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Prep Science

Science at St Michael’s is exciting and thriving. The children quickly rise to the challenge of being real scientists and rapidly learn how to work safely in the laboratories. Your child will regularly carry out investigations and develop skills in the safe handling of apparatus and living organisms (mini beasts!); they will learn how to design experiments, carry out investigations, process and analyse data, draw conclusions and evaluate their methods. Our well-equipped and purpose-built laboratories are child-friendly and give every child an opportunity to be a proper scientist. Throughout the year, we make full use of the wide range of habitats available to us in our beautiful grounds and we have a new school pond for pond dipping and studying the underwater world.

Extra-curricular opportunities in science have included: CREST award; Kitchen Science Club; Mission to Mars; Science Week; Salters’ Festival of Chemistry; Science Quiz Club; out of school visits – including Lullingstone World Garden; talks and practical sessions led by visiting scientists and teachers from independent secondary schools and extension classes for potential science scholars.

Science at St Michael’s starts in the Pre-Prep School with real experiments: pupils hypothesise, plan their investigations, carry out experiments, collect their results, analyse them and come to conclusions. The beautiful grounds are used to great effect with studies of plant growth and the natural environment.

Engagement with practical science continues into Year 3 with our youngest Prep School children enthusiastically carrying out experiments in their classrooms. From Year 4, pupils are taught in the laboratories by specialist teachers: they learn how to work safely in the exciting environment of real laboratories and do hands-on investigations.

Pupils follow the National Curriculum programme of study through to Year 6, with extension activities to stretch our most able. Our fully equipped laboratories inspire and encourage questioning minds and facilitate a range of learning styles. There are abundant opportunities for hands on science and specialist teachers encourage and facilitate achievement at the highest level. Children learn to design their own investigations to answer questions about the world around them, they carry out their experiments, collect real data, analyse it and draw conclusions based on their own evidence. The most able pupils are able to evaluate their experimental methods and suggest improvements.

In Years 7 and 8 pupils are taught Common Entrance science by specialist teachers, with separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons. Pupils have practical experience of senior school science and develop a range of skills that equip them to think scientifically about the world around them and the problems to be solved by scientists. The children have abundant opportunities to explore science using a range of methods. Past pupils tell us that the skills they learn at St Michael’s stay with them to GCSE and beyond!

Our young scientists can experience a broad range of carefully chosen and often intellectually demanding extra-curricular activities. These involve whole year groups: Science Week, lectures and visits, as well as carefully selected challenges for our most able scientists: CREST award, Quiz Club and Salters’ Festival of Chemistry. Science events are selected to facilitate a broader understanding of science beyond the classroom and to stimulate what can become life-long interests.