Departmental snapshots: Science and Geography

Departmental snapshots: Science and Geography

Heads of Department provide a quick summary of news and innovative developments during lockdown.

Sarah Westcott, Head of Science

“We are making full use of online resources so that, on the one hand boys can interact with their teachers and, on the other, we, as teachers, can assess and support pupils’ learning. Across all age groups, eQE forums are enabling boys to ask questions about the topics being taught and receive personalised answers: these can be seen by all students, thus helping everyone who may have a similar question. ‘Dynamic learning’, involving the setting of quick progress tests and quizzes, gives teachers an instant view of their students’ progress and level of understanding. Creative open-ended assessment tasks linked to thinking skills are being used across age groups in Chemistry and in the Lower School, so that students can demonstrate their ability to apply knowledge, as well as recall it.

“Of course, normal School life is not only about lessons and what is in the syllabus, and we are now developing online club provision, so that students can explore science ideas at home, using simple ‘kitchen’ experiments to research projects that also make use of The Queen’s Library resources.

“Year 7 and 8’s Summer Term online Science projects will be linked to the America’s Cup yacht race, giving students the opportunity to research and explore ideas around materials science, sports technology and nutrition.”

Emily Parry, Head of Geography

“Each week, we provide all students with lessons set up in eQE in PowerPoint format that include a range of tasks which students should be confident to complete independently. Embedded within the PowerPoint presentations are links to videos and websites for further research.

“The following week, students self-review and mark their own work, using mark schemes we send them. In addition, eQE’s technological capabilities are being used to monitor progress, with timed class tests being set which are automatically marked so students instantly receive their marks.

“There are also plenty of enrichment activities taking place in Geography. Over the Easter holidays, boys were given a range of fun activities. We made a special eQE page for Earth Day, featuring two climate-themed competitions for which there are just a few more days to submit entries, and we have now launched the Royal Geographical Society Young Geographer of the Year competition at QE.

“We are continuing to run our Sixth Form extension group via an eQE forum: the current topic is exploring Doughnut Economics. Year 12 are to be invited to join a series of five webinars run by the Geographical Association to help them prepare for their NEAs (Non-examined assessments, which will make up 20% of their overall A-level mark).”