Let Teachers SHINE winner 2024: Jon Blackbourn – Revise Chemistry with Mr B

Back to: Our impact
In this section: Latest News StoriesCase Studies Twitter

A secondary school teacher’s online video revision aid for chemistry students is to ‘go live’ after he won funding from Let Teachers SHINE.

Jon Blackbourn, who teaches chemistry at Fairfield High School for Girls in Droylsden, Manchester, last year received a development grant for his revision video project, Revise Chemistry with Mr B.

Since then, Jon has created more than 160 videos for YouTube, which have been viewed over 64,000 times. His YouTube channel has over 1,000 subscribers and continues to grow steadily. He has also created almost 200 TikTok videos, which have been watched more than 900,000 times. His TikTok channel has more than 3,000 followers.

Jon can now take the concept to the next level after he received a grant of almost £25,000 from SHINE which will pay for new video equipment and give him more time to produce videos.

He will now also be able to regularly broadcast lessons live, while also fielding questions from students.

Jon plans to remake many of his videos, using the new production equipment, helping him to reach a wider audience of students.

Jon’s videos are different to many others as they are mostly filmed in a lab and involve him carrying out experiments.

His YouTube channel is arranged into playlists that correspond to the GCSE chemistry topics. The videos are carefully sequenced so that students can either work their way through each topic or focus on parts of a topic that they may be finding more difficult.

Jon said: “I initially came up with the idea for my project because I could see how hard students were working in class, but I knew many of them were not following this up with enough studying and consolidation of their knowledge at home.

“I thought I would utilise the one thing they are never very far from – their mobile phone! I’m hoping my social media revision channels will encourage more students to engage with their learning in their own time.

“Also, chemistry can be a challenging subject and not many families can afford to pay for a science tutor, so I thought I could be the free online chemistry tutor to help their child to achieve their potential.”

Jon now hopes the support from SHINE will allow him to build the audience for his videos, making a difference for many more children.

“I was absolutely overjoyed to receive recognition of all the hard work I have put in so far,” he said.

“It’s one thing having your family and friends tell you that your project is a good idea, but to receive support and encouragement from a prestigious organisation such as SHINE, it’s on another level.

“I cannot thank SHINE enough for granting my project nearly £25,000 over the next two years. The equipment that I will be purchasing will take the quality of my resources to the next level and I will be able to develop my ideas to use YouTube Live and Tiktok Live as an online learning platform.

“Being part of the Let Teachers SHINE programme will give me the focus and direction that I need. I will also be able to learn a great deal from the other project leaders on the programme.

“I’m excited to be working with the SHINE team and can’t wait to get started on developing the next phase of Revise Chemistry with Mr B.”

Fiona Spellman, CEO of SHINE, said: “We love Jon’s videos, and  his engaging style. More importantly, we know that students love them, and he has real potential to develop a knowledge and love of chemistry through the channels that work for young people.

“We are delighted to be supporting the next stage of development, and can’t wait to see the heights that Revise Chemistry with Mr B can reach next!”

Click here to read about this year’s other winners