Science is at the core of education policy worldwide; the skills of knowledge acquisition, understanding, problem-solving and data-handling it imparts are recognised in all areas outside the purely scientific as valuable and worthwhile. Science provides the theoretical framework that technologists use, and have used, to drive the information revolution that we are still experiencing and has built the foundations of all modern engineering, medicine and agriculture. It is widely recognised that the world needs more and better-trained scientists and this is what we strive to develop in the Woodstock Science faculty.
The IGCSE qualification (at Grade 10) is recognised worldwide as excellent preparation for senior courses, and the AP courses we offer in Grades 11 and 12 are excellent entry qualifications for universities in most of the countries of the world. The Science department also offers Health as a subject in Grades 9 and 11; this is an increasingly important subject for students for their future wellbeing. It is also an essential for the Woodstock diploma.
In our teaching, we combine aspects of the traditional expository style with practical experimentation, cooperative learning and student-centred approaches. By varying our style, we find we provide a richer and more effective learning environment for our students. Assessment is both by the traditional summative means but also by formative assessment.
Woodstock has four well-equipped labs covering all aspects of Science. Each lab has a data projector which we use extensively. We make use of ICT resources throughout our teaching and in the delivery of courses. Our main field trip is to Corbett Park with our Junior School students, but there are several smaller trips each year in the other subjects. We also bring in guest lecturers from time to time.
Susan Datt, Curriculum Coordinator
Mark Windsor '78
Mark studied at Woodstock and graduated in the class of 1978. He has worked as a mechanical engineer with experience in product design, energy consultancy and teaching. Mark taught Physics at Woodstock in 2000-2002, filled in again in 2011 and is now returning to teach Physics and Piano; but don't worry, this doesn't mean he'll be tinkling the ivories in the Science lab. Mark is married to Annie MacGregor; she volunteers in the Development Office here at Woodstock as an editor.
Jesse Versluys has a B Sc in Zoology and a post-grad certificate in Wildlife Management. Born and raised in Canada, Jesse has lived and worked in many parts of North America, as well as teaching English in Japan. He brings a unique array of work experiences to the classroom, which include fisheries technician, park ranger, and zookeeper, among others. Jesse has a particular fascination with reptiles which is apparently not shared by many. Other interests include world travel, music, writing, and the outdoors.
J C Sharma
Dr Sharma came to Woodstock in 2011 with his wife Sonal and two daughters, both of whom are studying at Woodstock. His first degree, a B Sc with Botany, Chemistry and Zoology, was followed by a Master's degree specialising in Organic Chemistry. His PhD is in Synthetic and Analytical Chemistry.
Ravi comes to Woodstock with more than 16 years' teaching experience and a BS with a BEd and a Masters degree in Physics from Annamalai. Ravi was a housemaster at Welham Boys School, Dehradun, for almost four years and has worked as a school principal until recently. He has taught Mathematics and Physics and brings to Woodstock experience as a CCE coordinator in the Sagar School and has conducted workshops for this. Ravi joined Woodstock as a Math teacher. He will this year be teaching AP Physics. Outside the classroom Ravi's interests include photography, video editing, and travelling. In the holidays Ravi does evangelical work.
Sindhu has lived in Tamil Nadu, Goa, Karnataka, Gujurat and Maharashtra, and speaks a multitude of languages. She studied dance as a child and performed regularly. Her early ambitions in veterinary medicine were thwarted; but, undaunted, she became a leader and teacher with the World Wildlife Fund, before completing her Masters in Microbiology and then teaching Environmental Science, Biology and Chemistry at United World College of India. Gifted with a naturalist’s eye, Sindhu’s photographs have been published and she is in the process of collating a new book celebrating the Lepidoptera of the Western Ghats. Sindhu is a workshop leader for International Baccalaureate teacher training and has been a key collaborator in the development of the World Studies Extended Essay option, which went mainstream this year. She cites the need for change and the love of the mountains as reasons for leaving the 170 acre biodiversity reserve for which she was responsible for the last two years.
Grades 7/8: Science
Science is compulsory in Grades 7 and 8. Grade 7 science will cover topics related to understanding life systems, structures and mechanisms, matter and energy and the environment. The course will include a variety of instructional formats ranging from laboratory work to lecture and discussion. Students will be involved in various activities for assessment.
