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.
These three years of post-primary science education are designed to provide a suitably satisfying extension to the introduction of science already experienced by widening and deepening their interest in, and knowledge of, the phenomena observable in the physical and natural world. It is intended that students will continue to show curiosity, seek further explanations, and gain an understanding of how science opens a window on the world, while developing respect for the environment as the supporter of life and supplier of finite resources.
Three science courses are offered in the Pre-IB Programme for years 9 and 10: Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. Students can choose to study one or more of the three at ISH. These two-year courses are designed to prepare students for their study of science which forms part of their International Baccalaureate Diploma programme. The pre-IB science courses place considerable emphasis on the understanding and using of scientific ideas and principles in a variety of situations. They feature a variety of learning experiences designed to enhance the development of skills and comprehension. This approach is designed to focus the student on the development of transferable life-long skills relevant to the increasingly technological environment in which they find themselves.
All students participating the IB Diploma programme are required to study either Biology (standard or higher level) or Physics (standard or higher level). Chemistry (standard or higher level) may also be chosen as an optional second science subject.
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 recognize and utilize 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.
The Science Department at ISH offers a variety of courses for students from Year 6 to 12. The courses for all students in Years 6, 7 and 8 take an integrated approach to the teaching of science which is designed to avoid early specialization. Year 9 and 10 students, however, are able to choose to study one or more specific subjects (i.e. biology, chemistry and/or physics). These are Pre-IB courses and are designed to prepare students for the Group 4 requirement of the IB Diploma programme. In Years 11 and 12, all students participating the IB Diploma programme are required to study either biology (standard or higher level) or physics (standard or higher level). Chemistry (standard or higher level) may also be chosen as an optional second science subject.
The Science Department facilities at ISH are modern and well resourced. There are 5 well-equipped laboratories, 3 preparation rooms as well as a science seminar room. There is also an IT computer room which is shared with the Mathematics Department.