‘Dear Mr Bolsover I’ve been up in the sky and under the water today – this is a lesson I’ll never forget!’
When deputy head Steve Bolsover signed up his Warwickshire school for Google Expeditions, taking years 7 to 10 on trips to the moon, under the sea and to explore the Seven Wonders of the World, he wasn’t quite prepared for the reaction he got.
‘I thought that some of the older year groups would be a bit stand offish about the experience – but they loved it. Each experience was tailored per age and with the older ones we just went into more detail,’ he tells us.
Classes sat on chairs in a circle in the school drama hall and Steve says that as the pupils put on their headsets and embarked on the space expedition he could see their legs lifting off the floor!
He adds that while the tour was fun for the pupils, the maths teacher could also see how he’d use it to engage them in practical applications. ‘It would be a really effective way to demonstrate concepts like scale and standard form in maths – measuring distances in space and how you would measure the relative size of planet ratios and the surface areas of spheres.’
Notes to a teacher: pupil's wrote their immediate thoughts about the Expeditions experience on Post-Its
In English, pupils put their communication skills to good use by writing letters about their journeys – with Year 8s even penning Steve notes of thanks for organising the tour.
Here, Steve shares some of the comments he received:
‘The Taj Mahal was spectacular.’
‘My favourite trip was to space because I like science and space and colours and twinkling stars.’
‘Thank you for giving me the opportunity to go to somewhere amazing and do the things that I’ve always wanted to do.’
‘The Pyramids were so impressive – it’s amazing how much detail they go into - you can see brick by brick.’
‘I liked it when we went to Rio where we ventured to the top of Christ the Redeemer. That was fun.’
‘The Great Wall of China was my favourite because I’ve been there before. My second favourite experience was the sea. It felt so real.’
‘Dear Mr BoIsover I’ve been up in the sky and under the water today – this is a lesson that I’ll never forget.’
The Google Expeditions Pioneer Programme is free to all schools and can be tailored across all year groups. Places are limited though, so make it your new year's resolution to sign up your school as soon as you can!
Images: Campion School