Science

Curriculum Leader: Mr S. Bailey

 

The Science department consists of a team of 9 full time teachers, 5 part time teachers and 6 technicians.  Where possible, staff teach predominantly according to their specialism at GCSE and A Level.  They teach all three sciences in Years 7-8.

 

The department has 14 laboratories, including 4 new Physics labs and 5 preparation rooms.  Each laboratory has a networked computer and an interactive smartboard. In addition, one laboratory has 20 networked computers together with a large collection of data logging equipment.

The department currently follows its own scheme of learning which makes extensive use of the ‘Exploring Science’ materials.  This integrates the development of scientific skills alongside subject content throughout our teaching schemes.

In Year 7 students are broadly grouped according to their Key Stage 2 results.  Throughout years 7 – 9 students have 3 hours of teaching, ideally with one teacher in year 7-8, though there is more specialist teaching in year 9.

Summary of Curriculum Content

Below is a list of the key topics covered for each year group. Topics are introduced in year 7 and then expanded in more detail in year 8. Our year 9 curriculum aims to introduce early ideas from the KS4 syllabus.  Further details such as summary sheets, key word lists and practice questions for each topic can be found on the appropriate section of the school VLE.  In addition to this an electronic version of the text book utilized in our schemes at KS3 and 4 is available on the VLE.

Year 7

  • Biology: organisms 1, ecosystems 1, genes 1.
  • Chemistry: matter 1, chemical reactions 1.
  • Physics: forces 1, electromagnets 1, energy 1, waves 1.

Year 8

  • Biology: organisms 2, ecosystems 2, genes 2.
  • Chemistry: matter 2, chemical reactions 2, Earth 1 & 2..
  • Physics: forces 2, electromagnets 2, energy 2, waves 2.

Alongside this, students study a range of ‘core practicals,’ in similar vein to the required practicals at GCSE level.

Year 9:

  • Biology: cells, organisation
  • Chemistry: periodic table, bonding, chemical changes.
  • Physics: energy, atomic structure

At Key Stage 4 pupils can follow a variety of paths.  Assessment information is used to inform a decision about which students would benefit from taking AQA Separate Sciences (usually 3 groups) whilst others take AQA Combined Science (usually 6 groups).  A smaller cohort of students also takes the Entry Level Certificate which is assessed in a more ongoing format.

In year 10 and 11 students have 10 hours of teaching per fortnight ( though some year 11 classes have 9 hours a fortnight). 

Summary of Curriculum Content

Below is a list of the key topics covered for each of the courses.  Terminal assessment via exams takes place at the end of year 11.

  • Biology: cell biology; organisation; infection and response; bioenergetics; homeostasis and response; inheritance, variation and evolution; ecology
  • Chemistry: Atomic structure and the periodic table; bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; quantitative chemistry; chemical changes; energy changes; the rate and extent of chemical; organic chemistry; chemical analysis; chemistry of the atmosphere; using resources.
  • Physics: Energy; electricity; particle model of matter; atomic structure; forces; waves; magnetism and electromagnetism; space

Further details such as summary sheets, self-assessment sheets, past papers and relevant syllabi can be found for each topic on the appropriate section of the school VLE.  In addition to this an electronic version of the text book utilized in our schemes is available on the VLE.

 

Relevant subject links are:

Science courses are popular at A Level and this is reflected in the high number of students taking the subjects.  We currently have the following groups:

AS Biology

2 Groups

A2 Biology

3 Groups

AS Chemistry

2 Groups

A2 Chemistry

2 Groups

AS Physics

2 Groups

A2 Physics

2 Groups

BTEC Applied

1 Group

BTEC Applied

1 Group

BTEC Forensics

1 Group

 

 

All three Sciences follow AQA specifications at present.  At both AS and A2 the groups receive 9 hours teaching time each fortnight.  We also run a popular KS5 level 3 BTEC course in Applied Science in both years 12 and 13 and are adding a Forensics course this year.

 

Please note that the Biology field trip will take place from Friday 25th June to Sunday 27th June inclusive.

 

Summary of Curriculum Content

Links to the relevant syllabi and past papers are found at:

The Science department runs a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and maths) House Competition.

 

This consists of a range of scientifically themed challenges with students winning points towards the house STEM cup.