13 December 2020

Anonymous – UNITED KINGDOM

I work as laboratory technician in a secondary school (high school) in the UK teaching 11-16 year old children, preparing all apparatus and chemicals for practical science lessons. At least in my school, full practical experiments are taking place as much as we can feasible manage for all year groups. Year 11 (15-16 age) are solely based in the science block and all of their teachers move to them in what is known as a ‘bubble’. Other year groups get limited practical lesson access based on what apparatus can be taken to other areas of the school. This in a town in southern England is very much the exception to ‘normal’. Most neighboring schools to ours are only doing teacher demonstrations only, or no practical work at all. This is contrary to government guidance (I’ve read it), and CLEAPSS guidance (school science service in UK that most schools subscribe to annually).

Our school (along with most others) strictly enforces mask wearing on children at all times with two exceptions: 1. Eating 2. In classrooms during lesson times. All staff and pupils must wear face coverings in all communal areas and outside even during fire drills regardless of the weather. We had a fire drill on a cold and very windy day recently with children lining up as per normal but in bubble areas for at least 15 minutes.

For any school not doing practical science work they are denying our young people the necessary skills for scientific advancement in future years. This will have huge setbacks in all scientific fields for years to come.

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