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Enhancing science learning at the Junior School

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As a Junior School, we believe passionately that the fundamentals of primary science - curiosity and discovery, can be fostered without a fully-equipped science lab or expensive resources. Active and inspiring learning takes place everywhere in our School, be it testing the viscosity of ketchup in the classroom, to exploring invertebrates in the garden. However, the teaching of some abstract topics have really benefited from a live, practical setting.

Therefore, we are really fortunate to have strong links with the Senior School science department to enhance the girls’ learning. Over the past term, one of our highlights has been exploring how to bring some of these trickier concepts to life with the help of Mr Frohlich, Head of Physics.

Already, 38 of our Year 5s took the opportunity for a dawn moon-viewing at the Senior School observatory (complete with bacon rolls for breakfast!) to bring their learning about our solar system to life. For the most keen amongst Year 5, there was also the opportunity for a lunchtime enrichment session where the girls had great fun deepening their classroom understanding of 'States of Matter', exploring the science behind slime, lava lamps and the formation of crystals.

Year 4 recently had the opportunity to visit the science department in the Senior School to help them visualise the physics behind how sounds are produced. The girls learnt about what happens to sound in a vacuum, how to measure the speed of sound and how sound travels through gases, liquids and solids. The girls’ favourite demonstration was with the Portland Rubens' Tube, which helped them to visualize the concept of standing waves. Sound from an electric piano was played by one of the girls through the metal tube and this created patterns in the flames!

Science lead for the Junior School Mr. Hayward says, "From borrowing equipment to facilitate discovery in our regular lessons, to working together to create inspiring WOW activities for our keenest young scientists, the links we share with the Senior science team are really important for taking science at the Junior School to the next level!"

Opportunities like these create a strong foundation in developing a curiosity and excitement for science and we celebrate examples of practical and active learning as we know how much girls remember these lessons and take that enthusiasm forward as they move up to the Senior School, where we are fortunate to already have such strong links.

Date Posted: 14 December, 2023

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