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PGCE Friendship Benefits Rumworth Sixth Form

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

A friendship that developed whilst David Teasdale and Gina Burrows were undertaking their PGCEs to become teachers proved beneficial for Sixth Form students at Rumworth School. The Ladybridge school had its roof blown off over the Easter weekend by a freak gust of wind and when their teacher Ms Burrows contacted her old PGCE colleague, Mr Teasdale who teaches at Bolton School, the two teachers organised a Chemistry session at the independent day school whilst Rumworth’s laboratory is being repaired.  Mr Teasdale, who was recently Highly Commended by judges in the School Biology Teacher of the Year Award, spoke with Dr Yates, Head of Chemistry at Bolton School, and a fun, interactive Chemistry session for Sixth Formers was arranged. 

Sixth Form students from Bolton School assisted Dr Yates in running the session which attempted to inspire students through the excitement of Science. Mixes of copper sulphate and ammonia sulphate as well as lead nitrate and potassium iodide brought about vibrant blue and yellow colours and students also enjoyed burning magnesium, smelling esters and testing for hydrogen. 

Gina Burrows, KS5 Lead Teacher at Rumworth Sixth Form, said: “This session was part of an ongoing series of Science events that we attend at Bolton School and the pupils love it.  They often bicker over who gets to come on these visits!  I am really grateful to Mr Teasdale for helping us out and to Dr Yates for delivering the class.  We are hoping for a rebuild of our laboratory but it will not be ready until September.  Rumworth is really thankful for the opportunity.” 

Dr Yates closed the session with some teacher-led demonstrations that included the “whoosh bottle”, “the screaming jelly baby” and exploding balloons of hydrogen and oxygen. 

Seventeen year old Joshua Howells said: “It has been a fantastic session.  I would love to come again, it has been an amazing afternoon.” 

Dr Yates praised his Sixth Form helpers, saying: “At short notice, these students have offered to help out and have been of great assistance.”

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Students mixed chemicals to produce various vibrant colours

Students mixed chemicals to produce various vibrant colours

Dr Yates involved students in the demonstrations

Dr Yates involved students in the demonstrations

Bolton School students helped run the session

Bolton School students helped run the session