The Science Department aims to provide an interesting and varied programme in which a child’s natural curiosity is fostered and encouraged so that the learning process is an enjoyable part of life. Our teaching is very much hands on and learning is practically based.
In the three youngest years we follow the 11+CE Syllabus and this acts as a foundation, which is then built upon as the pupils move into the fourth year at Maidwell and begin work on the 13+CE syllabus. The three subject areas of Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught separately, but in each year group the children will have the same Science teacher in the delivery of each subject area. With such a strong and experienced team of Science teachers we feel this is a benefit to the children as it allows for stability and continuity whilst encouraging them to think laterally and apply skills developed in one subject area to another. We have small class sizes, which means pupils have little need to share equipment and in such a practical subject this is a huge benefit. We are also able to prepare children in the top sets for scholarship examinations and give them greater time and attention.
There are two laboratories consisting of the New Lab and the Old Lab. The Old Lab is large and well equipped with all that is required to deliver Biology, Chemistry and Physics to a level beyond 13+. In both labs, a wireless projector links with an Apple TV, enabling projection from any Apple device including the children's iPads, and allows great variety in the delivery of learning opportunities. We also have a vast range of excellent DVDs to enhance the delivery of many topics. The New Lab is a smaller, recently refurbished space which provides excellent provision for Biology, Physics and 11+ in particular. In the grounds of Maidwell we have a wealth of resources. During the year, pupils undertake pond dipping, use the grounds to do surveys and investigate food chains and webs, as well using the space to carry out experiments to ascertain pupil speed and that of sound.
There are many ‘fun’ experiments that can quite easily be justified in terms of investigating combustion, electricity or forces, so igniting ethanol in 18 litre bottles, making rockets using water or ethanol, ‘exploding’ Pringles cans, making ‘elephant toothpaste’, and making batteries with a variety of fruits also feature in our lessons or activities programme. Photosynthesis can also be brought to life with the making of some very imaginative ‘grass heads’! Each Spring, we investigate new life by studying either butterflies or chicken eggs hatching.