How Science lets pupils understand and shape their own future
17 December 2018
Science is a vital subject for pupils to engage with, as our world is changing at an increasingly rapid rate, driven by technological innovation. Many job roles exist today which did not exist just decades ago. Similarly, there are plenty of jobs that exist today yet will likely disappear entirely within a few short years. In both cases, the knowledge and skills that Huili pupils learn in science lessons will allow them to successfully shape and future-proof their professional prospects, allowing them to excel in many of the most in-demand fields of the world of tomorrow.
At Huili School Shanghai, we have high expectations for all of our pupils and we aim to deliver science education in a manner that is highly effective for each of them as individuals. Even though there is no universally accepted ‘best way’ to teach science to all children, some general principles apply:
Instil scientific ways of thinking in all pupils.
Actively involve pupils in their own learning.
Help pupils to develop a conceptual framework as they hone their problem solving skills.
Help pupils experience science in varied, interesting, and enjoyable ways.
Assess pupil understanding at frequent intervals throughout the learning process.
Pupils across the school have been very enthusiastic as they begin their science learning. Many have enjoyed the opportunity for hands-on science work and the practical activities carried out in lessons has kept their engagement levels high. However, practical work offers more benefits beyond merely making lessons more exciting. Our grade 6 pupils began the year by learning about the scientific method and have been applying this way of thinking for themselves through their projects for the last week's science fair. They have been developing an awareness of ‘how science works’ and have been able to design their own investigations, as well as describing and interpreting information in a scientific way. Experiments in class have equipped pupils with the skills they need to safely use scientific apparatus and chemicals as they move up the school.
Teaching in the Huili science laboratories involves a wide range of activities, many of which are designed to encourage pupils to develop their ability to work well in a group to solve problems and to foster the necessary independence to complete a task even when the solution is not easy to find. Lessons feature many opportunities for interactive dialogue, during which pupils are encouraged to share their ideas. This kind of discussion is also a powerful way for pupils to gain confidence in using the specific terms and names attached to scientific language, which is mostly new to them in English. Pupils are also encouraged to question the deeper reasoning behind scientific concepts, so that they can gain a better grasp of increasingly complex ideas.
Looking forward, we are confident that our founding pupils will go on to achieve highly in the sciences. We are excited to have the opportunity to keep fuelling their thirst for a logical and scientific explanation of the world around them and how it works.