The Pre-Prep and Years 3 - 6 follow the QCA Scheme of Work. Also, during Year 6 the Normal Band finish the CE 11+ syllabus. The Year 6 Accelerated Band follow the Year 7 Normal Band scheme and start the CE 13+ syllabus. 7 Accelerated follow the 8 Normal band scheme. The reason the A band work a year ahead of their age group is so that in their final year 8A can concentrate solely on scholarship work.
From year 6 upwards Science is taught separately as Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Children study the Common Entrance course (National Curriculum stages 2 & 3) which combines topics of natural and physical sciences.
All pupils from year 3 upwards have at least one double period a week in a laboratory.
The department aims to make Science fun and achieves this by doing a wide variety of practical work. Through this method we aim to achieve a love for Science and at the same time develop the logical reasoning skills that are essential in all areas of work. Children are encouraged to see the relevance of Science in their everyday lives.
Holmewood has three well equipped laboratories, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Each laboratory has an interactive whiteboard and a computer terminal and we have regular access to the computer rooms. All three Science labs have separate lecture and practical areas.
Experimental and Investigative Science
Use of the scientific method (forming and testing a hypothesis, comparing, analysing, estimating and evaluating) is continuous and developed through individual and group experimentation in all three subject areas. This is built in throughout the syllabus, and children will learn how to hypothesise, and design fair tests to investigate their ideas. This is a vital part of developing the pupils intellectual skills. These skills are developed as an integral part of all topics. The investigations also help to develop pupils mathematical skills through the graph work and analysis of their results. The write up develops their skills of communication and presentation.
THE USE OF ICT IN SCIENCE
The Science department is committed to developing the ICT skills of all pupils. A large number of software applications and simulations are used in the teaching. Pupils are taught how to use Excel for graphs and databases are used in classification activities. Data-logging is used to enhance learning so pupils can see results in "real time". They also made aware of the advantages of technology in obtaining more accurate results for investigations e.g. using a sound meter to record the volume when testing sound insulation materials. Pupils are also encouraged to use a number of different revision packages which support and enhance learning. The internet is used for specific research topics to help pupils to improve their search skills, but more importantly to learn to scan for relevant material quickly and efficiently and to become discerning users of the internet.
"Pupils have a feeling amongst them that anyone can achieve at the highest level once they know what they are best at."
ISI Inspection Report 2017