St Albans schools teach science lesson to more than 2,500 pupils

PUBLISHED: 17:21 20 March 2019 | UPDATED: 17:21 20 March 2019

Lee Knowles from Verulam School, Barry Lee from Sandringham School and Beth Hercus from Ridgeway Academy taught a science lesson to 2,500 pupils. Picture: Alban Academies Trust

Lee Knowles from Verulam School, Barry Lee from Sandringham School and Beth Hercus from Ridgeway Academy taught a science lesson to 2,500 pupils. Picture: Alban Academies Trust

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St Albans teachers delivered a lesson to more than 2,500 pupils in a world record attempt for British Science Week.

Lee Knowles from Verulam School, Barry Lee from Sandringham School and Beth Hercus from Ridgeway Academy taught a science lesson to 2,500 pupils. Picture: Alban Academies TrustLee Knowles from Verulam School, Barry Lee from Sandringham School and Beth Hercus from Ridgeway Academy taught a science lesson to 2,500 pupils. Picture: Alban Academies Trust

Sandringham and Verulam schools in St Albans and Ridgeway Academy in Welwyn Garden City took part in the ‘Big Lesson’ last month, attempting to break the world record for biggest lesson ever taught.

Chemistry teachers Barry Lee from Sandringham, Lee Knowles from Verulam and Beth Hercus from Ridgeway taught a lesson to Year 8 pupils from Sandringham School’s SandPit Theatre as part of British Science Week, which offers pupils opportunities in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths).

The lesson was broadcast live online, so other students from all three of the schools could participate from their own classrooms, with 2,500 pupils taking part in total.

The three teachers taught pupils about the Periodic Table to celebrate 150 years since it was devised from the work of Russian chemist Dimitri Mendeleev.

Pupils at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham participating in the Big Lesson remotely. Picture: Alban Academies TrustPupils at the Big Bang Fair in Birmingham participating in the Big Lesson remotely. Picture: Alban Academies Trust

All pupils had resource materials and, following a demonstration, were given a short learning task to complete in their classroom before the next demonstration.

Throughout the hour more information was covered with various levels of challenges to meet the needs of pupils from Years 7 to 13.

The final activity was a quiz on game-based learning platform Kahoot, and other internet users joined in, bringing the number of players up to 25,000 and eventually crashing the system.

Verulam headteacher Paul Ramsey said: “This event demonstrated the power of working in partnership and how to raise aspirations for all students wherever they are located.”

Lee Knowles from Verulam School, Barry Lee from Sandringham School and Beth Hercus from Ridgeway Academy taught a science lesson to 2,500 pupils. Picture: Alban Academies TrustLee Knowles from Verulam School, Barry Lee from Sandringham School and Beth Hercus from Ridgeway Academy taught a science lesson to 2,500 pupils. Picture: Alban Academies Trust

All three schools are part of the Alban Academies Trust, which aims to raise the performance of all pupils.

Sandringham School headteacher Alan Gray said: “Working with Verulam and Ridgeway Schools adds significant value to everything we do.

“I would like to thank all the science staff and technicians who worked so hard to stage this unique event, and the senior staff at all three schools for having the vision to see how collaboration can have such a profound impact on learning.

“Well done everyone!”

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