Our mission statement in the Science Department is ‘Making science have real meaning for tomorrow.’
The scientist is not a person who gives the right answers; he is one who asks the right questions.Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908 – 2009) French anthropologist and ethnologist.
Science plays an increasingly important part in modern life, and so, its study is a vital part of educating young people. We take for granted cars, planes, television, computers and mobile phones. Not much more than a hundred years ago, these would have seemed the products of fantasy. In the Biological Sciences, the dramatic improvement in medicine has seen human life expectancy almost double in comparison with the 1600s. Chemistry is moving us towards cleaner and more environmentally friendly provision of fuel and energy usage. The use of nanotechnology promises further developments which may seem just as implausible today as TV might have done to Victorian society.
What are our aims in the Science Department?
- to stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment of Science through acquiring a systematic body of scientific knowledge, recognising connections between different areas of Science;
- to enable boys to use scientific ideas and models to explain phenomena and events, and to understand applications of Science, creating an awareness of the impact of developments in technology on the environment and in other contexts;
- to develop experimental and investigative abilities safely, establishing an ability to evaluate and communicate scientific evidence, while understanding the importance of experimental data in supporting scientific ideas.
The Department arranges various Science clubs and visitors to the school as well as undertaking visits to talks, exhibitions and quizzes.
Lots of fun and experiments in science.The Good Schools Guide
Curriculum and delivery
Boys in Years 3 and 4 are taught in the junior Science laboratory where they are introduced to all of the key ideas underpinning their science learning throughout their education. These individual topics are delivered entwined with learning and developing key scientific investigation skills.
STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) lessons is currently provided for Year 4 boys alongside core science lessons. In these lessons, they develop their teamwork and problem-solving skills, evaluating their prototypes, and learning through trial and error. This is a key skill enabling boys to face real-life problems with more creativity, critical thinking and effectiveness.
Thereafter, the boys move into the senior Science laboratories. The highlight of their year in Chemistry is gaining their Bunsen burner licence. Notable learning in Physics is the topic of ‘Space and our Planet within the Solar System’. The Summer Term creates enormous excitement with the focus on lifecycles, including live chick hatching and caterpillar incubation.
Our Upper Middle Year Groups and Senior Years all follow the ISEB 13+ curriculum working on a topic basis within the three distinct sciences. We do this deliberately and report on the elements clearly, rewarding achievement in the separate sciences. We realise that boys have different strengths and affinities within these three sciences and we use this separation to help build confidence.
We love to take science out the classroom as well. Year 6 highlights include visiting Wellington College for a Chemistry Spectacular; Year 7 are supported in their learning of Forces with a visit to a local theme park, and Year 8 venture out to conduct an ecology study of the local area, including gathering data and considering human impacts.
Head of Science