It is essential that the children develop a comprehensive and yet balanced understanding of the three Science subjects and, generally, one term is spent studying each one in any academic year. Ultimately the work covered is determined by the Common Entrance syllabus but there is plenty of room for manoeuvre and plenty of scope for practical work throughout.
The subject is taught in a well-resourced and spacious laboratory which is ideal for experimental work and practical investigations. Pupils are well prepared to tackle the individual requirements of future schools. For example, Winchester College has a practical paper in their Scholarship Science exam. Others, like Eton and Charterhouse, have data analysis papers which require the interpretation of scientific data and experimental situations. The more practical work that can be carried out here at school the better the children will be prepared to tackle these examinations.
Once the examinations are over in the summer term Year 8 embark on their DT projects, designing and making working model suspension bridges, cars etc. This work is group-based and is carried out in the Lab during normal lesson time – and any other spare time they can manage. It is inspirational seeing the children create a working model from plans, applying scientific concepts to a practical situation.
By the time the children come to leave Milbourne, they have acquired a sound knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and principles and are more than able enough to tackle the demands of GCSE work at their next schools. Many pupils go on to study one or other Science subject at University and more than a few have gone on to successful careers in Biochemistry, Medicine and Engineering, to name but a few.
At Milbourne Lodge, Science is taught by three experienced teachers. David Watson is Head of Department and teaches the subject from year 5 up to year 8 preparing the pupils for both Common Entrance and Scholarship examinations. David Payne and Dominic Sleeman look after years 4 and 5. This hierarchical system gives a feeling of progression within the subject and seems to work well.