Conversations about Science routinely go beyond the examination syllabus.
A unique feature of our Science curriculum is that our Infants and Juniors go on a Nature Walk each week or once per fortnight. Its purpose is to encourage detailed observation, identification and appreciation of ‘ordinary’ natural phenomena such as local wildlife, flowers, plants and trees. We are privileged to have easy access to the Cambridge University Botanical Gardens and to fen land near the school. When they return from their walk they make sure they can identify what they found (if it was appropriate to bring it back) and then paint it using water colours in their Nature Notebook. The patient attention involved in this exercise makes a strong impression. Over the months, pupils develop a Nature Notebook they can be proud of, and an impressive knowledge base.
In classroom Science, the emphasis is upon practical observations and hands-on experiments. Food-based activities provide good learning opportunities for Infants, such as making bread, dissolving jelly, melting chocolate or drying apple rings. A unique feature of our Science curriculum is the use of narrative. Infants read stories about scientific discoveries made by Albert Einstein, John James Audobon and Edward Jenner, for example, to inspire them to explore further.
In the Junior Schools, with the exception of Year 6, Science lessons are delivered by the class teacher. Juniors explore key topics in greater depth, conducting classroom based experiments. They cover topics such as earth science, human and plant biology, states of matter, space and forces. So You Really Want to Learn Science Book 1 is used in Years 4, 5 and 6. In Year 6 pupils are taught by a specialist teacher from our Senior School using our the lab facilities in our Senior School.
Narrative also features for Juniors. They read biographies of inspiring scientists or engineers every year, such as Archimedes, Galileo, the Wright brothers, or Jane Goodall. Well written descriptions of animals in the English countryside are also used to support Nature Walks.
In the Senior School a typical science lesson will include either a class practical or a teacher demonstration. We have an attractive and well-equipped laboratory, with space for teaching and for practicals. Science is taught separately by specialists as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Pupils use So You Really Want to Learn Science Book 2 in Years 7 and 8.
In Years 9 to 11 all pupils must take at least two separate sciences to IGCSE, one of which must be Chemistry, with the majority continuing with all three. Textbooks are issued in each science and students are expected to read regularly between lessons. Year 10 students also read a novel, a biography or a history of science title to further their understanding and develop their capacity to read non-fiction. Each science class at Heritage is a small scientific community which enjoys conversations about Science that routinely go beyond the examination syllabus.
We use the separate Edexcel International GCSEs for each of the three sciences.