St. George’s seems built for budding scientists in training to make the scientific discoveries of the future! From season spotting to pond dipping, from learning about biodiversity in our orchard to building bug hotels in the playground and of course observing the weather and the universe, we use our grounds in a number of scientific ways, wherever the opportunity presents itself .
Our early years pupils focus their science learning on ‘understanding the world around me’- using more simplistic terms such as ‘Play’, ‘Observe’ and ‘Ask’. Children’s learning is enhanced with the use of a story which we bring to life to enable pupils to play and interact, seeing for themselves what happens and asking questions. In early years, science is all about finding out, investigating and learning how to ask questions through play.
Most science learning in Lower Prep is done outside where possible, whether its woodland walks looking at biodiversity or inviting specialists from local organisations into the School to give science-based talks to the children. The use of ‘floor books’ in Lower Prep allow learning in science to be focused on discoveries rather than the act of writing itself. Teachers use photographs and help to record the children’s thoughts and ideas to show evidence of their learning and amplify the pupil voice. Children are encouraged to fill in an ‘I Wonder’ section of their books, questioning how things work and encouraging scientific thought and ownership of their future learning as well.
Children learn to ask questions and understand that in science it is ok to change your mind supported by our use of The Welcome Trust’s Explorify platform. Activities on the platform encourage questioning and development of their use of scientific evidence, allowing children to apply their learning to the real-world. From Form I, children study a diverse range of scientists linked to their learning, inspiring possible future careers (if you see it, you can be it). Pupils share their floor books and learning with their families during a ‘Family Science Sharing Morning’ which is an important part of the School/home learning partnership.
Middle and Upper Prep
From Form III, science continues to encourage investigation, questioning and exploration. Now, children are beginning to write down their own ideas and formulate their own questions, predictions and conclusions. They are asking more advanced questions and continuing more advanced activities through the Explorify platform.
From Form IV, as well as continuing to learn in the environment and School grounds, children also have their science lessons in our Science Lab with a specialist science teacher. We continue to encourage the application of science to the real-world and future careers. Pupils have individual science books and focus on developing their ‘working scientifically’ skills further and their understanding of different enquiry types. The children enter exciting engineering competitions where they are challenged to invent the discoveries of the future and they also apply the UN's Sustainable Development Goals to their learning. The children are empowered to show the school value of ‘Responsibility’ by actioning community projects to help combat climate change.