For Junior School students at A.B. Paterson College, embarking upon the key learning area of science is a dynamic, collaborative and creative experience, allowing learners to explore and better understand their environment. Science is a unique subject due to the way it is taught and the skill set it develops in learners.
At each year level juncture, scientific understanding is cultivated through an inquiry-based model, designed to instil learners with a curiosity about the world through exploration and experimentation. Students are engaged actively in the learning process by developing investigations and critical thinking. The broad scope of the science curriculum incorporates the study of a variety of strands including biology, chemistry, physical and natural sciences. These are taught through engaging generative topics designed to capture interest for each age group. Content is delivered through a range of pedagogical approaches, including explicit teaching and the use of concrete materials. Technologies are embedded in lessons to scaffold learners of all levels.
The skills developed through the study of science are highly relevant and correlate with crucial 21st century learning outcomes. Students develop the ability to use prior knowledge to make relevant predictions. They are taught to analyse empirical data and draw logical conclusions. In addition, students learn to use scientific language to meaningfully communicate their ideas in a sophisticated manner. They develop the ability to represent data in a variety of formats including graphs, tables, keys, diagrams and digital media. Once consolidated, scientific understanding is assessed across three areas in the Junior School; a knowledge and understanding dimension, an inquiry and skills dimension, and a student’s ability to communicate through a variety of forms.
One of the key factors making science an exciting area of study is the development of the ability to think ethically about the application of science in the real world, and reflect upon the positive and negative impacts of science on society. This allows learners to develop awareness of scientific issues now and into the future.
As a result of studying science in the Junior School at A.B. Paterson College, students enter senior classrooms with an appreciation of the world and an enthusiasm for future learning.