Teaching and Learning
Teaching and Learning
The strength of the School is in academics, in its challenging, in-depth curriculum and programme of teacher education and school development. A strong team of highly qualified and experienced professionals are team leaders in each curriculum area.
Our team has experience of teaching children both in primary and senior schools as well as development of teachers in courses of UK Universities. A combination of higher qualifications in education and rigorous training in academic management makes our team second to none in Pakistan. As a consequence, the curricula have challenging content, in depth learning experiences, integration, and are rich in resources for learning. We use constructive and active learning approaches in all domains of the curriculum.
Where the curriculum requires direct teaching and learning and in depth study of content, our pedagogy provides room for such experience. The focus however remains on investigative approaches in all subject domains.
The Curriculum of The Science School is understood to be a dynamic work in progress. It is a proposal rather than a prescription. Teachers and schools, and indeed, students learning experiences, help in its development and interpretation in excellent classroom practice.
Our aim is to support the achievement of high standards and for this we direct our efforts. We hope and pray these curriculum statements will generate research and intellectual discussion to strengthen The Science School educational endeavor.
BUILT IN TUTORIAL PROGRAMMES
We are responsive to the needs of learners in our Pakistani environment. Formative assessment guides student development, identifying challenges and support. The School has built-in tutorial programmes where its teachers and students develop personal learning programmes, carry out extension work, and benefit from collaborative learning and feedback. Students learn collectively or on individual basis when deemed appropriate, and in consultation with parents and other care givers.
RESPONSIBILITY FOR OWN LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT
The Science School takes responsibility for students learning while encouraging students and parents to play their role.
We hope to create conditions for the development of a sense of responsibility in our young students to prepare them for successful, rewarding and inspiring careers in science and engineering. We hope to encourage parents, care givers, and our own school community, to share in the effort.
Science at The Science School
The Science School has been established with the aim of providing an exciting and challenging education in the particular domain of science, mathematics and technology at school level.
Science learning in Pakistan has been dominated by a focus on the learning and memorization of facts. Students and schools share common ideas of science as an ancient body of factual knowledge acquired by scientists in the western world. This knowledge is seen as fixed, something that cannot be challenged, or will ever change. The teacher is expected to explain and the student is expected to learn this without asking questions. Assessment of science thus becomes a matter of testing how much is remembered. Often, it is only the student with the best memorization ability who ‘tops’ the class, every year and in every discipline. This result only demonstrates that the test assesses only the skill of memorisation and reproduction. True scientific activity requires far more.
The Science School recognizes the growing, changing, nature of science. The Science School hopes to create an environment for science as active investigation and problem solving in the context of our own needs. We hope to develop sound concepts, build skills and move learning and teaching out of the lecture room to the laboratory and real life contexts where they belong. Mathematics learning is given great importance and efforts are made to integrate experiences of both science and mathematics wherever possible.
The Science School endeavors to embrace academic excellence through qualities such as intellectual curiosity, rigor, skepticism, courage, perseverance, compassion, honesty, respect for all and most importantly, through a sense of fun.
The Science School takes an integrated, holistic approach to the development of Pakistan’s young scientists. Our Curriculum seeks active inspiration, support and guidance from Pakistan’s Science, Engineering and Technology organizations. An example is the development of Learning Units in Geography by SUPARCO’s professionals using state of the art satellite imagery, and the support to development of Design and Technology curriculum through NESCOM.
The Science School Mathematics Curriculum, in line with the mission of the school, aspires to develop high quality understanding and skill in mathematics. Careful concept development in both numeracy and spatial understanding as well as sharpening of process skills at middle school helps develop interest and ambition in higher level mathematics. The Science School believes in providing both challenge and support in a rich, intense, and integrated, mathematics experience at all levels.
Scientists and engineers approach problem solving with a goal of optimizing a solution to a problem, as opposed to proving that a problem is solved. Good quality mathematics learning at The Science School helps students to develop critical understanding of process as well as develop sound concepts. At The Science School, mathematics lessons are challenging and fun for both teachers and students. In the best constructivist tradition, students build knowledge and understanding through active involvement with prior understanding and the challenge of ever more complex ideas. Students seek patterns, solve problems and build awareness of their own mental processes through talk and communication in the language of mathematics.
Students develop the ability to listen, question and discuss as well as to read and record their mathematical experiences. The Science School aims to help students understand the importance of mathematics and enjoy it to the fullest.
