Science means knowledge. In reality this means that it is about observing the world that we live in, questioning the parts that you don’t understand and then searching to find the answer. At St Brigid’s students of all ages are provided with a variety of opportunities to learn about science and therefore understand the world in which they live.
At St Brigid’s we are privileged to have five fully equipped scientific laboratories for the students to work in. Each laboratory is set up to enable both practical and theoretical classes, with safety always the highest priority. Students from Year 6 up are timetabled into the laboratories for their classes. Students in the Junior School also visit the laboratories for special occasions such as Science Week as well as some individual lessons.
Technology is becoming increasingly important in everyday lives, and science is no exception. Each laboratory has a data projector and is set up to be utilised with tablets and interactive hardware and software available to the staff. Students also have access to their own iPads and laptops connected to the network via wireless connections, and when appropriate there is a bank of laptops with specific programs set up for science classes. This enables students to access online resources, interactive programs and use data probes in experiments as well as general computer programs.
Junior School students are involved in the PYP, where teachers develop Units of Inquiry that allow the students to approach science concepts from a particular context. This provides students with a relevant and interesting approach to science, while also allowing students a very hands on, constructivist approach to science which is supported by trialling and research. Literacy also plays an important role in these units with students writing journals, reports, recording their observations and communicating their understanding. In this way, students get to explore science concepts in much greater detail.
Students in the Middle School and Year 10 are part of the MYP science programme, which has a very holistic approach to learning. Through the concepts of change, energy and structures, patterns and systems students come to understand how scientists investigate and see how the knowledge is applied in the real world. With a large inquiry focus, students enjoy a balance of practical and theoretical learning opportunities. The four objectives of the programme are: Knowing and Understanding, Inquiring and Designing, Processing and Evaluating and Reflecting on the Impacts of Science. These are all assessed with equal weighting which promotes a well-rounded learner.
Once students enter Year 11 and 12 they are able to specialise in Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Physics and/or Psychology. They are provided with a variety of learning opportunities to cater to all learning styles and assist students in broadening their range of skills, knowledge and understanding. These include practicals, research tasks, investigations, modelling as well as theory lessons. Assessments types range from tests, exams, assignments, investigations and other specific tasks. Field trips or excursions supplement class teaching and enable students to experience relevant aspects of the content. Teachers work intensively with the students to assist them with developing a good understanding of the concepts covered and assessment expectations so that each student has the opportunity to reach their potential.