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9

D R A G O N S T O D AY S P R I N G 2 0 1 7

D R A G O N P R O F I L E

P r o f i l e

Jack Phillips

Having completed your first term at the

Dragon as Head of Science, how have

you settled into this new role?

The first term has been fun but a full-on

experience. Coming into any large and

exciting school takes getting used to, with

hundreds of names, a new routine and a

new structure to learn. The supportive

staff have made it manageable and highly

enjoyable too. While I’m sure I have

plenty more to learn, I now know what

I’m aiming to achieve and what the next

steps are.

What are your plans for the future and

how do you see the Dragon Science

Department flourishing?

I inherited a department in very good

health. We have a team of inspiring

teachers, two expert technicians and

superb facilities that are second to

none in the prep school world. We are

not standing still, however, and have a

number of plans to improve what we

offer. We have been working on using

Mr Bolton’s expertise to ensure our

assessments are as effective as possible and

increasing opportunities to learn outside

the classroom – an example is looking at

how the chemical levels are balanced in

the pool. We have a new Space Day lined

up for D Block (Year 5) and are beginning

to plan summer activities to enrich our

curriculum for older children.

How do you make Science lessons fun,

and engage your entire class?

Science is a constantly evolving subject,

and studying the make-up of everything in

our world has a lot in its favour. We have

three priorities for our teaching. The first

is to make the subject as fun, engaging

and practical as possible. Second is to

encourage children to be inquisitive

and to investigate in a scientific manner.

Third is to ensure we prepare children

for their future schools. The priorities are

deliberately in this order, as we feel that

without the first and second, the third is

impossible.

In lessons we ensure that children have

the opportunity to share their thoughts,

ask questions and, crucially, make and

learn from their mistakes, as this leads to

some of our most interesting discussions.

We use a range of approaches and

resources to enrich our teaching. I was

delighted to see quite how inspired

my A and B Block sets were by David

Attenborough’s

Planet Earth II

which

became a key reference point for some

of our discussions about evolution,

adaptation and plant life. Children who

have an advanced understanding of a

topic can also try their hand at the role of

the teacher.

How has the teaching of Science

developed from when you were a child?

Have modern teaching techniques made

the subject more appealing?

Science is a subject that is increasingly

talked about at home and in the

news. We are living in the middle of

a communications revolution and

technology is advancing rapidly. It’s

fantastic to see more girls choosing to

study Science but there is still some way

to go. There is more of a cross-curricular

understanding, particularly under the

Science, Technology, Engineering and

Maths (STEM) umbrella and that is

something I am keen to develop further

at the Dragon

.

H e a d o f S c i e n c e

13.00: Lesson 4 – Next stop Maths. Louis

concentrates on taking his test.

15.00: Activities/Games – On Tuesdays and

Thursdays, all C Block (Year 6) children take part

in Activities. Louis is playing in the Wind Band. He

has been playing for the last two years.

14:00: Lesson 5 – Louis puts on his football boots

and joins the Colts A team.

16:15pm (Clubs): We are nearing the end of the

day, as we glide up river for our final adventure

- Sculling.

At the end of a busy day, Louis catches up with his

friends in his boarding house.