Science

Our high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world's future prosperity. All the boys will be taught the essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.

Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, boys are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and to develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

They are encouraged to develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries.

Developing understanding

While it is important that the boys make progress, it is also vitally important that they develop a secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Insecure, superficial understanding will not allow genuine progression to take place. We know that boys may struggle at key points of transition (such as between primary and secondary school), build up serious misconceptions, or have significant difficulties in understanding higher-order content; and we make allowances for that in our science curriculum.

Boys will soon be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in a common scientific language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary, and should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including the collection, presentation and analysis of data.

The social and economic implications of science are important but, generally, they are taught most appropriately within the wider school curriculum. Our head of science, Mr Carothers, uses different contexts to maximise the boys' enjoyment of the study of science. Exciting experiments with loud bangs and colourful flames enthral the boys, and they certainly have their place as part of that process!

Working scientifically

'Working scientifically' focuses on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that boys learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. Boys seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data, so these types of scientific enquiry include:

  • observing over time
  • pattern seeking
  • identifying, classifying and grouping
  • comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations)
  • researching using secondary sources

The quality and variety of specialist language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. They are assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and to others.