Design and Technology
Design and Technology is taught from early years in schools around the world. It is a subject assessed by International General Certificate of Secondary Education UK (IGCSE) among others. The Science School has introduced Design and Technology in Pakistan as an essential area of study relating to our goal of developing young Scientists and Engineers. The IGCSE Syllabus encourages students to “identify, consider and solve problems through creative thinking, planning and design, and by working with different media, materials and tools.”
As the name suggests, Design and Technology, enables students to think creatively and critically, learn research skills, plan and conduct investigations in a range of different and interesting areas. Students will work through the cycle of creative thinking, analysis, and synthesis. They will work hands-on with materials, use technology and learn to communicate effectively.
Design itself is a complex activity. Concepts and principles of design are incorporated with a study of materials and technology as well as innovative ideas for the use of energy. Students in The Science School design tools and objects to meet a range of purposes and needs thus developing skills for a future in Engineering in Pakistan.
The School Library
The School Library is a developing resource. Books as well as online materials are provided. We provide a wide rage of reading material in all subject areas to expand the scope of student experience. We encourage exploration into areas of interest to add breadth and depth in understanding. We believe in the importance of a love for books and hope to develop good reading habits in our children. We encourage, fiction as well as non-fiction reading. We provide a wide variety of literature to reach out to the child’s imagination.
Sports and Outdoor Education
The Science School has integrated sports and play with subject study, for example, Social Studies, Science and Mathematics to establish links between healthy living, well-being and role of sports and play. The School has on offer a range of sports activities for each student to identify at least one sport to suit them individually so that they acquire a lifelong enjoyment of physical activity and its link with their overall well being.
This domain will also focus on development of social skills and an active concern for safety and security.
The Science School offers exciting sports activities to help our young scientists unwind and relax as well as compete. Our extensive and beautiful sports fields that include space for Cricket, Cycling, Tennis, Basketball, Football, Hockey, Badminton, make every day sports in School possible and attractive. Indoor sports such as Table Tennis and Snooker have been included in our sports facilities as well. Our Time Table is planned to accommodate time for sports as well as study. We hope to encourage a balanced approach.
A recent Sports Gala held in The Science School Rawalpindi Campus displayed the sense of fun and feeling of community that sports activities can generate. Such activities shall continue to be a feature of The Science School life.
History, Geography and Civics
The Science School uses the contexts of history learning to develop in students a curiosity about knowledge. How do we know what we know? What are the sources of our knowledge, who is writing this story, and how reliable and valid is the story we are told, are some of the questions that learners will learn to ask as they study history texts. Our past, chronological order of events, important people, events, periods, places are some of the fascinating topics students study in history. They learn that history is not just about rote learning of dates and events, but it is a study of mystery, and influence, and impact, a study of puzzles and detective work, that we hope will help to shape a more questioning and reasoned approach.
Geography at the Science School involves students in a systematic study of their environment and locality using the skills of Geography such as map making, field work, and the use of technology. They investigate how man affects his environment, and how the environment affects our lives. They learn to play a role to develop solutions to problems using their knowledge, skills, and attitudes, in collaboration with their peers in outdoor education as well as in the classroom. Communicating with students in classrooms elsewhere, sharing, and learning, will expand frontiers of knowledge and bring an awareness of other peoples and nations around the world.
Citizenship concepts, concepts of change, culture and environment, understanding communities, are part of the rich curriculum of People and Society. Students develop an understanding of citizenship and their own role, as well as the role of community, and government in the quality of life in our society.
Comparative studies, case studies, and surveys will be some of the activities that will involve our students in their encounter with The Science School Curriculum. Presenting knowledge in a variety of ways, communicating their investigations, understanding textual as well as oral communication, and developing wide ranging vocabulary, will be an everyday activity.
Learning English, Urdu, Arabic, and Chinese
English has become a language of communication among speakers of other languages in the world. This has an impact on social, political and economic aspects of life. English as a subject is important in equipping students to take up the challenges of competitive survival and growing globalization in developing countries.
Our integrated curriculum builds on the strength of our multilingual speakers. Pupils communicate in both English and Urdu whilst grappling with complex ideas in a range of domains. Chinese and Arabic add to the rich language environment of The Science School.
As in the sciences, language learning provides opportunities to pupils to reflect on both content and form. Pupils celebrate their strengths and work upon areas of development.
“All learning experiences do not necessarily lead to learning, unless subsequent opportunities for reflection, application, co-relation and consolidation are created” Shukla, 2008.
