All students should leave school as scientifically literate citizens, with a range of scientific skills allowing them to evaluate the claims made in the media, make informed decisions and contribute to debates on issues that affect their lives. The experience of Science needs to inspire the next generation of scientists with students aspiring to study Science post-16, at university and in the work place. This requires rigorous and challenging courses providing the students with the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary for further study. Lessons should generate excitement and curiosity in the students and be extended beyond the classroom through visiting speakers, extra-curricular activities and field trips.
In year 7 and 8 students are taught in mixed ability teaching groups, following the Activate Science scheme of work. Year 7 and 8 students also have CASE lessons, Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education, to develop their thinking skills and raise achievement. In year 9 students are grouped according to their ability, in the autumn and spring terms they continue with the Activate Science scheme before starting the GCSE Science course during the summer term.
Students are assessed regularly through homework, mid-topic formative assessments, end-of-topic tests and an end of year exam. Homework is set weekly and students will be assessed through written activities which are marked by the teacher and by on-line assignments which provide instant feedback, allowing students to resubmit an assignment. The end-of-topic tests identify students who are on, above or below their expected grade, any student below their expected grade will be given the opportunity to improve their score.
All students in year 10 have to study the Double Award Science GCSE unless they chose triple science in their year 9 options. For the Double Award, students will follow the Edexcel GCSE Science course working towards two GCSE grades between 9 and 1. For the Triple Science course students will follow the Edexcel courses for Biology, Chemistry and Physics and will be awarded separate 9 to 1 grades for each subject. Both the Double Award and Triple Science courses are two year GCSE courses with all of the assessments at the end of year 11. The Double Award is assessed through six 70 minute exams and the Triple Science course is assessed through six exams each lasting 1 hour 45 minutes. The assessment of these courses is 100% examination, with higher tier papers aimed at grades 9 to 4 and foundation papers aimed at 5 to 1 grades, with no controlled assessments. Throughout the two year course students will be assessed by their teacher on their classwork, homework, end-of-topic tests and end of year 10 exam, receiving feedback on their progress towards their target grade.
In addition to the core curriculum students are given the opportunity to take part in enrichment and study support activities. Each half term the science team run “Give it a go” activities at lunchtime which have included activities such as making fake blood and bath bombs. During Science Week a range of activities are available at lunchtimes throughout the week, these have included building and launching a rocket, making a lava lamp and a science treasure hunt around school. Students are also able to complete a Crest award, which is a nationally recognised science enrichment qualification. In 2015-16 all the students in year 9 completed activities towards the Crest Discovery Award with a small number of students then completing the Bronze Award through their work with primary school children.
At lunchtimes the science teachers offer study support sessions for students in all year needing help with classwork, homework or preparing for the end-of-topic exams. In year 11 a structured study support timetable will be available at both lunchtimes and after school to help prepare students for the GCSE exams.
Both the Double Award and Triple Science courses offer progression on to Level 3 qualifications such as A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and physics or onto a Level 3 BTEC Science course.
Having completed A-levels or a Level 3 BTEC in Science students will be able to progress onto Level 4 qualifications at university studying courses to either degree level or a Level 4 BTEC. These courses cover a wide range of subjects including biology, chemistry, physics, engineering, medicine and animal science.
Director of Science
Deputy Learning Director of Science