Head of Science Faculty: Mrs Agnese Lyne
The Science Department is divided into three subject departments, each with their own Head of Department and dedicated staff. The purpose-built science block at Downe House is in the centre of the School campus and boasts several laboratories and a team of subject-specific technicians.
Our aim in Lower School Science (Remove and Lower Fourth) is to inspire in girls a love of learning and to nurture their natural curiosity for science.
The science courses in Remove and Lower Fourth provide a secure grounding in many different topics in all three sciences and we strive to develop and encourage interest, enthusiasm and enjoyment for science amongst the girls.
The courses involve much practical work to develop investigative and practical skills. We encourage girls to apply their knowledge and skills in both familiar and unfamiliar situations. Wherever possible we identify cross-curricular links so that girls can see where their scientific knowledge can be applied in other areas and subjects, and beyond the curriculum to society and the environment. Girls develop lots of transferable skills during these two years, such as the use of mathematical and graphical techniques for data analysis and the identification of trends and relationships to draw conclusions.
We give girls the opportunity for individual and group work to advance the skills required to collaborate effectively with their peers and teachers, and to encourage debate and discussion, to develop informed opinions and to be able to support them using reasoned arguments. In addition, we encourage girls to show initiative, perseverance and independence of thought.
The Science Department offers a huge variety of science enrichment opportunities for every year group in the School.
Girls in the Lower School can take part in many trips, events and competitions across the sciences, which they all thoroughly enjoy! Recently we have attended the Salters’ Festival of Chemistry at Reading University, Exploring Engineering at Rutherford Appleton laboratories, We the Curious in Bristol, and were lucky enough welcome Dr Harkup to give the Junior Science Society lecture “Mad, Bad and Dangerous to know”. In the Lent term, a series of science workshops are usually offered on selected Saturday afternoons which are great fun!
A special opportunity in the Sixth Form is the Engineering Education Scheme. The programme links students with local companies to work on real scientific, engineering and technology projects.
Mrs Agnese Lyne is Head of Science.
After graduating with a BSc in Chemistry from the University of Milan and an MSc in Pharmaceutical and Analytical Science from Loughborough University, Agnese started her career as a scientist working in large pharmaceutical companies such as 3M and GlaxoSmithKline. Her desire to share her knowledge with future generations of scientists drove her to return to university and she completed her PGCE in Secondary Science at Oxford University. After only six years teaching at Salesian College, Farnborough, she moved to St Mary’s, Ascot, as Head of Chemistry.
As Head of Science Faculty, Agnese enjoys working with the Heads of Department for Chemistry, Biology and Physics to develop ideas that bring all areas of science to life. With the appointment of a new Head of STEM at Downe, Mr Charles Littledale, Mrs Lyne is excited to be able to collaborate with colleagues from other departments on projects and initiatives that really enable pupils to immerse themselves in the world of STEM, and to understand the university pathways and career opportunities that exist in these fields.
To read more about Mrs Lyne, please click here.
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