Science

Curriculum Intent

In our rapidly evolving world, Science is a vital part of our curriculum. Science stimulates and excites students’ curiosity about phenomena and events in the world around them; it also satisfies their curiosity with knowledge.

We aim to deliver a wide and varied learning experience and strive to develop each students unique potential where everyone feels confident to participate and is motivated to learn.

We believe that our students should not only reach their best academically, but also develop a thirst for knowledge, foster a love of learning and leave our school with excellent independent learning skills. By promoting scientific careers, educational trips and enrichment opportunities, we aim to ensure that a large number of our students are able to pursue careers in Science.

KS3

Years 7-9 are taught in two parallel populations X and Y. Classes are set based on their individual progress.

From the very beginning of year 7 students are made aware of aspects of safety and the need for high levels of co-operation and teamwork, they are given opportunities to develop both practical and social skills.

The year 7 curriculum focuses on the basic key concepts and principles of Science which includes Forces, Electromagnets, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, the Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes. The AQA Collins 2 Year Course is followed and teachers really use this year to get all students to a similar level of knowledge and understanding. Each topic is between ten to twelve lessons in length and is assessed with a written end of topic assessment in which a grade is given to the students for the content and quality of their work. End of year examinations are used as summative assessment in the summer term.

Year 8 builds on key concepts and ideas that weren’t examined in year 7. Students continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of Science as well as their practical skills. The year 8 curriculum looks in more detail at the topics covered in  year 7.

A range of teaching and learning styles are used across the topics and there is opportunity for teacher-led lessons as well as independent learning tasks throughout the year, varying from topic to topic. In addition, depending on the topic being studied, practical work is included. End of year examinations are used as summative assessment in the summer term.

Year 9 begins to look more deeply at the ten big ideas in Science – Forces, Electromagnets, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes. Each topic is short, with regular assessing of attainment and progress. End of year examinations are used as summative assessment in the summer term.

 

KS4

Students follow the AQA Combined Trilogy specification.

In Science, students follow topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and sit combined science exams at the end of Y11 to be awarded 2 GCSE’s in Science.

GCSE Trilogy Science offers grades from 9 to 1 but students may be entered for Higher or Foundation Tier depending on their progress.

Students need to complete a list of “required practicals”. Questions in the written exams will draw on this knowledge and these questions will count for at least 15% of the overall marks.

Students are placed in groups appropriate to their needs to make differentiation more efficient, there being constant opportunity for students to move from class to class as their needs change.

Students will study towards the foundation or higher examination using exam resources supported by the exam board.

There are regular end of topic tests which allow students to measure their progress through the course. End of year examinations are used as summative assessment in the summer term.

KS4 End of Course Assessment

GCSE Examinations

AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy (8464)

Foundation Level – Grades 1 – 5

Higher Level – Grades 4 – 9

Link for further information about this specification.

 

AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy is a double award and is worth two GCSE’s.

Students sit all their examinations at the end of year 11.

Science is externally assessed by six, 1 hour 15-minute exams; two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics papers. Students will sit either Higher (grades 4-9) or Foundation papers (grades 1-5).

 

KS5

Sixth form students can choose to study for AQA Biology, Chemistry, Physics and BTEC Level 3 Applied Science.

Students will be given weekly homework assessments or independent pre-work from teaching staff. Further to this, students will be expected to consolidate classwork with up to 5 hours personal study each week.

There are regular end of topic tests which allow students to measure their progress through the course. End of year examinations are used as summative assessment in the summer term.

Science subjects are always a very popular subject choice at A level, partly because pupils have enjoyed their experience in previous years and partly because Science is seen as a rigorous subject, well respected by employers and universities.

KS5 End of Course Assessment

A-level Examinations

AQA Biology (7403) AQA Chemistry (7405) AQA Physics (7408)
There are three examination papers – all are 2-hour exams. There are three examination papers – all are 2-hour exams. There are three examination papers – all are 2-hour exams.
10% of the overall assessment of A-level Biology will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above. 20% of the overall assessment of A-level Chemistry will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above. 40% of the overall assessment of A-level Physics will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above.
At least 15% of the overall assessment of A-level Biology will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to practical work. At least 15% of the overall assessment of A-level Chemistry will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to practical work. At least 15% of the overall assessment of A-level Physics will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to practical work
Link for further information Link for further information Link for further information

 

BTEC National Level 3 Applied Science

 

Equivalent in size to an A Level and covers Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics. Unit 1 (1.5-hour examination) and Unit 2 (coursework) are taken in Year 12.  Unit 3 (practical work and 1.5-hour examination) along with a further optional unit are studied in Year 13.

Overall, 60% of the course is externally assessed exam and 40% coursework.

Click this link for further information.

 

Curriculum Implementation

Students are supported with knowledge organisers in all years and “tube maps” showing the route through the curriculum. Dictionaries are available in all labs to help with literacy and word roots are often discussed during lessons. Calculators are always available as are data sheets where appropriate. Classroom teachers will be explicit in making cross-curricular links and Science capital links where possible. All students belong to class Teams where extra work is available for all to work independently. We provide all students with a login to Educake, an online homework platform, where students can set themselves questions to make further progress. Small group interventions run throughout the year which focus on key knowledge and skills. We liaise closely with the SEND department to put in student-specific interventions when necessary. Staff also run before and after school revision sessions.

As a department we support the literacy and numeracy of our students:

NUMERACY PAGE

LITERACY  PAGE

Career Links

 

 

Tips and Advice

The Science Department delivers a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) club and a Science Quiz club. Students enjoy the challenges offered during these sessions and find that it aids their learning in all subject areas.

Some students in Y9-11 have the opportunity to complete MedPath.

Staff run regular drop-in revision sessions both before and after school for students who are preparing for examinations or who are underperforming. There are various clubs, competitions, talks, outside speakers and visits that students can enjoy to supplement their learning.

 

Further Information

KS3 Link to National Curriculum: Science programmes of study: key stage 3 (publishing.service.gov.uk)

KS4 Link to National Curriculum: Department for Education (publishing.service.gov.uk)

Educake Online Learning Platform: www.educake.co.uk

 

 

Subject Leader Information

For more information or if you have any questions please use the contact details below.

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