In Science at Halcyon, students quickly acquire analytical and investigative skills and teachers’ questioning rapidly deepens their understanding of scientific concepts.NEASC, 2018
Exploring the topic of insulation, Grade 7 students teamed up to investigate the thermal qualities of various materials as they sought to answer the following question: “How can we stay warm in winter?” Taking on the role of The North Face’s youngest designers, students chose to either investigate the insulation properties of different materials, or to test the warming effects of layering. Students took a comparative approach that allowed them to analyse the success of these strategies through their data, and they had the opportunity to reflect on how they might improve their planning process for future school investigations.
Science (Group 4)
Science (Group 4) is a compulsory part of the IB Middle Years and the IB Diploma Programmes, and a key avenue through which students develop the global skills of the IB Learner Profile. Through an inquiry-based lab learning environment, our students develop “analytical, inquiring and flexible minds that pose questions, solve problems, construct explanations and judge arguments.”
Middle Years Programme
In the Middle Years Programme, students investigate issues through “research, observation and experimentation”, developing “sensitivity” to both living and non-living environments in their world.
In HL and SL courses in the Diploma Programme, students continue to develop their critical awareness of the ethical implications of science and technology on a global scale, while expanding their knowledge and repertoire of methods and techniques in Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Environmental Systems and Societies. Diploma Programme students may choose to study more than one Group 4 subject.
With an emphasis on collaboration and communication, our labs are exciting environments where our students have the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding, apply a variety of methodologies and formulate their own hypotheses and scientific explanations. Students from Chemistry, Biology and Physics collaborate together in the Group 4 Project, and all students conduct individual project coursework as part of Halcyon’s thriving Sciences programme.
*Quotations are taken from the International Baccalaureate Subject Guides. Read more:
Science Coursework: Internal Assessments
Our students’ Internal Assessments often tackle fascinating issues from challenging angles. Examples of student work include research on which oils produce the best green biofuel yield and a study of pH regulation tools for at-risk living organisms. In Internal Assessments, our students confidently apply their investigative, research, and data gathering skills to real-world problems: crucial skills that universities seek.
Students enrolled in our Forensics Exploration split into teams to design their own crime scenes, and challenged each other with finding the murder suspect and victim in each scenario. This student-led task was a wonderful example of how each learners’ communication skills, combined with specific subject knowledge on blood analysis and footprint identification, enabled students to independently and successfully carry out the process of investigation in a different way.
Halcyon students who are interested in pursuing a computer science course in higher education can enjoy Robotics at Halcyon: an opportunity to work in groups to build technological expertise in this subject area.
Our Explorations Programme provides a space for our students to explore their creative ideas through engaging in experimental sciences and arts: using software such as Arduino to programme circuits, for example, and using modelling skills to build 3D landscapes.
Computer Science Coding
We are pleased to offer our students access to coding and computer science courses. Our students have enjoyed gaining further insight into programming languages including Python and Java. As well as preparing learners for higher education and future careers in computer science, this further enrichment supports students’ achievement in the IB curricula: for example, students who have participated in our FireTech clubs may choose to explore the subject in further depth in the IB Diploma Programme Extended Essay or the IB Middle Years Programme Personal Project.
Clubs and support
– Medics Club
– STEM Club
– Work Experience, University and Careers Counselling
– Outdoor Science Exploration
– Robotics Exploration
– App Maker Exploration
– Makerspace Exploration
– Forensics Exploration
Our students’ experiences in the laboratory are enriched by access to Vernier technology – throughout their science courses in the IB Middle Years Programme and IB Diploma Programme, students are presented with a variety of options to drive their investigations with cutting-edge equipment. To learn more about how each student can integrate this technology into their internal assessment, read our blog on IB Science facilities.
Leading our students to connect with the brightest ideas and most recent discoveries in science is key to providing a fulfilling and engaging International Baccalaureate education. Our students have enjoyed trips to the Natual History Museum, the New Scientist Live Exhibition, the Chiswick Thames Explorer Centre, and more.
Google Reference School and Apple Training Centre Resources
As an Apple Regional Training Centre, our school has led a series of workshops aimed at exploring digital collaboration through education technology – the latest of which explored the topic of “Transforming Learning with Technology”.
Our Grade 11 class enjoyed visiting the New Scientist Live exhibition at the Excel Centre.
Visit our Subjects Page to learn more about the other IB subject groups that students will engage in alongside their IB sciences courses.
We also invite you to sign up for an Open Event. At our Open Houses on campus, you will meet our Director, Barry Mansfield, who will deliver a presentation on Halcyon’s mission, curriculum, subjects, facilities and more.