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Why is hands on learning so important?

Year 6 have illustrated this point beautifully! When school was closed, our science learning continued. The children learned about the symbols for electrical components, they built virtual, online circuits where they scored full marks in quizzes and they drew quantities of working circuits. Once school reopened, they finally got their hands on the actual equipment. Their excitement was palpable...until the circuits didn’t work. “My bulb won’t light”, “How do I attach the wires?”, “Why won’t this switch work?” The classroom was awash with questions- all of which the students had answered theoretically but, when faced with the real practical situation, they were stumped. It took nearly a whole lesson for the children to start methodically problem solving, eliminating possible causes of the failure such as faulty bulbs or loose wires. By the time they had spent an hour just exploring, they were ready to start focusing on specific circuit issues, after another lesson they could apply their theoretical knowledge with more confidence but they needed the real life experience to do this. Year 6 are making their way towards a problem solving mindset, able to apply theoretical knowledge in practical situations.

bulb   circuits