Waratah Public School
Videos create a bridge between school and home learning.
One preschool’s decision to focus on joint STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) projects during the remote learning period has given birth to a bunch of budding scientists.
“Don’t try this at home” is a well-worn mantra for many a TV presenter. But that’s exactly what Waratah Public School told its young students to do during the remote learning period.
The Newcastle school wanted to encourage its students to be “little scientists” who investigated and hypothesised, and then collected, recorded and interpreted data.
To that end, many of the school’s learning from home projects were designed as joint STEM projects to expand children’s thinking, make real-life connections and learn new ways to think about and solve problems.
During the remote learning period, teachers created a series of videos explaining and demonstrating science experiments. Children and their parents and carers could watch the videos at home, repeat the experiments and then share the results with their teachers via photos or videos.
The videos helped create a bridge between previous face-to-face learning at the preschool and remote work done by the children during the pandemic. There was regular contact with families about what the children were learning, and the videos helped the children follow a regular learning routine.
Providing children with plenty of time to carry out the experiments, and repeatedly exposing them to the same types of experiences allowed them to experiment and solve problems independently and build their knowledge and understanding.
Since resuming normal schooling, Waratah’s teachers have noted the children are working together more closely to explore STEM ideas and concepts, and are asking questions at every opportunity about how and why things happen in certain ways.