For a number of years, The Perse have supported Isaac Physics and more recently Isaac Chemistry. These programs are designed to support students in years 11 to 13 in developing their knowledge of Chemistry and Physics, where subject-specialist teachers may not be available. They also serve as valuable extension tools for pupils considering studying physical sciences at University. As well as using both websites extensively, the Physics and Chemistry departments have tested resources and hosted workshops in recent years. At the moment, the Physics department is collaborating on a research project that hopes to evaluate the progress made by students who use the website. The results should be available later this year.
Monday evening saw the first staff training event of 2017! Teachers who joined The Perse in September 2016 began designing their research projects for the year ahead. Every new member of teaching staff at The Upper undertakes a small-scale classroom-based research project. These projects allow colleagues to bring new ideas or past experiences to the classroom and to share best practice within their departments. Successful projects frequently feature in the whole staff training event in the Summer term. Titles of the new projects will be announced next month.
Teachers at The Perse are engaged with the latest developments in their fields and some even publish their own research. Teacher of Philosophy and Religious Studies, Dr Roxanna Lynch was recently published in Peeters’ Ethics of Care series. She explains her work in more detail below. More information on Dr Lynch’s research and her book can be found here.
“This book articulates and defends an original account of the concept of care. The definition of care that is put forward describes acts of care as those which successfully promote some or all of the conditions necessary for another’s flourishing, for that other’s own sake. Having put forward an account of care, the book moves on to explore other questions relating to the practice of care, focusing particularly on the issues of paternalism and partialism.
In formulating a definition of care, the book draws on work from various philosophical traditions including the Ethics of Care, neo-Aristotelianism and Practice Theory”.
Teachers are well known for having incredible workloads. Marking is a major contributor to workload but it provides invaluable feedback for pupils. David Gwilt sought to address this by streamlining feedback for his Mathematics and Computer Science classes. By making more extensive use of the tools available on Schoology, David was able to save time, reduce printing costs and provide a record of marks and comments that pupils could access for end of year revision. David undertook a research project to evaluate this system and reflect on pupils’ feedback. You can read more of David’s research here.
Despite the importance of vocabulary in the study of languages, many pupils can struggle to learn new words. It was this problem that Lilly Freeman set out to solve in her research project. Lilly applied the principles of metacognition – “learning to learn” – to help her year 7 class develop their language skills. By employing the correct method, pupils were able to form stronger mental connections between the foreign words and their English counterparts. This allowed pupils to grow in confidence and improve their scores in their weekly vocab’ tests. Lilly completed her research as part of the Perse Research Award programme and you can read more about it here.