In Lower School (Years 3-5) science is taught by the children’s class teachers and there is a strong emphasis on practical work and developing the skills of enquiry and investigation. The themes covered across all year groups at this stage are: physical processes, materials and their properties, and life processes and living things. Workshops and field trips play an important part in Lower School science. The children attend practical workshops and field trips include the Living Land Show at the County Showground at Detling and a day at the Science Museum.
There is a similar approach to learning in Year 6 but on moving to Year 7 pupils learn their Science in the Senior School Science Department, where they are taught by subject specialists in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The lessons are “hands-on” and it anticipated that pupils will develop their scientific curiosity through extensive practical work, problem solving activities and discussions about the science encountered in the classroom as well as in the wider world. Pupils are encouraged to assess critically “how we know” rather than “what we know”.
Year 7 pupils enjoy a field trip to Wildwood, a local wildlife park, discussing adaptations and carrying out a comparison of the invertebrate communities of two different areas of woodland. At the end of the academic year pupils work on project-based activities, such as forensic science, with the chance to win prizes for their efforts. These activities are designed to encourage pupils to work in groups and to develop skills such as independent learning and the effective presentation of scientific information.