Nurturing scientific thinkers with inquiring minds
In CHIJ Primary (Toa Payoh), the Science department seeks to create a vibrant learning environment to instill a spirit of inquiry in our pupils and to develop them into scientific thinkers who will passionately apply the scientific knowledge to enrich life.
Our department aims to:
- Enable our pupils to fervently acquire scientific knowledge
- Provide multi-faceted learning experiences that are pupil-centric
- Develop competence in handling tests of varying difficulties
- Raise enthusiasm to create and to improve things around us
- Build an environment where the learning of Science is strongly motivated and inspired
Delivery of forward-looking curriculum – Customised Content
- In our delivery of a forward-looking curriculum, we customise the Science content and syllabus to meet the needs of our pupils and to help them learn fundamental science process skills and attitudes that are essential to science inquiry.
- Worksheets that include basic and higher order thinking (HOT) skills are crafted to cater to the different learners. Enrichment activities that help pupils to learn beyond the classrooms are also incorporated in our teaching.
- Besides these, authentic experiential hands-on kits are also used in the teaching of Science to make learning more interesting and fun for our pupils.
o The magnetic fun kits are introduced at P3 so that pupils get to a chance to own a set of magnets and make their own electromagnets.
o The plant kits at P4 provide pupils opportunities to take care of their own plants and watch them develop from seeds to plants.
o Using their own batteries, bulbs and wires, pupils at P5 get to own a set of electrical kit to carry out their own inquiry-based learning .
o At P6, pupils also get a chance to take care of their own air plants and understand how these plants adapt to the environment.
- In preparation for PSLE, mass lectures are also conducted at P6 to address misconceptions and reinforce Science concepts to better equip the pupils for PSLE.
- Parallel classes are also allocated to provide greater support for pupils who need more help. With smaller class sizes, we aim to help pupils to greater gain confidence in their mastery of Science concepts.
The Science Department’s Signature programmes
In IJ, we strongly believe that pupils learn best when they are hands-on, minds-on and engaged in authentic activities and projects that they can relate to. Besides developing their inquiry skills, we also want pupils to acquire the right ethics and attitudes in the learning of Science. Hence, the teachers put together the Budding Scientist Programme that comprises of the GROW Programme and the Toy makers’ Programme.
Budding Scientist Programme:
In our GROW programme @ CHIJ, a series of hands-on activities and projects are planned from P3-6 where the natural instincts in learners are nurtured and a culture of care, concern and responsibility towards the environment is built.
For the lower block, P3 pupils take part in the Pocket Beanies Project to germinate their own peanut plants while the P4 embark on My Little Pet Caterpillar Project to grow their own pet caterpillars into butterflies. The P4 will also grow their plants and understand the plant as a system. These projects help pupils to appreciate the cycles that the insects and plants undergo. Pupils also capture their experiences through reflective Science journaling and develop their scientific skills as little biologists.
For the upper block, the P5 pupils build their own terrariums to experience a eco-system in a bottle using recycled materials while the P6s get a chance to visit Sungei Buloh to experience nature at its best. In the larger eco-system, pupils learnt about the diversity as well as the interactions within the mangroves in Singapore.
To further develop our pupils to be innovative and creative young inventors who pursue excellence, we have also embarked on our very own toy makers’ programme to promote creativity among the pupils and provide opportunities for them to learn about Science beyond the classrooms in a fun and enjoyable way.
A school competition is organized to allow pupils to showcase their creations and the winning entries are selected to participate in the annual Sony Creative Science competition.
The Science department adopts a pupil-centric pedagogy which is inquiry-based in nature to explicitly teach thinking and process skills.
- Our teachers incorporate Cooperative Learning strategies (CL strategies) into our Science lessons to ensure a learner-centered environment for collaborative learning to take place.
- Other strategies such as demonstration, mind mapping, concept-mapping, story-telling, investigation, questioning and role play are also used to further engage pupils in meaningful learning.
- To leverage on the technology for teaching and learning, the Science department utilises the LMS system, various online platforms and the class blogs to grow more self-directed collaborative learners who are confident to carry out their own learning through these ICT-based platforms.
In IJ, the Science holistic assessment is carried out in the form of formative assessment such as reflective Science journaling, projects as well as practical tests to better informed learners of their progress in their acquisition of Science skills. Learning Progress Reports are also used for the lower block to provide feedback for performance tasks carried out in Term 1 and 3.
Stimulating School Environment
With a deep belief that a stimulating school environment will help to nurture our young, the Science department spearheads the Outdoor Experiential Learning at IJ.
Outdoor Experiential Learning @IJ
The green spaces in our school are converted to places of learning for pupils. Pupils will get to come close to nature where they can appreciate the great variety, diversity and interactions of the organisms in our school’s own backyard. They will have a chance to study the leaf litter community, a rotting log community and even get to plant vegetables in our upcoming outdoor learning experience spaces.
Caring School Tone & Culture
As the school embarks to develop scientific thinkers with inquiring minds, we would also like to develop in our pupils a sense of belonging and build a culture of care and love for the environment.
Under our eco-ambassadorship programme, awareness is raised about the environment. Talks and school activities are also held during curriculum to cultivate the habits of conservation and care for the school. Our school works with Nparks, PUB and various government agencies to encourage 3Rs and a green movement in our school.