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Science

Overview

Science helps us to understand the world around us.  It enables us to ask questions, make observations, collect data, evaluate evidence, solve problems and make informed decisions.

Our Science Department is housed on the ground and first floor of our fantastic new building.  It consists of five purpose built and designed general science labs, one open plan lab designed to foster collaborative learning and one advanced lab constructed to facilitate the delivery of Post-16 Science to the highest standards.  We currently have 8 Science Teachers who cover the three specialist areas of Physics, Chemistry and Biology and three Science Technicians.

In Key Stage 3 we follow our own in-house developed course, devised by specialist Science Teachers.  It delivers Science through a variety of contexts. 

In Key Stage 4 we are currently phasing out the Edexcel Science courses at GCSE and replacing these with AQA GCSE Science, Additional Science and Separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) to better meet the needs of our learners.  We also deliver the Edexcel Level 2 BTEC Applied Science Certificate and Extended Certificate.

In Key Stage 5 we follow AQA AS/A2 courses in Physics, Biology and Chemistry.  We also deliver the Level 3 BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Applied Science.

Key Stage 3

One of our aims in the Science Department is to engage young students with a variety of scientific concepts and activities that will stimulate their naturally enquiring minds into asking the question "How does Science Work?"

The Key Stage 3 Programme of Study is delivered during four lessons per week over two years.  The course focuses on the applications and implications of Science.  Topical issues are utilised to encourage discussion of some of the ethical and moral dilemmas faced by modern Science.  There is an emphasis placed on collaborative work, where students will develop the skills needed for successful cooperative learning.  The objective is to develop confident young scientists who will have the capacity to analyse and evaluate scientific evidence and communicate their ideas in a coherent, creative and logical manner.

Year 7

Year 7 students follow an exciting and engaging scheme of work which centres around 12 topics made up from 4 of each Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) as detailed below:

  • Cells
  • Acids
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Reproduction
  • Particle theory
  • Forces
  • Differences
  • Elements and compounds
  • Energy
  • Classification
  • Chemical reactions
  • Space

Students are formatively assessed throughout the study of these topics and summatively assessed after the completion of 3 topics to chart the progress made by students.

Year 8

Year 8 continue through our Key Stage 3 scheme of work developing the topics outlined in Year 7.

Key Stage 4

All students study Science.  We follow the Edexcel Science specification for GCSE (but are replacing this with AQA Science).  We also follow the Edexcel specification for BTEC Level 2 Certificate and Extended Certificate in Applied Science.  BTECs are equivalent to GCSEs, the Certificate is equivalent to one GCSE at A* to C and the Extended Certificate is equivalent to two GCSEs at A* to C.

Students in Year 9 follow one of three pathways, these are:

  • Triple Science, this leads to GCSEs in Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  • Double Science, this leads to GCSEs in Science and Additional Science
  • BTEC Extended Certificate in Applied Science

Students in Year 10 follow one of three pathways, these are:

  • Triple Science, this leads to GCSEs in Physics, Chemistry and Biology
  • Double Science, this leads to GCSEs in Science and Additional Science
  • BTEC Extended Certificate in Applied Science

Students in Year 11 are following one of four pathways, these are:

  • Triple Science (Edexcel)
  • Double Science (Edexcel)
  • Core Science GCSE and BTEC Level 2 Certificate in Applied Science
  • BTEC Extended Certificate in Applied Science

All Science GCSE students are assessed by both internal and external exams; due to the rapidly expanding nature of GCSE assessment all students in Year 10 onwards will be assessed at the end of the course.  They will also complete one internal assessment per GCSE qualification.

Students studying for the BTEC awards have to provide a portfolio of evidence which is assessed throughout the course.

Post 16

Biology

AS Outline

In the first year students study three main topics: 'Biology and Disease', 'The Variety of Living Organisms', plus a practical assignment which is designed to sharpen their investigative skills.  Amongst them, these three topics give a solid grounding in Biology.

A2 Outline

Year two helps students build on that firm foundation and, like Year one, has two academic topics plus a practical assignment.  The academic topics are 'Populations and Environment' and 'Control in Cells and Organisms'.  The practical assignment is where they investigate a different area of Biology linked to the course.

Chemistry

AS Outline

In the first year there are three learning units.  In Unit 1 students will cover foundation subjects like atomic structure, periodicity and organic chemistry.  Then in Unit 2 students will work up to topics like kinetics, alkenes and analytical techniques.  Unit 3 happens throughout the year and is dedicated to investigative and practical skills.  Its 'How Science Works'.

A2 Outline

Year two follows a similar format.  Unit 4 introduces students to 17 topics, including equilibria, polymers and aromatic chemistry.  Unit 5 covers thermodynamics, energetics and inorganic chemistry.  Unit 6, like Unit 3, is the practical, hands on part of the second year.

Physics

AS Outline

At AS students are introduced to new topics as well as building on previous studies in Physics.  The two AS theory units provide alternative starting points for the AS course:

  • Unit 1: Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity
  • Unit 2: Mechanics, Materials and Waves
  • Unit 3: Investigative and Practical Skills

A2 Outline

At A2 the course builds on AS Physics (A) and includes optional topics:

  • Unit 4: Fields and Further Mechanics
  • Unit 5: This unit comprises two sections
  • Section A: Nuclear and Thermal Physics
  • Section B: Option Unit - Astrophysics
  • Unit 6: Investigative and Practical Skills

Level 3 BTEC

Course Description

Edexcel BTEC Level 3 Certificate

The 30 credit BTEC Level 3 Certificate offers a specialist qualification that focuses on particular aspects of employment within the appropriate vocational sector.  The BTEC Level 3 Certificate is a qualification which can extend a learner's programme of study and give vocational emphasis.  The BTEC Level 3 Certificate is broadly equivalent to one GCE AS Level.

The units of study are:

  • Fundamentals of Science
  • Working in the Science Industry
  • Scientific Practial Techniques