All three major elements of Science form part of students' learning: understanding of the physical world is developed through the study of physics and chemistry; the exploration of the living world is the focus of biology. Through investigations students gain knowledge and understanding as well as important practical skills and enjoyment.
Science is taught in ten purpose-built laboratories with interactive whiteboards. The faculty has a comprehensive stock of textbooks and has a faculty laptop-trolley, which can be used for data-logging, spreadsheets and research. The library is well resourced with science-based material for reference and research projects.
How learning is organised
Science is a National Curriculum core subject. The faculty works with primary schools to maintain continuity from Key Stage 2 to Key Stage 3. Year 7 and 8 students are taught in classes with a mixed range of prior attainment but separated into six upper-band and four lower-band groups. Student groupings are based on prior-attainment data from Key Stage 2. From Year 9 onwards students are taught in sets, based on progress during the previous year. A practical approach to learning is adopted, enabling students to discover many answers for themselves in both open-ended investigations and class experiments. All elements of science form part of the 11-16 curriculum and students are well prepared for further studies in science, post-16.
Years 7 and 8
During KS3, students study a variety of scientific topics that develop students’ scientific skills as well as their knowledge and understanding of the world around them. Throughout Key Stage 3, the importance of science to industry and society is emphasised through exploration of how scientific ideas are applied. Students are taught themed topics focusing on a particular aspect of science, each based on the KS3 National Curriculum, but also designed to prepare students for the rigours of GCSE sciences. In each teaching module students have the opportunity to develop their understanding and skills through scientific investigations. Students complete an assessment of their skills and understanding in each module and areas for development are identified. Following an assessment, students are given the opportunity, resources and support to make improvements or to extend their knowledge further. In each year, students of all abilities have made excellent progress in recent years.
Year 9, 10 and 11
Students will begin their GCSE course in year 9. Students will follow the new AQA Science GCSE course which awards grades from 9-1. At the end of year 9, decisions will be made regarding the most appropriate pathway for each student to continue in Year 10 and Year 11. Some students will study a 'Combined Science' course which awards two grades at the end of Year 11, others will complete Separate Science courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics which will result in individual awards for each subject. ‘Combined Science’ is also known as the Trilogy Course as it contains aspects of all three science disciplines but to the value of two GCSE’s.
Throughout year 10 and 11 we will monitor the progress of students on each pathway and should we believe a student following the Separate Science pathway is more likely to be successful on the Combined Science pathway we may swap individuals to this course. The Separate Science pathway (3 GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics) is taught in the same curriculum time as Combined Science pathway (2 Science GCSEs), therefore we require a high level of commitment from the students completing this course.
Current syllabus: AQA Science 9-1
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