Head of Science
E-mail: Mrs R T GroocockPGCE, BSc (Hons)
Mrs Tamsin Groocock is Head of Science and has a passion for taking children’s knowledge of Science well beyond the curriculum. She enjoys teaching Science by linking topics and applying knowledge in everyday contexts. Having been brought up in Africa, with a father involved in agricultural research, she was always encouraged to understand the world around her and she was able to see first-hand the benefits that science and engineering applications can have, even on remote communities. These included more sustainable farming methods, increased food production and controlling crop diseases.
After graduation, having always loved both science and working with children, she naturally chose to specialise as a science teacher. Since then, Tamsin has worked in a number of prep schools in London and the South East, achieved Gold Standards for teaching Earth and Beyond and taken a winning team to the national finals of the Quiz Club Science competition.
Children are naturally excited by Science, if it enables them to explain the world around them and to understand the exciting new discoveries. The teaching of Science at Cranleigh Prep is purposefully designed to build curiosity and enthusiasm for all three topics; Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Emphasis on the relevance of science to everyday life is a very important part of the learning process.
Cranleigh Prep’s Science department has three brand new labs located in the Townsend building as well as a fully equipped lab in the Couper building. With specialist Science teachers for both Key Stage 2 and 3 and a lab technician the department is very well resourced to provide exciting, practical and interactive lessons.
At all ages pupils undertake hands-on investigative work that allows them to develop the techniques and skills necessary to form and test hypotheses and draw their own conclusions. Regular lively class discussions are important for developing the pupils’ abilities to articulate what they have learned, their methods and discoveries. This is supported by Cranleigh Prep’s wide range of interactive resources and students will often be seen using the outdoor facilities to investigate the natural world to understand and be able to help conserve their local habitats and environments.
The Science syllabus for Common Entrance follows the framework lay down by the National Curriculum and this frames the Science scheme of work at Cranleigh Preparatory School. All year-groups study Biology, Chemistry and Physics throughout the year.
In the Lower School, the pupils are taught in the labs where they are encouraged to use their observational and recording skills to develop their interests in different science topics and they are progressively encouraged to develop their abilities to explain and write about their findings. The Middle School pupils are able to extend this into planning their own investigations and exploring deeper into the world around them.
In the Upper School, Cranleigh Prep prepares them for Common Entrance or Scholarship exams in Form 6 where they take Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Strong links are maintained between the Heads of Department in the Senior School and the Prep School to ensure good and effective transitions in preparation for GCSE exams.
It is vital to have personal engagement and enthusiasm for Science and at Cranleigh Prep this is fostered by involving pupils in Quiz Club Science competitions, SATRO STEM competitions, National Science Week and our new themed Curriculum Collapse Day, which is held in the Summer term. Topical excursions and visiting speakers encourage our students to develop more in-depth understanding of their topics in real life contexts. In the same vein, collaboration between the STEAM subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Maths) is critical to enabling students to apply their scientific understanding.
Most of our pupils achieve a B grade or higher in Science and they often take up sciences in their further education and careers. This encouraging outcome validates Cranleigh Prep’s commitment to providing a good learning experience enhanced by curiosity and enjoyment in the world around us.