There are three interrelated objectives of science education at ISH.
Students should gain an understanding of (1) how science and scientific research is done; (2) what science has discovered through research; and (3) how scientific information is communicated.
Students need to understand and apply the scientific method. They learn to collect and review empirical data as well as critically evaluate this data in order to reach defensible conclusions.
Students need to grasp the key discoveries and facts of each field of science. They should develop an appreciation of how each particular field informs, and is informed by, related fields. Furthermore, they should understand how “pure” science informs “applied” fields such as medicine and environmental policy.
Students also need to become fluent in the language of science. They need to recognise and utilise the vocabulary and syntax of this discipline. They should learn how to convey complex theories and data to scientists and nonscientists in person and in writing.
In IBMYP, we wish to encourage the development of transferable skills, so, in the classroom we guide students to review and reflect on assessments. Reflection on assessment outcomes leads to learning. We believe that such reflective skills will lead to independent, inquiring thinkers who understand how they learn.
The Science Department facilities at ISH are modern and well resourced. There are 7 well-equipped laboratories, 2 preparation rooms as well as a science seminar room.
The Science Department at ISH offers a variety of courses for students from Grade 6 to 12.
The courses for all students in Grades 6, 7 and 8 take an integrated approach to the teaching of science in the IB Middle Years Programme (IBMYP), which is designed to avoid early specialisation. The approach is experimental and students are expected to participate and be active in their learning.
Grade 9 and 10 students, however, are able to choose to study one or more specific science subjects (i.e. Biology, Chemistry and/or Physics). These IBMYP courses are designed to prepare students for the Group 4 requirement of the IB Diploma Programme (IBDP) and students will be introduced to the more specific nature of their chosen science discipline(s). The level of subject-specific knowledge required will increase significantly in preparation for the demands of the IBDP, and to give a greater depth of understanding. Examinations are introduced, with an end-of-year examination in Grade 9 and both mid and end-of-year examinations in Grade 10.
In Grades 11 and 12, all students participating in the IBDP are required to study at least one subject from Group 4, which can be Biology (standard or higher level) or Physics (standard or higher level) or Chemistry (standard or higher level), or Environmental Systems and Societies (standard level only). They may, of course, also choose an optional second science subject. In some cases, it is possible to study three sciences with the approval of IBO, should this be necessary for certain University or College courses. Students should check carefully the requirements of future Universities/Colleges before selecting their group four subject(s).