Maths, Science & Computing
Biology is life. This is a bold statement but one that all students at Burgess Hill School for Girls appreciate from their first steps into the subject in Year 7. Our aim is to encourage the girls to open their eyes to the living world around them, becoming more curious about how things work and developing a desire to delve deeper into the relationships between living things. Their voyage of discovery will take them from the Galapagos Islands to the Islets of Langerhans, via the alimentary canal and the lateral roots. Human Biology is studied alongside Plant Science, Ecology and the ever-expanding fields of Genetics and Biotechnology. It stretches across the curriculum to link with Chemistry, Physics and Mathematics as well as Psychology, PE and Geography.
Biology develops skills beyond subject knowledge; an attention to detail, risk-taking, logical thinking and the ability to analyse and evaluate evidence. We encourage girls to constantly question, not only during their own investigations but also when studying those that have been part of the fabric of science for centuries.
As our students progress through the school, their focus is shifted from retaining knowledge to a more sophisticated application of ideas and information to new situations. We prepare them not only for the rigours of examinations, but for their futures and lifelong learning.
Practical work is at the heart of what we do in Chemistry at Burgess Hill Girls. From making their own acid/alkali indicators in Year 7, extracting copper from malachite in Year 8, exploding hydrogen in Year 9, and making sodium hydroxide, chlorine and hydrogen from rock salt in Year 10, our girls realise the importance of Chemistry in everyday life whilst having fun at the same time!
We emphasise building important skills such as planning fair tests, carrying out practical work safely and competently, analysing results and making conclusions from Year 7 onwards. Even more importantly, doing practical work reinforces learning. We offer competitions, such as attending the Royal Society of Chemistry’s ‘Top of the Bench’, and ‘Young Analysts’ and providing the opportunities to sit the Year 10 written tests, Chemistry Olympiad and the L6 Cambridge Chemistry Challenge. Our results and uptake in the Sixth form speak for themselves.
Computing and computer technology are part of just about everything that touches our lives from the cars we drive, to the films we watch, to the ways businesses and governments work. We are all users of computer technology.
But how do our smartphones and laptops work? How is it possible to share messages, photos, music and videos from one side of the planet to the other within a few seconds? How can technology be programmed to play games, understand speech, drive cars and control power stations? Studying computing can answer these questions and many more by “lifting the lid” on technology to explore a hidden world of electronics and code.
But as well as explaining how technology works, computing also develops other capabilities in understanding and solving diverse problems. Designing, developing and testing applications and hardware devices can be a challenging, creative and highly rewarding experience.
Studying computing and computer technology is also good preparation for a future where technology will continue to dominate nearly every profession. There can be little doubt that knowledge and skills in this field will continue to be highly sought-after by future employers.
Mathematics is a fascinating, challenging and stimulating subject with the capacity to push intellectual boundaries. Maths keeps you on the edge where you have to think to connect and solve.
There can also be no doubt about the importance of mathematics. From the technology that surrounds us to the limitless information we can access, maths is a vital tool for making sense of our increasingly complex world and so is essential for many other fields of study. From science and engineering to medical research, architecture and finance, mathematics is inescapable. Mathematics also has huge historical importance; key mathematical discoveries stand alongside the great works of art and major scientific discoveries for their significance. Without them our modern world would be a very different place.
In our daily lives, problems abound and mathematics is the art of understanding and solving problems. Mathematical proficiency and confidence are essential and support many vital skills; clear and logical thought, deduction, persuasion, analysis and precision to name but a few.
At Burgess Hill Girls we aim to promote mathematical skill, confidence and enjoyment for all. From the puzzles and challenges tackled by younger girls to A-levels in Mathematics and Further Mathematics and preparation for Oxbridge entry, we recognise the need to support the individual needs of every student. Our teachers also bring their own experiences from the diverse fields of business, computing, finance and economics to their lessons to emphasise the importance of this subject and regularly support our trips, competitions and events that aim to expand the mathematical horizons of our girls.
Have you ever wondered why the sky is blue, why dogs hang out their tongues and pant in hot weather or how a nuclear reactor works? Physics has the answers.
Physics is a fascinating subject that attempts to help us understand how the world around us works. Physics makes things possible, from the smallest atomic particles to the wonders of the universe and everything in between. Without physicists there would be no light bulbs or mobile phones, no iPads or space exploration. Studying Physics means that you are not only learning about the building blocks of life but preparing to be the scientist of the future – preparing for the careers which haven’t even been thought up yet!
We are constantly being told by the media that girls are not studying Physics and it remains an area dominated by boys, but at Burgess Hill Girls we are proud to say that Physics is thriving.
At our school there is no stereotyping, Physics is definitely not ‘just for the boys’ and each and every girl can learn and develop in a safe and secure environment. Our girls are encouraged to think for themselves, analyse a situation and make valid, well informed decisions
Physics is all about making predictions, testing them through observations and measurements, devising theories and laws to make more predictions. Physics often calls for imagination and inventiveness and we encourage the girls to ask those awkward questions… so why is the sky blue?
Psychology is currently one of the hottest, most studied and most sought-after disciplines in the world. Psychologists study how and why people behave in the way they do and how our thinking affects our emotions, making it a fundamental discipline for unravelling the mysteries of what makes us human. Psychology insights influence a number of professions from law to medicine, sport to archaeology. At Burgess Hill Girls, students can chose to study Psychology at A Level in the Sixth Form.