Page 41 - Independent Schools Magazine
P. 41

n science
agement through science
have had to sacri ce the level
of practical work to ensure that pupils can answer questions.
The A-Level practical element
of the exam hopefully means that there is a shift back towards hands on work – which is where the natural engagement comes into play. Some teachers are
also concerned about the health and safety element, although CLEAPSS are always available to advise. Ideas such as bringing in outside speakers, arranging trips that put science into context
are also great for boosting engagement, as are themed curriculum days and using the school grounds to experience the science of nature.
The fact is, young children are naturally creative but over time there is a danger that they will lose this trait. This is due to a number of reasons, including
the need to please a teacher
and give the ‘right’ answer, even when the teacher has opened
the work to allow for creativity. There is also an element of self- consciousness as they get older and less willingness to stand out from others. If we can encourage
younger children not to lose their creativity and resilience, as adults they will be more willing to take chances and have a go. We need older pupils and young adults who are not disheartened when things do not go to plan because in science it is when things
are unexpected that the best learning happens and potentially new discoveries are made.
Schools can innovate more by using IT to allow the pupils to communicate their  ndings.
Also linking with professional agencies to bring science to life in the classroom is another great way of building on innovation in the classroom. Research projects that will support teachers using an enquiry-based model will
also help to increase interest and motivation of pupils.
Science should be adaptable to changes in society and embrace new ideas. Although pupils need to learn the basics and gain a general understanding, they need exposure to new ideas. They need to see science as an evolving subject, where
viewpoints will change with new discoveries – think about Pluto being downgraded to a dwarf planet in 2006. The curriculum should be based around topics that children can relate to.
Science in later years
By the time pupils take their GCSEs, many of them will view science as a highly academic option, with many not feeling able to take the pressure of such subjects. There are many superb degrees available, however to succeed in a  eld students will need to gain Masters degrees and PhDs. This adds on to the costs that students face. Many are unwilling to increase their debt and choose paths that will enable them to earn money sooner. Scientists are also not taken seriously by governments and the people they advise. This can discredit the profession and makes more mature students less likely to embrace it. There are funding cuts to research science projects too which makes the prospect of future job safety less secure. Add to that lower paid professions –requirement for high grades and degrees for little
 nancial rewards and it isn’t rocket science to work out why sadly the subject is dropped by my students later in life.
As teachers and adults we need to act as role models to our children – STEM ambassadors would need to come into schools and discuss their  eld and having scientist parents come into share lessons would also make science more attainable to children.
Helping pupils to realise that
just because you follow a science route does not mean you will have to follow a traditional science path for the rest of your life is important. For instance, design  elds and jobs such as architects will need physics when they look at stresses and strains of buildings and products;
food nutritionists will need to understand how the physiology of the body works so they can advise. Science means so many things to so many people and
we should be encouraging this message and embracing a love
of science now and in future years, but it has to start from
the outset of our educational journey.
of Science, commented: “The
day really engaged the boys, with many displaying new skills and
an enthusiasm for science. I am sure this will act as a catalyst for many boys to refresh their view of science as seen in context and in a ‘real life’ situation they can relate to the topics we cover in the lab.”
Operating Theatre Live
Kingswood House School, Surrey, pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 took part in “Operating Theatre Live”, a travelling school-based medical programme. Langlands Hall was converted into an operating theatre, allowing students to experience anatomy up close, in a clinical setting.
An Introduction to Medicine session outlined the process of selecting
and applying for higher education courses in health, bioscience and medicine. Pupils were presented with the statistical facts surrounding the importance of GCSE and A level results as well as given an idea of the things they need to be doing over the next few years that will enhance an application to health/medicine in the future.
During ‘Patient care’ pupils were given a ‘patient’ and a set of notes and discussed the importance of record keeping for accountability and getting to grips with the problem solving required when interpreting patient notes.
The Gastrointestinal tract and live dissection began in the abdominal cavity. Pupils used their booklets to identify the different parts of the GI tract and match structure to function.
The Cardiovascular system allowed pupils to gain an understanding of the structure and function of the human heart.
In the  nal session of the day pupils developed their understanding of the nervous
system. Pupils took part in a head dissection, removing the brain from the cranial cavity to observe the left and right hemisphere; pupils observed the brain stem and the top of the spinal cord before removing the eyeball from the orbit to observe the optic nerve. Mrs Sue Callaghan, Head Independent Schools Magazine 41

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