Students providing the simplest explanations to the most complex of questions.
The Pembroke Science Department is passionate about delivering an engaging, stimulating and varied curriculum that allows our students to provide the simplest explanations to the most complex of questions. We seek to provide the fundamental knowledge of the particles that make up the physical world and how they interact. Students are then encouraged to use this knowledge to explain the biological, chemical and physical interactions that we observe. At Pembroke we intend to engage the curiosity of our students at all levels, we want them to ask questions, to dive deeper into the work, to keep asking “what makes that happen?” We want our students not just to describe the world around them, but to explain the world around them. We set great store by the inspiration given to us from the world of music, television and film. As Stephen Hawking once said "Science is not only a disciple of reason but also one of romance and passion." A student should be able to see the underlying truth in the creative world so that they can be inspired to improve the real world. In exploring our world a Pembroke student should be able to put their academic learning into a social and cultural context that can therefore develop their appreciation of the moral aspects to scientific advances.
Although people talk about the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics we view these three disciplines as interconnected perspectives with which we explain our world. The structures of a cell are merely atoms and molecules interacting according to the principles of kinetic theory. As such we interleave our interdisciplinary knowledge so that each student can describe the fundamental interactions of a situation. This deeper understanding leads to higher order cognition and greater academic achievement, as well as a true passion to find out more.
We have a clear curriculum map which demonstrates a logical progression of first knowledge and then skills. In Year 7 and 8 students study 6 thematic modules per year. Each one rooted in a cultural stimulus that explores key knowledge of structure and interaction. Units of work are planned collaboratively to ensure that the very best of what is thought, said and done within a unit is delivered. In Year 7 they start with a unit entitled “The Quantum Realm” which takes its cultural inspiration from the Marvel character of Ant-Man to look at the fundamental particles of atoms and how they interact to form elements, isotopes and ions. This innovative approach allows students to see scientific explanation as an exciting and creative process. It also allows students revisit other curriculum areas such as literature, mathematics and computing. No matter what the curriculum crossover, each unit always returns to fundamental particles or processes to reinforce student confidence in their own scientific ability. Over time students are given the tools with which to explain how things are made or how they will behave, so that in year 9, 10 and 11 they can utilise this knowledge and high level cognition skills to access the externally assessed curriculum.
Alongside developing scientific knowledge and understanding students will develop the skills of scientific investigation. Out of class opportunities such as fieldwork, lectures and educational visits will be provided to as many students as possible, and thematic homework booklets have been developed to highlight the Pembroke values of courage, curiosity, generosity, passion and wisdom. In each theme there is an out of class activity for every value, to allow students to demonstrate their Pembroke Pride in a scientific context. As well as formative assessing of student knowledge and understanding the data from summative assessment will be used to regularly review the impact of the curriculum so that it can be truly responsive to the needs of every learner at Pembroke.
The science team is passionate that by designing and implementing a curriculum experience rooted in exploration and enjoyment that will inspire students to leave Pembroke, and whether they choose take up careers within the STEM arena or not, with an understanding of how the world works so that they can become true citizens of it.