Science

Welcome

Welcome to the Science page. Here you will find out everything you need to know about our department including what we teach and how we assess our pupils.


Curriculum Intent

The aims and ambitions of the Science faculty are for pupils to:

  • Prepare for their futures; in everyday life, their careers and in further study of the full range of science subjects.
  • Be challenged to develop their subject knowledge and skills to maximise progress.
  • Develop a mindset to work independently.
  • Work safely & logically. This will help in a range of situations for example, following a recipe or using a resin or glue to best effect.
  • Develop a logical and thinking approach, so that they can work both safely and in a logical, organised way
  • Employ analysis skills using evidence, to enable pupils to form opinion rather than following the ‘herd’
  • Be aware of links to the real world including the world of work and other subjects both within the faculty and across the whole curriculum
  • Apply scientific enquiry and method to answer questions both practically and using alternative sources of information.
  • See the ‘Wow factor’ of our subjects and promote a passion for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Key Stage 3

What will our pupils study?

Pupils in year 7 and 8 are following the KS3 AQA syllabus for science, incorporating the best aspects of a number of commercial "packages".
In years 7 and 8 pupils have 3 one hour Science lessons a week, with the same teacher. Initially pupils in year 7 are taught in their teaching groups but then are set by ability in Science after all pupils complete the first set of assessments. Sets are reviewed throughout KS3 each time all pupils have completed the same units of work.

Year 7 Curriculum Information

Year 8 Curriculum Information

Key Stage 3 – 2020 Curriculum Recovery Programme 

The spiral nature of our curriculum means that topics are routinely revisited and further developed upon. 

For year 7 this year we are expecting a lower baseline of knowledge and skills in the pupils. We are planning to deliver supplementary support to ensure all pupils competently grasp the basic concepts before moving on.

For Year 8 this year we have kept pupils in their familiar classes to help them feel more at ease as they re-establish routines and rekindle their joy of learning. Key aspects of the two units studied whilst under lockdown in year 7 are being integrated into the learning journey for all pupils during year 8.

We are also adopting the 3 phase approach as suggested by the exam board that we use for our final external assessments (AQA). This involves:

  1. Fundamental skills - Ensuring pupils practise, develop and embed their fundamental skills. Master the use of command words, vocabulary, practical skills, maths in science, working scientifically and extended responses to ensure every student has the right foundation of skills to build upon.
  2. Learning gap - Identifying and addressing the learning gaps pupils currently have by the use of resources such as past papers, mark schemes, practical questions, quick quizzes and other formative assessment. This will also enable us to track pupils’ progress.
  3. Rediscover learning - Enabling pupils to reengage with learning, maintain positive mental health and to support their wellbeing as individual learners.

How will our pupils be assessed?

Year 7 and 8 are assessed internally by end of unit tests and an end of year exam in year 8. There is a baseline assessment early in year 7 to inform teachers of the strengths and weaknesses of their group and the pupils within it.

Report grades are based on numerical levels from 1 to 7 in line with the former national curriculum.

Key Stage 4

What will our pupils study?

Pupils have a one hour Science lesson every day and are taught in 8 sets.

The courses currently offered are all GCSEs from the AQA exam board with the specification code in brackets ()

  • Sets 1 - 3 will study GCSE Biology (8461), GCSE Chemistry (8462) and GCSE Physics (8463).
  • Sets 4 - 8 will study GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy (8464 – double award - 2 GCSEs).

Pupils are usually taught in rotation by specialist teachers.

Year 9 Curriculum Information

Year 10 Curriculum Information

Year 11 Curriculum Information

Key Stage 4 – 2020 Curriculum Recovery Programme 

The spiral nature of our curriculum means that topics are routinely revisited and further developed upon. 

We are adopting the 3 phase approach as suggested by the exam board that we use for our final external assessments (AQA). This involves:

  • Fundamental skills - Ensuring pupils practise, develop and embed their fundamental skills. Master the use of command words, vocabulary, practical skills, maths in science, working scientifically and extended responses to ensure every student has the right foundation of skills to build upon.
  • Learning gap - Identifying and addressing the learning gaps pupils currently have by the use of resources such as past papers, mark schemes, practical questions, quick quizzes and other formative assessment. This will also enable us to track pupils’ progress. 
  • Rediscover learning - Enabling pupils to reengage with learning, maintain positive mental health and to support their wellbeing as individual learners.

Key Stage 4 – 2020 Changes to content

For the 2021 exam series the only change is that pupils do not have to have completed the ‘Required Practical’ tasks themselves. The exam board (AQA) will still ask questions about them in the same way, but pupils will not have had to personally conduct the experiments. 

We feel that the best preparation for our pupils is that they have taken part personally, this leads to greater familiarity with the details of the tasks. Consequently, we will be endeavouring to enable all our pupils to complete all required practical tasks themselves or in small groups. This approach will be supplemented by the use of teacher led demonstrations and videos. 

How will our pupils be assessed?

Internally, we regularly assess pupils with 45 minute end of unit tests, a paper 1 mock towards the end of year 10 and paper 2 mock exams during year 11 in the relevant subjects. For the current year 11 cohort, mock papers for all the subjects paper 1s will be completed in the mock period. Paper 2 mocks will be completed during lesson time later in the year once teaching of content is complete.

Pupils also need to carry out the following external assessments:

Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs: 2 papers for each of the three GCSE subjects at the end of year 11. Each paper will be 1 hour 45 minutes long.
 
Double Award Combined Science (Trilogy): 6 papers at the end of year 11 split into 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics papers. Each exam will be 1 hour 15 minutes long.

How have our KS4 pupils progressed so far?


Key Stage 4 Results - Science

2020
2019
2 or more GCSEs 4+ "standard" pass
87.5%83.2%
2 or more GCSEs 5+ "strong" pass
63%63.2%


Key Stage 4 Results - Progress

Expected Progress -2018

84

Better than Expected Progress - 2018

44

Expected Progress -2019

95

Better than Expected Progress - 2019

56

Expected Progress -2020


94.6%


Better than Expected Progress - 2020


52.7%










What can it lead to?

Science is useful in all occupations and is desirable for the majority of college courses and apprenticeships. Occupations where Science is essential include:

  • Medicine and all related careers
  • Alternative energy generation
  • Veterinary Science
  • Engineering
  • Health and Beauty
  • Teaching

Accommodation & Resources

The Faculty has eight laboratories. All laboratories are equipped with Interactive Whiteboards and dry wipe marker boards; one of them contains a suite of computers. All the teachers have access to a class set of laptops and a further set of iPads to aid with teaching and learning. The Faculty has three preparation rooms, staffed by a full time senior technician, assisted by a part time technician.

Teachers have access to a shared network drive, where best practice, resources and schemes of work are shared. Pupils can access files via Google Classroom and the pupil drive which is increasingly being used to develop a bank of useful resources and revision materials that pupils can access from home. Pupils are encouraged to purchase revision guides during year 10 to help with their revision and preparation for the mock examinations.

Several teachers are proud that they are able to relate their teaching to previous careers, including pharmacy, product development and pathology.

We are continually developing a science garden, which is not only a resource for teaching, but a stimulus for competitions, a gardening club and curiosity for pupils and staff alike.

It also acts to help maintain a good relationship with nature and fosters good mental health and wellbeing.

Summary

Pupils progress well in Science and enjoy practical aspects of the subject.

Many of our pupils go onto further study in Science and Science related careers.

Teachers are passionate about their subjects and hope that this will capture the interest of all pupils through high quality teaching and a range of extra-curricular activities.

We will continue to develop best practice and strive for improvements in progress and achievement for all pupils.