Swanscombe teacher discusses her passion for science
PUBLISHED: 18:00 24 June 2014
A teacher who was nominated to go to Number 10 Downing Street because of her passion for science explained how to get young children to engage with the subject.
Gemma Creed, who is subject leader of science at the Ebbsfleet Academy in Swanscombe, was chosen as an education ambassador for charity Teach First and joined the Prime Minister, Michael Gove MP and teachers and headteachers from across the UK.
Speaking about her work at the school, Gemma said: “It’s very rewarding. It’s about driving that passion in school for the subject with the students and leading on the direction of science as well as helping everyone work together to build engagement in the subject.
“One of the things that I think can be the most engaging is teaching them new concepts they don’t already know through practical exercises and experiments.
“We have got that practical element which is really exciting and the students really enjoy it and they enjoy seeing how the practical things they are doing coincide with the things around them.
“That brings it to life.
“I would definitely say with the Key Stage 3 stages the practical element really helps them.”
Gemma said that giving children the chance to investigate was also a key part of allowing them to engage with science.
“You have the opportunity to give them to investigate their own ideas and challenge their knowledge.
“They can really enjoy that because it’s giving them some responsibility. It builds a deeper understanding.
“It’s perceived as a very hard subject but as a teacher you have the chance to break down those barriers and see them succeed.”
Gemma strongly believes that the subject should not seem closed off to children and young people, and that they are able to learn it.
“Everyone can do science, everyone can understand the principles of science,” she said.
Gemma explained that the science department in the school was working as a whole to keep students engaged and working together to continue to move the sujbect forward.
“I think aspirations for the department would be to inspire students to engage with the subject, whether that is making sure there are more trips going to scientific places, engaging with the network of places you can go to explore the subject more, and exposing students to careers they can pursue in science.
“I think those are the things to really work on, to look to these ways you can find students engaging in the subject. They may decide they don’t want to go off and be a scientist but at least they have had that exposure.
“Having more practicals going on in lessons and increasing the amount of engagement through practical investigations students are doing is something we are pushing towards.”