Understanding How Girls Learn Science:
In SJC, we believe that all girls deserve a quality science education, so we enhance our teaching practices according to what research has revealed about how girls learn science. We recognise the need to generate positive emotions in the learning of science by helping our girls to appreciate the relevance of science in their daily lives. We provide opportunities for collaborative learning because girls learn Science better when they can play an active role in lesson activities and communicate their thoughts with their peers. We enhance the cognitive and visual design of our notes and worksheets to provide greater clarity and structure to help our girls internalise how concepts unfold and connect.
Making Scientific Thinking Visible in our Daily Lessons:
We apply the curriculum design principles of Understanding by Design (UbD) to help teachers and pupils distil the big ideas and conceptual framework for key topics. Coupled with thinking routines to make thinking visible, we promote greater engagement, independence in learning and deeper understanding in what they learn. Various approaches in assessment for learning are also embedded in our lessons regularly, to allow our girls some indication on their progress as well as feedback for the teacher to adjust the latter parts of the lesson accordingly. This methodology, championed by Professor Er Mazur of Harvard University, and implemented over the last two decades, has been proven to enhance learning.
Opportunities for our Girls:
In lower secondary, our girls who have shown potential in Science are given opportunities along the way to study the subject at a higher level. We invite girls who are strong in science and able to cope with the higher demands to join the Subject-Based Banding (SBB) at Secondary 1 Mid-Year and End of Year. This platform supports engagement of our girls at a suitable level of challenge. To support students who join SBB in Mid-Year and End of Year, we have bridging programs to help close the gap in content while the use of Differentiated Instruction in daily lesson supports the different learning styles of our girls.
We Enrich our Pupils' Experiences by Applying Science to Daily Lives:
To enthuse our Secondary 2 and Secondary 3 students in the chemical and material sciences and promote joy in learning science, we invited them to take part in the Surprising Science workshop at the National University of Singapore (NUS). There was an array of activities to engage them such as demonstration of coloured flames, like those seen in fireworks and hands on station for students to create their own silicone lenses that could be fitted onto their smartphone camera, there by turning the latter into portable microscopes.