Integrated Science Form 1-3
The basic idea behind Integrated Science is very sound: the three subjects should be taught to the same depth and the connections between them emphasized. However, even an analysis of the work of the original authors of the concept shows its major flaw, very few teachers can do it. At best they are very good at two and the third suffers. It really requires team teaching to ensure that students have a strong base in all three. Also clear scaffolding should take place, building the skills and concepts needed to ensure a sound base for CSEC in Forms 4 - 5. At SpiSE Integrated Science is taught by both tutors who use their experience of teaching CSEC and CAPE to ensure that a sound base is laid. Dr. Gabriel teaches two out of three weeks, covering Physics and Chemistry, whilst Mr. Gabriel teaches Biology on the third.
Form 1-3 work is covered in two Phases, six terms:
Phase I . Terms 1-4. Most students start this Phase when they are in Form 2. Those in Form 1 have found it a great advantage to complete both Phases in 2 years. All the topics considered essential for laying a sound base are taught. Particular attention is paid to language, writing, drawing diagrams and graphs. It takes a lot of time and patience to ensure that students acquire the necessary skills. Students are encouraged to ask for one-on-one assistance with topics they are doing in school.
Phase II . Terms 5-6. Given the strong base from Phase I, Phase II consists of consolidation and ensuring mastery of the topics taught in school. The latter is essential because at the end of Form 3 subjects are chosen. The student is then well prepared to easily qualify for Form 4 in Biology, Chemistry & Physics.
The students who have excelled in Science at CSEC, CAPE, B.Sc and Masters level have attended classes from Primary to Form 3. This goes contrary to the practice of concentrating only in the last two terms of Form 3 and Form 5.
Education is a plant of slow growth
Wise parents find help early.