What is Science?
Science is the study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. Science is continually refining and expanding our knowledge of the universe, and as it does, it leads to new questions for future investigation. Science will never be ‘finished’.
Why do we teach Science at HAWI?
All students should gain a level of scientific competency allowing them to succeed in all areas of their life. Science equips students with the ability to describe and explain phenomena they notice in the world around them as well as teaching a range of skills such as scientific enquiry, literacy, numeracy and evaluation. Through Science students learn to understand that every effect has one or more cause and develop logic reasoning to make informed rational decisions about everyday Science contexts. For example, evaluating side effects versus benefits of vaccines or evaluating the development of new technologies in terms of resource availability, carbon footprint, energy inputs and cost analysis. Through scientific enquiry students are given a framework to question the world around them. We teach them how to design valid experiments to find answers to their questions while also developing creative problem-solving skills.
How do we teach Science at HAWI?
We have created a challenging curriculum that offers our pupils the opportunity to gain a breadth and depth of scientific knowledge. The curriculum builds upon the content taught at KS2 and prepares students for success at KS4, KS5 and beyond. The curriculum is mapped across the years in a spiral design. Topics are interleaved and get progressively harder each year. In chemistry for example, students learn about elements in year 7, types of reaction in year 8, bonding, structure and properties of matter in year 9, quantitative chemistry in year 10 and rate and extent of chemical change in year 11. Working scientifically skills are taught across all topics and it is expected that lessons have a practical element when possible. Across the key stages our curriculum is taught using ‘Big Questions’ which students look to answer as their powerful scientific knowledge develops through each lesson and unit.
How do we make Science memorable at HAWI?
Alongside science lessons, the curriculum at HAWI is comprised of many memorable moments which bring the subject to life. These include visits to the Science Museum, The Royal Observatory and the Natural History Museum. These excursions provide opportunities for students to explore a topic beyond the curriculum and engage with real life applications of the concepts studied in class. Alongside these excursions, students have the opportunity to meet science graduates and STEM ambassadors who have made a career from the subject for example in chemical engineering, quantum mechanics, or medicine. We have developed links with King’s College Wimbledon and Wimbledon High School who offer science workshops delivered by their GCSE and A-level students. These workshops offer the opportunity for our students to see academic role models and boost engagement in science. There is also optional STEM enrichment offered for year 7 and 8 students. STEM puts students’ innovation to the test by combining knowledge from science, technology, engineering and maths to design and carry out experiments or build and test products to solve problems.