These resources have been reviewed and selected by STEM Learning’s team of education specialists for factual accuracy and relevance to teaching STEM subjects in UK schools.

CPD taster - Teaching Key Stage 4 chemistry

This is a CPD taster created to give teachers a better understanding of what to expect when joining one of our secondary science courses. Below you will find a video and a task for you to do in your own time. Once you have done the activity, book on to Teaching Key Stage 4 chemistry (NY306).

Are you a non-scientist teaching key stage 4 chemistry? Would you like to feel more confident in your own subject knowledge so you can better answer student questions and deal with misconceptions?

This 2-day course is taught by subject experts and aims to develop your subject knowledge, with a focus on the key principles needed to teach chemistry effectively through explanations, practical work and demonstrations. In this video, Louise Herbert, Professional development lead, explains more. There is then a short task that gives a sample of the types of activities you will be guided through on this CPD course.

Task: Teaching atomic structure

As Louise mentioned in the video, one of the main cornerstones of chemistry is having a clear understanding of what is contained in an atom. This short task invites you to try out a possible resource for teaching this and evaluate its use in a lesson.

Task instructions

  1. Access the "Build an atom" interactive resource from the Build an Atom resource webpage and select the "Atom" option.
  2. Using the interactive resource, create up to five different neutral atoms by dragging the protons, neutrons and electronics to the nucleus and orbitals on the diagram. The resource can be reset using the circular arrow in the bottom right corner.
  3. Observe what the resource displays as you add more particles, and reflect on how this could be useful in a lesson.
  4. Identify what questions you would ask students to focus their interaction with the resource.
  5. Consider how you would challenge common questions or ideas they may have, for example the misconception that there always being the same number of protons, neutrons and electrons in a neutral atom.
  6. Consider what follow up activities you could use with students to develop this model further and practise using the periodic table.

Next steps

In the summary video, Louise discusses some options for using a resource like this in a lesson, and explains what you can expect from attending the Teaching Key Stage 4 chemistry course.

Book your place on Teaching Key Stage 4 chemistry (NY306).

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