At Singapore International School (Hong Kong), we aim to impart scientific knowledge but also develop a love of learning during Science lessons. We believe that engagement in one’s learning is necessary for our students to develop the motivation to learn and to retain skills and information required of our budding scientists and researchers. One key feature of our Science curriculum is the inquiry-based learning component based on the hands-on conducting of experiments. We believe that students have a natural and innate curiosity to know more about what’s happening around them. By carefully designing meaningful and engaging play experience as a tool for learning, our students’ thinking and action can merge during play. They also are given sufficient time to explore and this acts as a significant source of pleasure and joy. Students explore in groups and experience key concepts through collaborative learning. Students also learn how to strive in various situations and can better manage their social, cognitive and physical reactions towards a given environment. Within our safe learning environment, students can explore and ask questions and test the results. They also learn the importance of failure, which helps to support future successes. In SISHK, all our science lessons take place in the laboratory, allowing each lab task to be integrated with pre-lab and post-lab lessons seamlessly. Teachers can thus provide rationale for the experiments and ensure that the students are able to internalise what they learn from play, relating theories from textbooks to practical application and helping students to learn and extend their knowledge to context beyond the classroom setting. By switching between concrete and abstract elements during the learning, students are able to deepen their learning. Our laboratories harness the power of learning technology tools to enhance students’ learning. From an early age, students are exposed to the use of scientific instruments such as sensors and data-loggers to solve real world problems. Such experience is crucial because the skills students acquire will be critical for a world where technology is rapidly advancing. We believe that an early introduction of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) learning will allow students to develop a keen interest and understanding in STEM and give them a strong grounding for future growth in STEM-related industries.
The Joy of Learning in Science by the Science Department, Secondary Section