The Science Faculty is one of the largest in the School and we are fortunate to have specialists for the three main disciplines. Almost all lessons are taught in seven superb laboratories, six of which are located in New School, opened in January 2011.
Our aim for each pupil is to:
- fire an abiding interest in science;
- nurture a passion for enquiry;
- develop the skills to carry out practical work safely;
- foster the intellectual capability to assimilate scientific concepts;
- appreciate the application of science to everyday life.
Pupils benefit from a busy enrichment programme of speakers, competitions, clubs and societies (see below) and visits and many leave IPS to pursue science-related careers. In S7 and S8 pupils are introduced to the main three disciplines in an integrated programme that emphasises the unifying themes and patterns of science. Experimental and investigative skills through correct and safe laboratory practice are also taught and pupils gain an appreciation of the scientific method.
Pupils joining IPS often have varied experience of science and, as such, are placed in mixed ability groups until their learning needs have become apparent through formative assessment. Pupils are grouped by ability thereafter.
Pupils begin the study of the three separate sciences in Senior 9, which leads to either Double Award examination at the end of PVI or Triple Award for significant numbers of pupils.
Competitions, clubs, visits and activities
Make! provides an opportunity for pupils to take items apart, put them back together, fix and design new products. This club enables its members to have hands on experience; for example, by allowing the inner workings of household devices to be explored and the physics behind how they work explained.
Greenhouse club provides an excellent opportunity for pupils to use the IPS Greenhouse, to grow, nurture and harvest flowers, vegetables and herbs. The pupils are guided through the horticulture process, from preparation, seeding, nourishment and tending to the species in the greenhouse.
The Science Society allows all PVI, LVI and UVI to engage in scientific debate, discussing the burning issues of the day, from bio-ethics to pharmaceutical design. Pupils develop critical analysis and evaluation skills, which help with all A Level learning. They have regular access to external speakers from top universities and research institutions, who give presentations about current research topics, with following discussion, question and answer sessions.
This club looks at some intriguing aspects of science not covered on the curriculum, from the manufacture and properties of slime, to the production and properties of ‘Greek Fire’. Why? allows all pupils to carry out exciting practical experiments, participate in demonstrations and experience 'hands on' science. Rockets, Flaming Hands, Giant Bubbles, Secret Writing and Burning Money have encouraged a healthy subscription; all activities are carried out under the watchful eyes of trained science teachers in excellent laboratory facilities.