Grades 9/10: IGCSE Biology
IGCSE Biology places considerable emphasis on understanding and use of scientific ideas and principles in a variety of situations, including those which are well-known to the learner and those which are new to them. This course will feature a variety of learning experiences designed to enhance the development of scientific skills, comprehension and critical thinking. Learners will develop transferable life-long skills relevant to biology and the increasingly technological and global environment of our world today. Combined with Grades 7 and 8 science courses, this course will also prepare candidates who choose to take the IGCSE biology external assessment that will, within familiar and unfamiliar contexts, test expertise, understanding and insight. This course will also prepare students wishing to continue with higher level biology courses both at Woodstock or other institutions. It is a prerequisite for AP Biology at Woodstock.
Grades 9/10: IGCSE Chemistry
The course aims to lay the foundations for a successful career studying chemistry. Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of atoms, molecules, bonding, etc. The majority of the course will revolve around explaining how things work on the atomic level and how we can scale that information up to a level useful to us in our everyday lives. Particular attention is given to the environment and resources and how chemistry can be used to help alleviate the strain put on them by humans. Though the course is mainly conceptual in nature a strong command of mathematics is highly recommended. To supplement the learning, students will engage in regular laboratory sessions.
Grades 9/10: IGCSE Physics
Physics is essentially an experimental science, concerned with the study of matter and energy and their interactions. This course is designed to provide not only a base for further study in science or technology, but also a worthwhile experience for a wide range of students that will increase their understanding of the natural world.
Grades 11/12: Environmental Science
Environmental Science is a stimulating course which integrates a wide range of subjects and skills. It can be taken in Grade 11 or Grade 12, and teaches students about how the earth functions as a healthy, holistic system and the ways in which humans have interfered with that system. At the end of the course, students will be able to understand the biological, physical, social, political and ethical aspects of our impacts on the earth, as well as suggest solutions to environmental problems we face today.
Grades 11/12: AP Environmental Science
Environmental Science (AP) is a stimulating and challenging course which integrates a wide range of subjects and skills. Environmental Science (AP) is taken in Grade 11 or Grade 12, and requires a strong grasp of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, and helps students to understand the social, political and ethical aspects of our impacts on the earth. Environmental Science (AP) is an exciting and relevant course which will stretch students to consider environmental issues in serious and creative ways.
Grades 11/12: AP Biology
The AP Biology course is designed to provide students with the conceptual framework, factual knowledge, and analytical skills necessary to deal critically with the rapidly changing science of Biology. Primary emphasis in an AP Biology course is on developing an understanding of the concepts underlying Biology rather than on memorizing terms and technical details. It aims to generate a grasp of science as a process as well as an accumulation of facts; personal experience in scientific inquiry; recognition of unifying themes that integrate the major topics of biology; and application of biological knowledge and critical thinking to environmental and social concerns. Our overall aim in Biology is to instill enthusiasm for the subject into our students by example and expectation.
Grades 11/12: AP Chemistry
The course aims to build upon the foundations laid in the introductory chemistry course. Students will revisit old topics in more depth and detail as well as introducing new ones. Along with a good understanding of the content there is also a strong emphasis on calculations and the manipulation of mathematic principles to solve problems. The course will be supplemented by a lab portion in which students will be required to use probes and other data collection devices and then graph, interpret and report their findings in a professional lab report. A well-maintained and up-to-date lab notebook is also required. By the end of this course students should have a basic understanding of the chemical principles that govern the world around us. They will also be well prepared to take the AP Chemistry Exam or SAT Chemistry Subject Test should they desire to do so.
Grades 11/12: AP Physics B
This course provides a systematic curriculum describing the main principles of Physics and emphasises the development of conceptual understanding and problem-solving using algebra and trigonometry, but rarely calculus. This is a one-year course and includes a laboratory component but is not the usual preparation for more advanced Physics and Engineering courses. This course provides a foundation in physics for students in the life sciences, pre-medicine, and some applied sciences, as well as other fields not directly related to science.
Grades 11/12: AP Physics C
This course is appropriate for students planning to major in the physical sciences or engineering. The course has a heavy emphasis on calculus requiring the student to have taken the AP pre-calculus course in Grade 11. Methods of calculus are used wherever appropriate in formulating physical principles and in applying them to physical problems. This course is more intensive and analytic than that of the B course. Strong emphasis is placed on solving a variety of challenging problems requiring calculus. The subject matter of the C course is principally mechanics and electricity and magnetism, with approximately equal emphasis on these two areas. This course takes one year.