Language for expression and appreciation of culture, language for the expression and development of ideas in all spheres of learning is our goal. Non-fiction texts play a large role in The Science School curriculum while literature and poetry is enjoyed by all in every language taught.
Urdu, our national language, is recognised as dynamic, and growing in its importance as a language of the work place in Pakistan. We see Urdu as requiring the same focus and methodology as English. It is an area of research where children learn to adapt and develop both their understanding and their language to solve problems of communication in today’s world.
Urdu is also recognised as our language of culture, a rich and powerful heritage
The Science School offers opportunity to study the Arabic language.The purpose is to blend the teaching of classical and standard Arabic to support pupils to communicate at a basic level effectively as well as read the Quran with understanding. Native speakers of Arabic as well as scholars are our teachers who help develop pupils language skills. The Pakistani people are naturally multilingual which adds to their intellectual capacity. By providing the additional experience of both Chinese and Arabic we hope to build on this natural capacity to learn language from an early age
The Science School is proud to include the Chinese language into our Curriculum. This is a bold new initiative and we hope to give it our best efforts. With our children learning Chinese, we recognise the importance of this ancient language in the global space and look forward to making it our own. Chinese is the language of our very close friends, and learning Chinese opens up the possibility of further study abroad. We consider the teaching of Chinese from such an early age a strategic necessity – the world recognizes China as the next Super Power, and we would want our students to be in harmony with this reality.
The Science School believes in a holistic development of the individual. We do not believe that the scientist functions in a vacuum, distant from the concerns of everyday life. Decision making is seen as a multifaceted enterprise with knowledge of faith, the world, people, and man’s place in society. A scientist does not just make decisions in the domain of science. These decisions are nested in the wider concerns of purpose, morals, ethics, economics, practicalities and above all, belief. Scientists who conduct science for materialistic goals with disregard to values and faith can be found everywhere in the world. The Science School, as a proud project of our Scientific Strategic Organizations, maintains the importance of human activity for higher goals and purposes.
The aim of the Islamiyat Curriculum is two fold. One, to prepare students for eventual study of the syllabus of O’ Level Islamiyat of Cambridge International Examinations; Two, to use the context of Islamiyat to develop knowledge and understanding of Islam as a preparation for life. To understand the moral and ethical basis of decisions and to learn how Islam develops an attitude of thought and reflection.
Assesment and Standards
In the context of The Science School, please note:
- There are two School Terms. First, from August/ September through December. Second, from January through June.
- Specified class work, home work, course work, project work, and research work, will be assessed. Total marks will be cumulated to 50% for each term.
- Term Examination marks will also be cumulated to 50%. Each term total will be out of 100; 50% being contributed by the Term Examination.
- End-of-year reports will show the Second Term formative assessment, and Term Examination marks, along with total aggregate of both the Terms.
- Parents will be informed regularly about students’ performance through written reports, and parent-teacher meetings.
- Parents can also request the School to arrange for a meeting with their child’s teachers for a discussion about the child’s achievement in school.
- The purpose of assessment is not just to prove but to improve and therefore, The Science School will provide both students and their parents opportunity to reflect upon the work carried out and discuss options for further development.
- In keeping with the requirement of Pakistan’s Scientific Organizations for a dynamic, investigative and purpose led practice of Science to solve the critical problems and meet the challenge of the defence of Pakistan, The Science School plans to follow these routes:
- Prepare students for high standard of performance in O and A level and IGCSE examinations.
- Provide additional opportunities for examinations on subjects such as Design and Technology , Additional Mathematics, Geography and languages such as Arabic and Chinese.
- Provide tutorial support in School career counseling to choose subjects.
- Career counseling to choose subjects.
- Preparation for SAT and other National Tests.
Subject/ Short Courses
A wide range of Subjects and Short Courses are offered. Subjects include:
- Science Subjects including Physics and Chemistry
- Mathematics and Additional Mathematics
- Design and Technology
- Social Studies including Geography, History, Civics
- English, Urdu , Arabic and Chinese Languages
- Religious Studies
- Art , Music, Outdoor Education and Sports
Short Courses include:-
- Technology Related Courses
- Presentation Skills
- Critical Reading and Analysis
- Research Skills
- Research Philosophy
- Short courses on understanding and reading Arabic
- Special interest courses such as Paper Making and Sailing
- These courses will be organized at various points in the year.