Some great ideas for simple practical activities which make the topic “real” for students.
Harrow Chemistry Hub
The Harrow Chemistry Hub is led by the University of Hertfordshire's Centre for STEM Education and includes schools and colleges in the London boroughs of Harrow, Hillingdon and Brent. It provides CPD for A Level chemistry teachers and technicians. This CPD is long term, flexible and modular - tailored to meet participants’ needs.
The hub is open to both recently qualified and experienced teachers. It supports participants to implement and embed new classroom approaches and to reflect on their own practice. Between CPD sessions, they undertake school based bridging tasks and are encouraged to apply new subject knowledge and pedagogy in Key Stage 3 and 4 contexts. Participant teachers and technicians are also trained to deliver CPD themselves.
This widens participation and supports the hub’s ongoing sustainability. Schools are encouraged to draw on support from stakeholders, volunteers and STEM Ambassadors, to enrich teaching and learning. Long term, it aims to inspire young people in chemistry and build a local community with a culture of developing practice together.
To get involved -
University of Hertfordshire
For more information:
Harrow Chemistry Hub
When the opportunity of attending the Harrow Chemistry Hub arose I jumped at the chance. Reading research on specific aspects of chemistry and ways to avoid introducing misconceptions is something that teachers don't always get a chance to do. The huge array of ideas and practicals that have been shared with us changed how I would teach a topic. In particular I have used the microscale practicals with the displacement of halogens and reduction of iron on a match head – the students really engaged with this. I have shared some of these ideas and practicals with my department who have now gone on to try them within their lessons and see the benefits for themselves. This has been a fantastic opportunity to meet with local school teachers and build a relationship with them. What I had found most useful was that there was a range of different teachers with varying levels of experience. I am relatively early in my career so I found that when teachers shared their experiences and anecdotes of how they taught chemistry, it was truly valuable.
All in all this year has been an incredible opportunity. I feel like my students, my department and myself have benefited massively from being part of this hub and I hope we can keep these relationships established for the long term.