Head of Science

St. George's College, Quilmes, Argentina - Science Team 2013
St. George’s College, Quilmes, Argentina – (most of..!) The Science Team Selfie 2013

As Head of Science, I am effectively leading a diverse bilingual team of 9 teachers and 1 technician, successfully establishing a supportive climate of collegiality and sharing of best practice within the department, which has been commended by SMT and adopted as a model for whole-school development.

I have established accountable departmental Teacher Performance Management to identify strengths and inform reflective practice through regular lesson observations, student evaluations of learning and teaching, and quality assurance procedures for assessment and reporting. In ensuring quality of provision for staff professional development through departmentally-designed INSET, individual staff progress and target meetings, and comprehensive departmental reflections for the 5 Year IB and LAHC Reviews, our team has increased both IB and IGCSE attainment by over 35% within year 2 of my tenure.

IGCSE Outstanding Learner Awards 2013 recipients
IGCSE Outstanding Learner Awards 2013 recipients

We have achieved the Outstanding Cambridge International Examinations Learner Awards obtaining the top marks in Argentina for both IGCSE Biology and Chemistry and have exceeding expected attainment by 2 levels, particularly in IB Biology, based on YELLIS Baseline Test data and CEM IBE predictions.

Our team has worked exceptionally hard to improve consistency in and a challenging pace of learning as a key priority for our departmental development by adopting effective and accountable monitoring and tracking policies. We are embedding 21st Century pedagogy across our learning and teaching through Scientific Inquiry Skills, Formative Assessment strategies, Cognitive Acceleration in Science Education lessons, and Global Citizenship focused objectives across our schemes of work and teacher practice. We have increased the focus on science skills progression and have expanded the curriculum opportunities for our students by introducing the IGCSE Paper 4 Coursework option and the IB Environmental Systems and Societies course in this past year, alone.

We have established and developed transitional links with the Preparatory School to ensure curriculum coherence from PYP through to IGCSE and IBDP focusing on both science and thinking skills, promoting co-operative teaching and vertical and cross-collaboration.

As Head, I have made it a priority to significantly increase the Science Department profile through numerous meaningful cross-curricular initiatives and rich tasks, annual Science Fairs, Inter-house Competitions, expansion of the Group 4 Project links with outside agencies, and in producing high-quality assembly presentations focused on the IB learner profile and international universities that specialize in the Sciences.

I have improved the Science infrastructure through long-term focused investment and resourcing, especially in ICT, establishing and developing Google Drive and the interactive learning platform Moodle as effective tools for monitoring and tracking, lesson resourcing, online requisitioning and experiment databases. I have embedded in-house staff training on interactive teaching tools and use of data-logging software from secondary year 1 onwards to support and enhance the ICT in Education whole-school mission.

I have promoted and assisted in implementing the school-wide recycling initiative and the creation of an on-site ecological reserve for environmentalism teaching through my department’s Green Committee links.

We are also continuing to achieve annual Gold and Silver awards at national Science Olympiads in Advanced Chemistry and Physics.

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