Science Round Up – Autumn Term 2021
It has been another busy term in the Sciences Middle and Upper School. Back in September, Year 5 were introduced to the Science labs with an introductory course on Safety as part of the Science curriculum. This included learning how to use Bunsen Burners. Pupils were very excited as it was their first time and can now safely light-up burners and use related apparatus correctly. The focus in Year 6 has been on designing experiments with Variables in mind. More recently, they have learnt how to purify mixtures by separating them using a variety of methods including Distillation and Chromatography, generating some very colourful chromatograms.
The bulk of Chemistry is covered in Year 7 Sciences. Pupils learn the fundamentals of the Periodic Table and key chemical equations and reactions that feature commonly in the Common Entrance Examinations. There were some interesting and ‘explosive’ outcomes with the Group 1 elements such as Lithium and Sodium in water, experiments conducted outdoors in the playground to avoid triggering the fire alarm!
Year 8 have now almost completed the course in time for revision for the Common Entrance, CASE and other school examinations to be held in the Spring Term. They studied properties of Light and Sound in the first term which included a range of practical work on reflection, refraction, colours and filters. They will now focus on revision techniques using plenty of past papers for practice. Preparations for the Science Fair (Stem Week) will begin in the summer term.
For Enrichment, pupils conducted a variety of ‘Science for Fun’ activities including making paper aeroplanes and helicopters, measuring reaction times and creating an action plan following on from the COP26 summit.
The highlight of the Autumn Term was the visit to the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures 2021 on 18th December. Eight boys from years 7-8, accompanied by Mr. Datoo and Mrs. Gorard, attended the live recording of the lecture by Professor Sir Jonathan Van-Tam. He was joined by expert British scientists who all played vital roles in the Covid-19 pandemic, revealing how new discoveries are set to change the future of medicine. Professor Van-Tam also talked about public health measures, combined with ground-breaking science which will have an impact far beyond Covid-19. There were some hands-on and lively demonstrations on Immunity including presence of llamas and bats in the studio. Students were invited to tell some ‘llama’ jokes during the interlude. Our own Arjun (8G) won a ‘Royal Institution – Science Lives Here’ T-Shirt for the best llama joke (‘What do you call a llama trapped between two sheets of plastic? A llamanator!’).
Mr Datoo – Head of Science