Nord Anglia
13 March, 2024

Our Scientific Approach

A Glimpse into our Innovative Scientific Approach at OICB
At OICB, we take pride in our commitment to fostering academic excellence and a forward-thinking approach to science education. Our science department stands as a beacon of innovation, providing students with an enriching experience that extends far beyond textbooks. 

At the core of our scientific approach is a dedication to academic excellence. Our esteemed faculty, comprising experienced educators, guides students through a rigorous curriculum designed to develop a deep understanding of scientific principles and provide clear explanations to allow students to grasp scientific concepts. Fran Warran, Head of Science, described the departments vision as "Thinking made visible.


The Gilbert building, named after Sarah Gilbert, co-developer of the AZ Covid-19 vaccine and a pioneer in her field, is home to our cutting-edge Science laboratories. Our laboratories are modern, high quality and equipped with the latest technology, enabling students to bridge the gap between theory and practice seamlessly and to participate in extensive practical work. Our laboratories provide an immersive experience that prepares students for the challenges of the scientific world. In a recent Webinar, Fran Warran, explains that "we use technology to support learning...students share resources, have an electronic notebook, and can access their science work anywhere in the world". All our facilities have been designed with our highly academic student body in mind and our world-class Science facilities provide ideal learning environments for our students to develop understanding and hone their skills.


At OICB, we believe hands-on learning is paramount for scientific education. Our students engage in extensive practical work, conduct experiments, collect data and analyse results. Students go beyond the theory of Science on projects and make use of our Maker Space. For example, we have one student that is building a telephone and other students looking to develop a Biogas Generator. Furthermore, we cultivate students’ creativity and resilience through truly transformational experiences. This includes activities through our collaborations with world-leading organisations like MIT. Students are currently working on a long-term project, Build Better Everything – looking at an everyday object, learning about its manufacturing and supply chain, and devising a more sustainable way of creating the same product. In addition, we are launching a competition for a current Year 9 or Year 11 Science students to go to MIT next October for a week of Super Curricular activities. Alongside this, students have been making their own rockets from scratch. This practical approach not only reinforces theoretical knowledge but also hones essential laboratory skills, with our students working collaboratively to develop skills for their future professional lives.


Our team vision at OICB is to create extensive enriching opportunities and our commitment goes beyond the classroom. Our Super Curricular Programme is an integral part of an education at OICB and this strategic approach gives students access to activities that will have tangible outcomes for their goals or career. These activities include competitions, projects, societies, internships, guest lectures, workshops and trips. Our students get a head-start on their career through internships and work experience. Our links to the local hospital and medical schools give the opportunity for our students to gain real-world experience. Our curriculum is further enhanced by regular visits from outside experts and people who are pioneers in their profession. Our inspiring visitors run workshops, give guest lectures and share their passions with our students. These opportunities offer students the chance to explore their interests, collaborate with peers and gain exposure to diverse branches of science, whilst preparing them for future careers in this dynamic field. 


Central to our strategy is the emphasis on early diagnostics and immediate feedback, allowing students to identify strengths and areas for improvement from the outset. This proactive approach not only informs our tailored teaching methods but also empowers students to take ownership of their learning journey. Students have SCITS (regular weekly assessments), serving as crucial checkpoints, allowing both students and teachers to reflect on progress and ensure continuous improvement. Fran Warran explains Students are given the opportunity to reflect on their progress with SCITS. Teachers provide feedback to students and this is a strong diagnostic to allow our students to see where they need to invest more time.” Alongside this, we prioritise extensive review work and actively encourage independent study, pre-lesson reading and post-lesson consolidation.


At OICB, we adopt a forward-thinking approach when it comes to the scientific approach, with a focus on questioning and stretching students' thinking skills, challenging them to explore the boundaries of scientific inquiry and encouraging a mindset of intellectual curiosity. We aim not only to impart knowledge but also to develop the critical thinking skills essential for success in university interviews and beyond. We want to give students the opportunity to develop those skills to be able to perform highly in an interview situation. Additionally, as part of our Super Curricular Programme, we have ‘Career Pathways’ serving as a bridge between academia and real-world applications, offering insights into diverse fields and mentorship to guide students towards their career aspirations. Our future-focused approach ensures that students not only excel academically but also emerge as well-rounded individuals, ready for success in the dynamic world of scientific innovation.


Our Science approach at OICB is a testament to our commitment to nurturing brilliant minds and preparing them for the future. By combining academic excellence, state-of-the-art facilities, practical learning, extracurricular engagement and enrichment opportunities, we create an environment where students thrive.


Join us as we continue to shape the scientists, innovators and leaders of tomorrow.