In response to the rise in home-schooling due to COVID-19, Imperial is offering free, online material based on the UK school curriculum.
Created through a partnership between Twig Education and Imperial College London, Reach Out Reporter and Reach Out Continuing Professional Development (CPD) are an online primary school science news service and 30 pre-prepared courses for teaching 5-11 year-olds.
"I would recommend Reach Out. Science can be challenging. This website helps you answer those questions and help children investigate their own questions and ideas." Lindsay Danby Primary School Teacher
The resources cover everything from plants to planets and provide teachers and parents with concise topic knowledge and a whole range of materials to use.
The mission of Reach Out is to convince teachers and parents that primary science isn’t just about nurturing the scientists of the future. It’s about ensuring every child develops a natural curiosity about the world around them and starts to think analytically about situations.
A nation of teachers
With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting schools across the United Kingdom, material originally intended solely for teachers is now also freely available to parents supporting their children to continue to learn.
Imperial and Twig have produced innovative digital resources to support teaching and empower parents and teachers to deliver inspiring science lessons. Reach Out Reporter engages primary school children with the wonders of the world around them using high-quality films and other learning resources. The service is updated weekly with new content and is available free of charge to all primary school teachers and parents across the UK.
Inspired by the work of the College’s 17,000 students and 8,000 staff in expanding the frontiers of knowledge in science, medicine, engineering and business, Reach Out Reporter raises aspirations and supports learning across a key age group.
Vice-President (International), Professor Maggie Dallman, said: "With school closures around the country disrupting children’s education we were keen to ensure that the next-generation of young scientists still have access to inspiring lessons.
“These free resources will help parents and teachers educate children on topics such as planets, animals, the environment, food, as well as understanding the current pandemic.
“Nurturing our future scientists is key to tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges.”
Hints and tips for teachers and parents
With remote working now common across the country, many parents and teachers are currently needing to be expert multi-taskers. When caring for their own family and answering emails it can seem challenging to also support the educational needs of the next generation.
Reach Out CPD, in combination with Reporter materials, provides this group with a simple, step-by-step approach to teaching either one child or multiple children. These guides will help parents and teachers use the high-quality films, games, quizzes, classroom ideas and other digital lesson materials to engage students and bring learning to life. Topics covered include: Seasonal Changes, Environment and Habitats, Light and Sound, Forces and Magnets, and the Future of Energy.
Professor Robert Winston, Imperial's first Chair in Science and Society, said: "If you think about it so many of today’s decisions require you to be analytical and ask the kind of questions a scientist would.
"How much red meat should I be eating? Do the health claims of a product add up?
"If we want a better society, we have to give even the youngest children a fantastic introduction to science."
A unique Maths Course
Launched in 2018, Imperial is also the only university to date to offer school pupils a free online Mathematics course at A-Level (Year 12 and 13). The course has been jointly developed by Imperial and MEI, an independent charity that is a leader in the field of online Maths education.
Anyone can use the two streams, hosted on education platform EdX, all that's needed is a web browser and some time. Learners can work at their own pace through the online material.
The A-level Mathematics for Year 12 and Year 13 course develops student's thinking skills, fluency and confidence to aim for an A* in A-level mathematics and prepare for undergraduate degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Maths.
Over seven modules student's skills are tested and they are given a clear understanding of how background knowledge underpins the A-level course. Students are also encouraged to consider how what they know fits into the wider mathematical world.
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