Harry Kroto: inspiring, creative, challenging, brilliant

Harry Kroto: inspiring, creative, challenging, brilliant

I have a postcard glued onto my notebook with a quote from Maria Mitchell: “We especially need imagination in science.  It is not all mathematics, nor all logic but is somewhat beauty and poetry.” I like to think that Harry Kroto would have approved.  He was driven by imagination and creativity, and spent his life inspiring these qualities in others. I knew Harry was very ill but the news of his death still came as a shock last weekend. I was at a science show, witnessing a dynamic science communicator entertain a theatre full of...
Ed, Kyle and Mr T: a serendipitous week

Ed, Kyle and Mr T: a serendipitous week

Sometimes, a series of fortunate events in the course of a week make you smile.  Together, they can bring into focus something you’ve been thinking about in your subconscious.  Three things intersected this week to make me reflect on how important it is to ignite sparks in science, to illuminate people’s imaginations – and there are so many ways of doing that. Last Monday I was lucky enough to be invited to the UK final of Famelab, a wonderful competition where young scientists stand up in front of an audience and tell them...
A level assessed practicals – where to find help

A level assessed practicals – where to find help

If you’re teaching science at A level, you’ll already have faced the new system for assessing practicals.  This blog post has a few links that might be of help. What’s it all about? From September 2015 the A level exam boards have introduced a series of core/endorsed/required practicals. Students are expected to be familiar with these practicals since they will be examined on them in their written papers. If they want to gain the practical endorsement (a pass/fail as a separate addition to their A level grade – likely...
Thinking of setting up an independent-state school partnership?  These 10 Dos and Don’ts might help.

Thinking of setting up an independent-state school partnership? These 10 Dos and Don’ts might help.

Cross-sector partnerships have featured widely in the press recently, and there’s a bit of a myth that independent-state school partnerships (ISSPs) are something new. In fact, most fee-paying schools have a long history of linking with the community around them for the sharing of resources and ideas. Collaborations with other schools and universities, businesses, churches and community groups have been essential for sustaining and developing our schools. The ‘island mentality’ is not only alien to independent schools but also somewhat...