Theresa May’s social justice agenda: what she can learn from school partnerships

Theresa May’s social justice agenda: what she can learn from school partnerships

As she arrived in Downing Street yesterday as a brand new Prime Minister Theresa May used her inaugural speech to set an agenda of social justice and equal opportunity for all. She didn’t elaborate about how or why, but the rhetoric seems to have gone down well. Certainly her new cabinet represents a better mix of social and educational background than her predecessor’s, as well as a better gender balance. This bodes well for her mission to serve everybody, not just the privileged few.   So, just in case she’s wondering where to start,...
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...