Back to The Staffroom

Finding more time to develop higher-order skills

By Tom O'Donahoo on 21 February 2020Partner School StoriesNSWstaffroomUKstaffroom

An Atomi teacher story: Jake Webster, Deputy Learning Leader for Science at Emmaus Catholic College.

The challenge

Emmaus Catholic College is a co-educational high school in Sydney’s outer west supporting just shy of 900 students. Jake Webster, the Deputy Learning Leader for Science is at the frontlines, teaching Biology, Chemistry and Physics to students across all age groups.  

Jake Webster, Deputy Learning Leader for Science at Emmaus Catholic College

For Jake, the constant development of critical thinking and question response skills are of paramount importance to any student. Yet content delivery can often eat up entire lessons, demanding a disproportionate amount of class time.

Strategy

Like many teachers, Jake knew that he had to find more time to dedicate to developing these higher-order skills so that come assessment time, his students didn’t just know the content, but were able to meet the expectations of their markers. This is where Atomi has made a critical difference.

Since adopting Atomi in his classroom, Jake has been assigning Atomi video lessons and quizzes for homework prior to class.

Atomi has given me at least 35-40 minutes within the classroom so I can focus on student skills and development. The content can now be covered within a 5-10 minute video at home.

For Jake, delivering content more efficiently both in and beyond the classroom has radically changed how his students engage with the subject.

When covering concepts in class, the students engage more within the lesson as they have significant background knowledge before they walk into the room.

Impact

Beyond improved content knowledge and skills, Jake has noticed a marked improvement in his student’s sense of their own capacity. With traditional models of teaching, if one of Jake's students missed a lesson, or simply wanted to get ahead, there was little opportunity to support them. With Atomi, Jake's students now have a greater opportunity to learn and revise at their own pace.

Jake has noticed that for students that may have traditionally been at risk of falling behind, they are now not only keeping up but excelling in all aspects of the class.

One student did not think she was good enough to succeed in Biology. Whenever I introduced new terminology, you could sense that she was lost. When she started using Atomi she immediately started to engage in classroom discussion and started to experience great growth. She is now more confident with the subject and enjoys being a part of the class.

Atomi has empowered the students, allowing greater independent learners.

As Jake continues to express his passion for Science, he hopes to spend more time challenging and extending his student’s abilities, preparing them for their exams and beyond.

Students can sense love and passion within the classroom and have an overwhelming response to the subject as a result.

The team at Atomi are incredibly proud to work with teachers like Jake to make every student’s experience as exciting, rewarding, and as successful as possible.


  • School type: Catholic Independent
  • Established: 1988
  • Students: 889
  • Teaching staff: 69

Like what you read? Check out our other partner school and teacher stories here.


Try Atomi for free and receive regular updates from the Staffroom.

Learn More