The Perse School


Exciting pupils about scientific enquiry

Our aim

We aim to inspire our pupils to want to learn more for themselves, exciting them through the many forms of scientific inquiry. When Einstein was young, his mother is rumoured to have asked him every day, not, “What have you done today?” but, “What questions have you asked?” This is an approach the world of science depends upon.

Science is central to our understanding of the world and our aim in teaching science is to reflect the importance of the subject in our everyday lives. We help the children to understand the world around them, while kindling and encouraging in them a real appreciation for science in all its diverse and fascinating forms.

We encourage a contemporary approach to the subject both through its methods of study, and the subject matter covered, but also explore the historical contexts of scientific discoveries.

A new Science Department was opened in September 2017, enabling our curriculum to flourish.

Learning journey

In Years 3 and 4, science is taught as a single subject, but in Years 5 and 6 we split it into chemistry, biology and physics to best prepare pupils for future study.

Scientists do not sit down and think of ideas to test; ideas come from observations, experiences, needs and the interaction with colleagues and this is at the core of our teaching. Pupils carry out homework projects that are experiment- and investigation-based.

Throughout their four years with us our pupils are involved in:

  • Experiments and practical observational work
  • Class discussion
  • Group and individual work
  • Teacher demonstrations
  • Studying written evidence and audio visual material
  • Visits to places of scientific interest
  • Lectures and demonstrations by guest lecturers

This range of approaches allows us to ensure that our pupils develop the qualities we most want to encourage, in particular the desire to independently find the answers to their own questions. Each pupil should leave the Prep with the ability to plan, hypothesise, and predict; to design and carry out investigations; to interpret results and findings; to draw inferences; and to communicate exploratory tasks and experiments.


Beyond the classroom

We visit Wicken Fen Nature Reserve, the University Botanic Garden and the Wandlebury Nature Reserve for our nature studies.

Each year we run a Science Week during which pupils are inspired by a range of experts who visit the School to give lectures, involve pupils in experiments or hold demonstrations, and links are made across the curriculum to science.

Our programme of clubs includes a weekly Science Club, and we have several lunchtime ‘enrichment’ groups to which particularly able pupils are invited, to extend their knowledge and deepen their enjoyment of science, if they wish.

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