Posted on June 17th 2021
Key Stage 3 Science Department Update
The transition day at Chobham Academy always starts with a bang! Students from year 6 are introduced to our fantastic staff and gain an insight into what secondary science is all about.
For many students this will be their first time in a laboratory, with it’s strange yellow ‘taps’ and deep sinks. Some may have imagined all manner of beasts (science teachers) to account for the origins of the strange smells that waft occasionally down the corridors. All is to be revealed….
The transition session for year 6 students includes what is most likely their first use of Bunsen burners. This is an important right of passage for any student and opens up a wide range of further practical opportunities.
Though not for students, they may witness the methane bubbles demonstration and start to think about the science behind the spectacle.
When the students transition into secondary science their exposure to scientific knowledge about the world is greatly expanded. The transition day represents a first step in acquiring new knowledge and the skills needed to access it. Some of the skills and knowledge are shared with Maths and English, the rest must be developed through practice and exposure to new content that is facilitated by subject experts, the science teachers. The transition day is an opportunity to explore what year 6 students already understand about the world and also look for potential misconceptions. For example, having the idea that the (dry) mass of a plant comes from the soil rather than the air. It is also an opportunity to model how scientists work collaboratively to complete massive projects, such as the rapid development of a coronavirus vaccine by giving students opportunities to work in groups and share in a collective effort to develop scientific knowledge and understanding.
The year 6 students have a lot to look forward to both in terms of developing powerful lifelong knowledge about the world around them but also finding out that a potential future career in STEM is an inclusive future where they can seek to satisfy curiosity and have a positive impact on the world around them no matter what their background is.