We recently appeared in the Good Schools Guide for our outstanding Science provision and really bringing the subject to life.
‘We only do practical work if we think it contributes to the learning,’ is not a phrase you’d expect to hear from a school that promises to bring STEM to life. ‘We are proud of our motto ‘unashamedly academic’ and feel that it is ‘explanation’ that is the key to teaching good science,’ says John Park, Director of Science.
But the definition of ‘explanation’ at this comprehensive school is not just someone talking. ‘It involves modelling, demonstration and debate,’ says Park. ‘It involves enrichment opportunities, for example astronauts Michael Foley and Ron Garren have visited the school to share their experiences with the excited students and lectures range from ‘Hack Your House’ (using technology to make improvements in your home) to DNA.’
There’s a massive push on extra-curricular here, with a whopping 18 science clubs, as well as house competitions which result in activities such as 30 students going to watch the eclipse. Students even put on flash and bang shows for younger students in primary schools. ‘We have an annual science fair and our Science and Maths Spectacular involves bite-size presentations on everything from stem cell research to atmospheric chemistry. In the evening, there are science buskers dotted around the hall doing experiments, with a flash bang chemistry session to finish off.’
All the science weeks are celebrated in a big way too. ‘In biology week, for example, we had something on every day, including fungus model making, dissection circus, science spelling bee, DNA modelling, making mucus and biology poetry competition.’
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