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I have been teaching IB chemistry in various schools outside the UK for many years. I am currently in Peru and the chemistry department here focus on skills.
We base our work on 'what do chemists do all day?'
Skills are built up by doing 'drip-feed activities' in small groups each lesson. For the first time ever, the majority of my iGCSE candidates for this year are saying they really get moles calculations.
We do not give notes. There is no standing at the board burbling. We do practical work almost every lesson. Students make observations and then have to explain what is happening on a molecular level. Labs are outlined on a one-page slide which has all the information they require, but no recipe.
Each week students are given the opportunity reflect on the skills they have used to learn, and what they want to work on during the next week.
We are seeing improved outcomes and classes start on time as students enjoy the lessons and arrive well before time.
The whole experience has been liberating. There are four members of the department and we willingly give up a free period each week to get together and talk about learning.

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