Science

Science is an imaginative adventure of the mind seeking truth in a world of mystery.

Sir Cyril Herman Hinshelwood (1897-1967) English chemist

The mission of the Science department at The Downs Malvern is threefold:

  1. Ensuring children both enjoy and enthuse about the subject
  2. Providing children with the necessary tools to understand and explain the world around them
  3. Encouraging them to see the value of Science both in everyday life and for their future

The Science Department prides itself on offering high quality, relevant Science education. Our children learn through a wide variety of teaching and learning methods in their development towards scientifically literate individuals. These methods ensure continuity and progression in the education of the individual.

During their time at school, our children will extend, develop and adapt their knowledge, understanding, skills and attitudes. They will gain the ability to learn throughout life and adapt to new situations - an essential attribute in a world increasingly influenced by science and technology.

Our activities and curriculum frameworks are determined by a need to continually improve the quality of learning. This includes challenging and interesting learning activities that support development of skills, knowledge and understanding, and attitudes towards Science. We are blessed both with modern, high quality laboratories/resources and manageable and appropriate class sizes.

All of our children are provided with opportunities to:

  • Enquire, predict and hypothesise
  • Explore, observe, investigate and discover
  • Solve problems
  • Discriminate, judge and evaluate
  • Clarify their ideas through language activities such as discussion, rôle play and reporting
  • Initiate ideas and take ownership of Science learning where appropriate
  • Make progress and face challenge in their learning
  • Write and produce work for a variety of purposes and audiences
  • Explore and communicate ideas and feelings through a range of media
  • Take increasing responsibility for their own learning and contribute to deciding short-term goals
  • Reflect on and appraise their own work and progress
  • Work co-operatively in groups of different size and on a variety of tasks
  • Interact and learn from other people in the local and wider community
  • Take advantage of local resources
  • Experience a supportive learning environment
  • Learn in a pleasant, stimulating and well-resourced environment
  • Have access to and use appropriate ICT resources including data-logging

We would also point out that learning is a life-long process and takes place not only in school but also in the home, the community, leisure activities, and later in the workplace.

Science is taught as a discrete subject in all years of the Prep school. We have skilled and high-quality staff for all years and, wherever possible, learning takes place in the two modern laboratories. From Year 5, our children are taught by subject specialists. Furthermore, in Year 7, the subject is split into three separate disciplines: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, in preparation for Common Entrance.

The Downs Malvern has extensive grounds with a wide range of habitats, allowing for plenty of scope when it comes to fieldwork. Further learning opportunities outside the laboratory include visits to Batsford Arboretum, Westonbirt Arboretum, At-Bristol, The Cheltenham Science Festival and visits to the Senior school.

Each year we have our excellent Science Challenge to tie in with British Science Week and our very own annual Great Egg Launch.

Head of Science - Steve ThomasContact