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Science

Purpose of study

A 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, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Aims

Through our Science teaching at The International School of Bearn we aim to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future

Scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding

At The International School of Bearn we believe that the pupils should develop a secure understanding of each key block of knowledge and concepts in order to progress to the next stage. Pupils should be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary. They should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data.

The nature, processes and methods of science

 ‘Working Scientifically’ is embedded within the content of biology, chemistry and physics, focusing on the key features of scientific enquiry, so that pupils learn to use a variety of approaches to answer relevant scientific questions. These types of scientific enquiry should include: observing over time; pattern seeking; identifying, classifying and grouping; comparative and fair testing (controlled investigations); and researching using secondary sources. Pupils should seek answers to questions through collecting, analysing and presenting data. ‘Working Scientifically’ is developed further at key stages 3 and 4, once pupils have built up sufficient understanding of science to engage meaningfully in more sophisticated discussion of experimental design and control.

Spoken language

At The International School of Bearn the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development stretches across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are key factors in developing their scientific vocabulary and articulating scientific concepts clearly and precisely. We believe the pupils must be assisted in making their thinking clear, both to themselves and others, and that we should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions.