Science has seen a very active few weeks. In Year 7 the focus has been on reproduction, both in mammals (with humans as a study species) and in flowering plants. We work very closely with our colleagues in PSHE to cover some very sensitive issues involving puberty and sexual relationships. We moved on to nutrition and digestion, which includes the content of a healthy human diet and its constituent chemicals; the consequences of imbalances in the diet, including deficiency diseases, obesity and starvation and food as a raw material for growth and repair, and as a fuel for cellular respiration.
Year 8 have been completing one of the most difficult parts of the syllabus, namely forces and motion, which includes motion in a circle, pressure and density. This is a highly mathematical section, where skills learned in maths are put to good use. Following this we have moved on to study relationships in an ecosystem, to include food chains and webs, interdependence, the importance of conservation and resource management and the techniques for estimating the size of populations and the effect on populations of predation and competition. For this section of the syllabus we are very lucky to have such a large resource to study in the form of the grounds of the school, where there are to be found a variety of habitats each with its own unique ecosystem and community of different species. Pupils learn the techniques of safely capturing (and releasing) invertebrates for close study in the laboratory and hone the previously learned skills of using the microscopes to inspect the invertebrates closely.
Year 6 have just completed a study of light, including the formation of shadows, the pinhole camera, reflection (both specular and diffuse), refraction and a phase boundary and dispersion into a spectrum. We are moving on to a section on chemical change, for which the pupils have to be able to use a Bunsen Burner safely and confidently, and so I was delighted when every member of Year 6 passed their test for their Bunsen Burner licence.
For more information on the way we lay our scientific foundations please see the Junior updates by clicking here