At Oxford High School, all girls study general science in Years 7 and 8. This is broken down into specific modules which change approximately every half term. The teaching style and approach has changed dramatically in recent years with the students doing considerably more experimental and investigative work, which they love. The girls spend most of their lessons problem solving through experimentation and there is far less emphasis on learning lots of content. This approach is proving extremely successful in developing our girls’ ability to cope with the unfamiliar and also learn skills which will help them become highly motivated and excited by science as a subject.
Many of our girls go to Science Club where they have the opportunity to do all sorts of enjoyable experiments that are not necessarily linked to the scheme of work covered in lessons. Due to their obvious interest in the subject we try and provide them with exciting day trips out, including the Salters’ Chemistry Festival and the Junior Science ‘Big Bang’ (this year being held at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories). Over the past 10 years we have also run a very enjoyable Year 8 trip to the Birmingham Think-tank museum where there are lots of ‘hands on’ activities as well as several workshops that the girls attend.
The Science Department is headed by Dr M R Rushton (Head of Chemistry and Science), who started teaching at Oxford High School in 2003 after teaching previously in a variety of independent, state and international schools.
Dr Paul Weeks (Head of Biology) has recently been responsible for generating brand new schemes of work with a very strong emphasis on exciting, innovative and investigative practical work and was awarded the accolade of British Biology Teacher of the Year! Judith Stone, Sue Berry and Maria Whittington complete the Biology teaching staff.
Mr Richard Hypher is Head of Physics, CCF Coordinator and runs engineering club, with Jennie Rhodes also teaching Physics and leading on supporting our pupil-led STEMSoc.
Joseph Hobbs is a full time teacher of Chemistry, whilst Catharine Creak and Nikki Westwood are part time.
Maria Whittington plays a major role in our Outreach links with the community and KS2/3 science transition, whilst both Mrs Whittington and Mr Hobbs run a weekly, exciting and well-attended science club.
We have a large and experienced team of Science technicians, led by Kay Bell and ably assisted by Rebecca Brawn, Deborah Harrison and Susan Leitch, without whom the Science faculty would surely cease to function.