Science Home Learning Experiments

Over the course of lockdown, I’m sure many teachers have been getting used to new ways of working, but one in particular at the UTC has had to take that to the extreme.
 
Mr De la Bat has had to conduct all his distance teaching whilst in lockdown in South Africa with his family!
 
But he never stopped trying to deliver the best possible lessons for his pupil back here in Dartford, Kent.
 
His best innovation so far has been the science practicals at home that he has been filming and sharing with his KS3 pupils! We asked Mr De la Bat what had got him thinking about doing this in the first place.
 
Mr De la Bat said:
 
“My main aim was to engage with all of my students on a more practical level instead of overwhelming them with too much theoretical knowledge. I know most of my students are very practical and love to build or create things so I tried to use this aspect to my advantage and break down the more difficult topics into smaller chunks that are easier to process. When it comes to processing new knowledge I also took into account that most of my students are visual learners and thus by demonstrating difficult concepts in a visual way, they can more easily associate what they see (the practical aspect) with the theory (theoretical knowledge).
 
One of the aspects I specifically focussed on when deciding what and how to execute my experiments was the availability of resources. Coming from a developing country like South Africa, resources for science experiments are often scarce. Teachers in South Africa are therefore taught to be creative with regards to developing experiments using easily obtainable resources that are available to each student, ensuring that no student is excluded from a learning opportunity. I tried to incorporate this aspect of teaching into my experiments by using resources that are easily available to everyone. All of the resources I used in my experiments are either common household items or cheap to buy at a supermarket.
 
Lastly, I wanted to bring some fun and excitement to all my students at home. Being on a strict lockdown can be extremely daunting for everyone (especially children). By giving them a fun activity to do at home (and learning in the process), I aimed to relieve them from the stress and uncertainty all of us are facing around the world during these uncertain times”
 
We would love to hear from parents/carers and students to see if you enjoyed watching these lockdown home learning experiments.
 
A big thank you for Mr De la Bat for making these Home Learning experiments possible.



First Week Back for Year 10 & Year 12

Friday 19 June 2020

Dear Parent/Carer, 

It has been a tremendous first week back at The Leigh UTC. Life at the Leigh UTC is different at the moment; students are frequently encouraged to wash their hands and use the sanitisers available in the classrooms, Assemblies are being delivered through video rather than in person. Break times are being taken in small groups (that we are calling bubbles). For our year 10 students, phones are no longer allowed to be used on the school site.

It would be realistic to expect that our students might take some time to get used to the new restrictions to ensure that students can socially distance. As always, our students are able to surprise us. The first week has been a smooth transition to the new rules. Thank you to the students, who are supporting us in minimising risk during these difficult times.

We have been able to reflect on the plan and have decided to revise the number of breaks that students are having.  A few students struggled to concentrate throughout the longer afternoon sessions, consequently, we are adding an afternoon break time for Year 10 and Year 12 bubbles. 

Here are photographs of the break time and lesson for a group of Year 10 students. It is clear that adequate separation is respected at all times.

We have also noticed a few things that we thought that parents would like to be aware of. Firstly, please ensure that your child brings enough food for the day. We have a morning break, lunchtime and afternoon break at the moment and some of the students have explained that they are hungry or have finished their lunch during morning break time! Sometimes, hunger can adversely affect concentration. It might be worth discussing this with your son/daughter as the school is unable to sell food at this time. Secondly, some students have not brought water bottles into school. It is extremely important that students are hydrated to support concentration for extended periods of time. Finally, despite the challenges that 2020 has delivered, this time next year, students will have completed their courses. It is imperative that we do everything that we can to prepare our young people for success on all their courses which is why we have taken such a bold approach to reopening the school.

We have also noticed a few things that we thought that parents would like to be aware of. Firstly, please ensure that your child brings enough food for the day. We have a morning break, lunchtime and afternoon break at the moment and some of the students have explained that they are hungry or have finished their lunch during morning break time! Sometimes, hunger can adversely affect concentration. It might be worth discussing this with your son/daughter as the school is unable to sell food at this time. Secondly, some students have not brought water bottles into school. It is extremely important that students are hydrated to support concentration for extended periods of time. Finally, despite the challenges that 2020 has delivered, this time next year, students will have completed their courses. It is imperative that we do everything that we can to prepare our young people for success on all their courses which is why we have taken such a bold approach to reopening the school. 

There will be exams/assessments taking place before the summer holidays. This is a crucial part of preparing students for the challenges that lie ahead. Please ensure that your son/daughter is preparing appropriately.

Mobile phones and headphones should be not used on site by students in year 10. Again, I’d like to thank the students as this has been well received and students have respected this. I think we have seen a greater focus during lessons and greater interaction during break and lunchtimes.

I’d like to take thank the whole school community for the trust that they’ve placed in us as a school to keep their children safe and also the teachers and support staff who have worked tirelessly to continue to support students during the closure and for the positivity that they have shown when returning to the academy to support our young people.

For students who are not currently attending school, or if you are absent from school; continue to follow the work set on your Google Classroom to ensure that you keep up with everything as well as you possibly can.

Yours faithfully

Neil Arnould

Vice Principal





MyOn

Well done Leigh UTC Learners! Since we introduced MYON last month, you have read 1320 books and spent over 430 hours reading!
What a fantastic effort so far.
How many do you think we can read by the end of the month?
#UTC #HomeLearning #MYON

 



Year 10 & Year 12 Return

Today it has been lovely to see Year 10 & Year 12 students back at the #UTC. We have taken a large number of precautions to ensure that our school community is safe. To ensure social distancing we have created student and staff bubbles with limited class sizes, designated social areas and a clear one-way system around the Academy. We are therefore extremely pleased to see attendance above 65% in each year group already.

 



Virtual Book Club

The virtual book club was launched last week by Mrs Snow via google classroom and offers students a safe space to read, discuss and take part in fun book-related activities.

We are currently reading ‘Alice in Wonderland’ which is being enjoyed in a number of formats.




A message – Returning of Year 10 & Year 12

A message to students from Mr Arnould, Vice Principal can be found via Google Classroom for Year 10 and Year 12 who are returning next week – Monday 15th June 2020.

Please make sure you check this and more information will follow this week to parents/carers, following on from the previous emailed letter we sent to parents /carers last week.

Kind regards

The Leigh UTC