SCIENCE/HISTORY: Introduction to Microbes (Student Age 10-11)
We work here at BSB with Integrated Learning Themes (ILT) which link all of the traditional foundation subject in a thematic learning approach. This term, Year Six were looking at ‘Peace and Conflict’, with a focus on World War One and Two, but also with the need to cover the main scientific concepts from the microorganisms unit of work. These on the surface may not seem to have an obvious link, but with the application of a little VR magic an interesting and exciting bridge between the two can be formed.
Primary School Teacher
We had worked a lot with the ideas and themes behind war and peace, looking at various conflicts over the ages including a visit to the site of the historic battle of Waterloo and an investigation into the world’s main peace making individuals, but it was difficult to imagine the conditions the soldiers in the trenches of WW1 had to endure. This was where ClassVR came into its own. With one headset per group of three and ClassView on the interactive whiteboard for those without, the children could become immersed in ‘World War One Trenches Experience’. After investigating the truly terrible conditions the soldiers had to live through, we turned to the idea that many of soldiers got very sick in these terrible conditions. This was the way we could link the ideas of this conflict with that of our science topic. We discussed that the soliders were very open to infection from a range of bacteria and viruses in these very unsanitary conditions. Of course, we could not see these microscope creatures so again we used the VR biology section to get close to these tiny creatures, rotating each cell in turn to study its structure.
IMPACT ON LEARNING
The children were very excited and engaged with the system as they felt they were actually in the trench system itself. When they need to work on the task identifying the features of the various micro organisms in their books they had a renewed enthusiasm for a topic that could had been very dry, if approached in a different more traditional method. The fact that we used this technology as our first lesson on these creatures acted as a great hook on which to hang all our future learning on this topic.