There are currently 17 teachers in Science working in specialist laboratories. All Science lessons are taught in dedicated laboratories which are fitted to the highest standards, with facilities that include three fume cupboards in each Chemistry lab, an optics dark room in Physics and a mobile planetarium. In addition, there is a dedicated science computer lab and there are extensive data logging facilities. A strong team of four science technicians supports the department, working both as subject specialists and cross-curricular, operating from dedicated preparation rooms. The department aims for specialist teachers to teach their subjects as early as possible within the school and, therefore, provide an accelerated course in the Lower School leading to dedicated Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons from the start of Year 9.
Students follow a two-year Key Stage 3 course with four lessons per week, normally taught by one member of staff as Combined Science. The course is based on ‘Exploring Science’ by Pearson but has bespoke opportunities for enrichment (such as the SciComp competition, CREST Awards and open-ended projects) built into the curriculum. There is a strong emphasis on developing practical skills and the scientific method.
Teaching materials are designed to both lay a firm foundation and to enthuse a genuine passion for science. The course integrates both the key concepts in all of the sciences as well as the idea of ‘working scientifically’ as per English National Curriculum requirements, and is supported by both a hard copy textbook and online ‘Active Learning’ website material.
Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9-1):
GCSE Sciences are taught by subject specialists from Year 9 to Year 11. All of the assessment is linear in nature and therefore takes place at the end of Year 11 in two 1 hour and 45 minute examinations for each subject. All students are expected to take the Higher Tier papers that allow them the opportunity to attain grades 4 up to 9. Apart from the course content students also undertake a series of ‘Core Practicals’, a compulsory aspect of the specification that is examined in the terminal examinations in Year 11.
Students are provided with both a textbook, revision guide and Core Practical workbook, specific to the course, plus access to the Pearson ‘ActiveLearning’ website.
What makes a good teacher at Dubai College?
A good teacher at Dubai College has equal measures of passion for their subject and a comprehensive subject knowledge. The combination of these two factors lays a firm foundation for imaginative and stimulating teaching.
What are you trying to encourage and instil in your students?
We want our students to leave Dubai College with more questions than they arrived with, their expanding knowledge should propel them to be more inquisitive and more demanding of the world around them.
In your opinion, what makes Dubai College special?
There are no barriers here. Our students ignore all the normal academic boundaries that can hold so many aspiring scientists back. They are willing to undertake any task no matter how large or daunting it may seem.