And yes I was the chalk outline. Which was strange as our scenario did not involve a dead body! These days are a lot of fun to do although they are very tiring. It is a bit of a culture shock to be in primary school though as I am unused to students doing exactly as I ask the first time I ask them too.

Wednesday evening was a STEM cluster event at a local secondary, these events have been sponsored by the Royal Society of Engineers it seems and every school represented gets a box of 'goodies' to take back to their STEM clubs. This meeting involved testing some thermochromic paint, smart materials and building (slowly in our case) a skeleton bob for a doll. It was, as ever, a lot of fun and surprisingly our team managed to get the bob to travel the furthest.

It is nice to win things.

Back to reality means back to test marking as due to the time of year we have had all of our end of year/end of key stage testing going on. Another annoyance with the outreach days (reminds me I have to plan a year 6-7 activity for this Thursday) is that I missed out on PPA's to get ahead with the test marking. However I have already found some beautiful answers in the work already.

Fantastic stuff I am sure you will agree. The end of term is also a weird bit of the year when it comes to setting work. Often courses have completed or you and the students are on a bit of a wind down, especially when the weather is very good outside, and so activities tend to get set that you may not do the rest of the year. Added to that we are moving into a subject plaza for September so we are trying to get as much display work produced as possible. One activity we got our year 9's to do was to design your ideal house and then list the materials used and the energy efficiency and energy saving technologies used. Here is my ideal house;

For someone with minimal artistic skill I am pretty pleased with it.

Our year 10 have a 'community action week' approaching where they will undertake various volunteer roles within the wider community. Most of these involve being outdoors and doing something fairly manual. The science department is going to work with a group of around 10 students to create a science garden which we will be working on with a lower ability group once a fortnight starting in September. One of our department is running a project to see if attainment can be improved by taking ownership of a project like this. The results will be interesting. It does remind me though that we need to keep an eye on plants in pots a bit more than I did with some of mine at home. 

There has been a lot of talk and articles written about the sad demise of bee populations. However I must be the only person who has not seen this as I am sure I have seen more bees (bumble and honey) about this summer so far than ever before. Maybe it is a Kent thing but I seem to be seeing about 5-10 bees a day. 

I also managed to get a closer picture.

I like cropping photo's can take a simple looking picture and really bring out some detail.

And cropped becomes.

Works nicely doesn't it? Which is probably what I should be doing now, these tests don't mark themselves. Which is a shame.


Found this at the end of some homework. Is very uplifting to find things like this.

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