Bioactive Learning came into being almost impulsively in October 2015. The aim was to provide schools, students, home educators, and the home educated, support and an alternative option. Science doesn’t need to take place in a traditional secondary school environment, and although at times, I do miss my lab comforts (bunsen burners, work benches…), it is exciting to have to look for alternative ways of teaching Science.
I am Caroline Chisholm and I had been a fully qualified Science teacher for 10 years by the time I left my last post. I studied Biochemistry at the University of Manchester and despite considering entering a PGCE course immediately after graduating, fate would intervene and it would be 3 more years before I did so. In the interim, I worked for a food advisory organisation, offering customers advice on regulatory matters, such as labelling requirements, and training adults in their field. It was this that inspired me to return my focus to teaching once again.
After completing my PGCE at Canterbury Christ Church University College, I took a post at my first placement school, before then being ‘poached’ to work at a ‘competitor’ school. And that was where I stayed for nearly 9 years. I have seen the school transform repeatedly, under consecutive governments and with differing focusses and agendas, and had myself changed, I had first a girl, and then a couple of years later, a boy to devote myself to. In late spring 2015, our family circumstances changed and I was able to become a SAHM. However, a few months in and I was keen to find new challenges in Science teaching – I wanted to do the job I loved and was good at, but maybe not the traditional way…
And so, I birthed another: Bioactive Learning. Still growing, still learning, still changing.
In January 2017, another change took place. I started a new role with the Rochester Bridge Trust, as an Education officer. The Trust aims to support engineering education, which is a completely complimentary role to running Bioactive Learning, in fact, a lot of cross-over occurs. I work 14hrs a week with the Trust, supporting schools and other organisations, promoting our free STEM resources and attending STEM events, such as the Big Bang at the NEC, Birmingham. It does mean that I am not running as many home education clubs as I used to or indeed, have stopped expanding my range of activities offered. However, I am still as determined and as enthusiastic about STEM learning as ever before!
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