Science teacher Paul Bold, demonstrates combustion of alkanes (not Workplace health and safety approved so don't attempt it yourselves!) and how his resources encourage independent learning in students.
Tell us about your teaching career.
I’m a chemistry and physics teacher by training, and over my career I’ve taught in the full spectrum of schools – from those in special measures to international and grammar schools. As my career progresses I’ve moved away from science resources towards pastoral care and whole school work. In the future, I’d like to engage in more initial teacher training (although you’d have to come to the Swiss Alps) to pass on my skills and tips to a new generation.
Why did you start sharing your resources on Tes?
I started sharing resources because I found myself covering for a colleague at short notice with no effective resources and a textbook that didn’t meet my objective for that class. If only I’d had a simple handout that could be purposed for independent learning! I started to revisit my own resources and rewrite them for more independent learning. Like my Introduction to organic chemistry (editable for the flipped classroom), most of my resources are designed to be repurposed in different ways: handout notes can be used as a prep before the lesson, as an in-lesson guide, assessment of learning or classroom activity for learning. I particularly like pair matching, sequencing and flashcard resources, like my atom flashcards as they can be used as a starter, a plenary, revision or simply to break up a theory lesson.
How do your resources help teaching and learning in the classroom?
I’m not a massive fan of expending time making resources aesthetically beautiful, instead I aim for clarity and simplicity. I always think about why that resource exists, how it’s going to fit into a lesson, what the pupils can do with it and whether it clearly address the learning objective. My resources are designed on the Ronseal ™ approach – does what it says on the tin, simply and effectively; releasing the teacher to interact with pupils without a massive budgetary need.
What are your tips for creating science resources?
I’ve found over my time teaching that pupils can have a very narrow view of the world. I’d encourage teachers to create science lessons that direct pupils beyond the immediate as there is so much more choice out there in the world and opportunities for great careers in the sciences.