Scientific developments are moving ahead very quickly. We are all born with the ability to think freely, creatively and inquisitively and poor teaching can quash these skills. Damaging the ability to think scientifically will, for our children’s generation, be like removing one of their senses.
Good science teaching provides children with a very important tool. If science is dictated as ‘facts to learn’ and not presented as ‘current theories to question and use in deeper exploration’, its relevance to 21st century life will be not be recognised by children. Science is neither age nor language dependent. Every day, the Dragon Science team aim to make lessons fun and stimulating, to ensure understanding rather than rote learning, to enable children to leave prep school with confidence in science, an enthusiasm for learning and lots of questions to ask. As for strong exam results? Quite simply, these are a byproduct of our philosophy.
The curriculum begins as soon as children join Dragon Pre-Prep and takes a ‘spiral’ form over the years leading to Common Entrance. Concepts are, therefore, introduced and revisited as children develop, adding greater layers of conceptual difficulty and factual knowledge. A practical approach is taken to all learning - the pupils are the scientists and learn that science is not a final qualification, but a way of thinking and a gathering and creation of thoughts and theories. Practical experimental work is at the heart of this gathering process.
Pupils start to appreciate Chemistry, Biology and Physics as separate disciplines from Year 4 and ‘How Science Works’ is embedded in all three so that pupils gain confidence in data collection and analysis. The Common Entrance syllabus starts at the beginning of Year 6 and pupils are placed in sets at the start of Year 7.
Pupils are taught in one of six purpose-built laboratories, equipped to a level beyond that necessary for GCSE teaching.