Science

From Years 2 to 11, students at Hampton Court House have science lessons with a subject specialist. Science lessons are rooted in the 11+, 13+ and IGCSE curricula, but all of our teachers are passionate about extending students’ education beyond the curriculum. Our goal is to foster in our students a spirit of enquiry. When they leave us, students should feel confident tackling complex problems using the scientific method, that is, they should feel able not only to pose questions, but also to come up with methods for solving them.

Science dayAs a department, we have close ties with the National Physical Laboratory in Teddington, we go on field trips with the Field Studies Council, we enter competitions with bodies such as the Royal Society of Chemistry, and of course, take advantage of our proximity to museums in London.

Science Week at HCH

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Science Week Day 4- Bath bombs, Genomes and The Science Week Fair

Pupils in Years 5 to 8 made some beautiful smelling, fizzy bath bombs today by mixing together some weak acids and bases. They flavoured their bath bombs with their chosen flavours and colours to make lovely gifts to take home.

Matthew Brown, a software developer from Genomics England led an assembly... for Middle and Upper Years pupils to discuss how advances in sequencing the genome have the potential to revolutionise drug treatment and early disease diagnosis. For further information about Genomics England, visit https://www.genomicsengland.co.uk/about-genomics-england/

And finally, in the school theatre we held the first Science Fair at HCH. Students contributed work and projects that they felt had scientific underpinning. Works included models, research projects, and creative work inspired by science. Students, parents and teachers attended the science fair and were certainly impressed by the variety of displays and projects, from songs to mechanical models and large-scale poster presentations!

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Science Week Day 3- Personality tests, DNA and sustainable energy

As Science Week continues, our students are full of enthusiasm for the variety of activities on offer. Each talk, workshop or demonstration is providing an opportunity to deepen their understanding of their Science curriculum and the world around them.

Our Psychology teacher, Laraib Saeed provided an... opportunity for students to assess their own personality traits using the Big Five Personality test. The test is often used to help determine career paths based on how an individual would react in different situations.

Middle and Upper years pupils attended a Science Week assembly on Sustainability led by Yasmina Mikhael. Yasmina is Head of Sustainability at Long and Partners and has a wealth of expertise in renewables and the built environment.

And finally, Head of Science Abi Howard ran a workshop for Middle and Upper years pupils, explaining how DNA can be extracted from cells. Students had the opportunity to extract cells and DNA from kiwi fruit as part of the practical workshop!

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Science Week 2020 starts with a bang!

Today marks the start of British Science Week, a national celebration of all the sciences. The science department has organised an action-packed week of enriching lessons and activities for pupils of all ages! Today, pupils in the Middle and Upper years had the opportunity to take part in a heart dissection... workshop with Head of Science, Abigail Howard, ably assisted by our A level Biology students. The pupils were dissecting and analysing the different sections of the animal heart whilst discussing the use of dissection in medical and research practices.

Our Early and Lower Years pupils were treated to an explosive assembly led by our Chemist, Dr Thomas McCarthy Ward. Children in Reception class to Year 4 watched in awe as Thomas demonstrated how light is produced in different ways, by heat, by chemistry, and by biology. The children discussed the many things scientists have learned by looking at light, from testing for poisons, to understanding distant stars.

Today’s activities certainly whetted the apetite for a host of practical workshops, talks and demonstrations during the next four days at school.

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Year 2 pupils get to grips with solids, liquids and gasses

Year 2 have been learning about solids, liquids, and gases as part of their Science curriculum this term. Today they donned lab-coats and encountered a non-Newtonian fluid which acts as a solid when you move fast but switches to liquid behaviour when you move slowly. They then saw that vibrations could... make it “come alive” and dance like a snake.

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Y2 science problem-solving challenge

In science, Year 2 have been studying materials and their properties. Last week we discussed what materials would be good for building different things and so this week we tried building towers out of wood. Students demonstrated excellent problem-solving skills and learned that triangles are the strongest... shape because they can’t be pushed over into other shapes. We related the structures we made to real-world architecture like Gothic cathedrals and the Eiffel Tower.


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Year 9 trip to New Scientist Live Exhibition

Year 9 thoroughly enhoyed their day out at the New Scientist Live Exhibition on Thursday. They listened to talks from specialists in engineering, human sciences, technology and the cosmos as well as Tim Peakes and Konni Huq. The students particularly enjoyed hearing about the life cycle, and adaptations and behaviour of some unusual parasites on the Earth Science Stage.