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Summer Fields Oxford

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Science is going to affect our pupils and future generations far more than we can accurately predict at present. Problems of energy supply, over-population and its relation to food production, GM foods, climate change and pollution, stem cell research, health issues are all topics that need a basic knowledge of science if one is to form a reasonable opinion, so this is where our teaching starts.


We aim to give the boys a solid base of understanding in science and to develop an enthusiasm for the subject that will last them a lifetime. This ties in nicely with the ISEB science syllabus’s most recent mission statement which includes a desire to encourage students to be “open to new ideas and experiences, curious, questioning and keen to experiment”.


We teach five courses spread over five years.  Topics covered include states of matter, physical properties of materials, forces, conductors and insulators, study of plants, animals and human biology and evolution, key scientists and their contributions to our understanding of the world today. 

In Years 4 and 5 lessons are devised to develop an enthusiasm for science and learning to enquire. Years 6, 7 and 8 cover materials based upon the Common Entrance syllabus.

The boys are taught general skills, including

  • Handling apparatus correctly and selecting the right apparatus when designing experiments;
  • Posing questions which can be scientifically tested
  • Making, recording and communicating observations and measurements accurately through sketches, reports, and graphs
  • How to interpret the results of experiments and recognise elementary patterns whilst appreciating the limitations of the data in terms of a level of confidence or the limits of numerical accuracy.

The two custom-built science labs at Summer Fields enables a wide range of practical work to take place during lessons. Pupils use the department’s iPads for research, independent study, presentations, photographing and filming science experiments, informal assessments via quizzes and as a way to enhance in-class learning.

There are also regular trips to a variety of different places so that the pupils can put their learning into context and get hands on with science.