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Science

Vision

Teachers in our science department are varied in their interests and subject passions but have in common the wish to encourage pupils to think for themselves, to question the natural world around them and to consider how theories about science evolve over time as new technologies make way for new discoveries.

Overview

Our science department is housed on the ground and first floor of our fantastic building.  It consists of 9 purpose built and designed general science labs, two open plan lab designed to foster collaborative learning, one advanced lab constructed to facilitate the delivery of post-16 science to the highest standards and an Eco Pod. We have science teachers who cover the three specialist areas of physics, chemistry and biology.

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 delivering the AQA GCSE combined science and separate sciences (biology, chemistry and physics) qualifications to meet the needs of our learners.

In key stage 5 we follow AQA AS/A2 courses in chemistry and physics and the OCR AS/A2 in biology.  We also deliver the Level 3 BTEC Extended Certificate in Applied Science.

Curriculum allocation

Year group Allocation
7 5 lessons per week
8 5 lessons per week
9 6 lessons per week (2 lessons of each discipline)
10 6 lessons per week (2 lessons of each discipline)
11 6 lessons per week (2 lessons of each discipline)
12 5 lessons per week for chosen science discipline*
13 5 lessons per week for chosen science discipline*

*Numbers of lessons may increase depending on demand

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.

Key Stage 4

All students study science and follow the AQA science specification for GCSE.

Students will start their Science GCSEs in Year 9 follow one of two pathways, these are:

  • Separate science
  • Combined science

Students studying the separate science pathway will finish the course with a GCSE grade in biology, chemistry and physics. Each GCSE is graded from 9-1.

Students studying the combined science pathway will finish the course with two GCSEs.

Grading for combined science is as follows: 9-9, 9-8, 8-8, 8-7…2-1, 1-1.

View Long Term Overview

Routines in our department

Science is all about inquiry and discovery. In lessons, pupils are challenged to ask questions and pose suggestions for observations that they make.

We facilitate this through a regular and passionate focus on practical science. Students have a set of key scientific competencies they will work towards achieving across the years they are here at WLA. When students reach year 11 their practical skills will be ready to progress onto one of our A levels or our Level 3 BTEC in Applied science.

Homework involves developing subject knowledge and learning key facts and processes. Having a strong background knowledge is key to being able to ask questions and secure learning.

Quizzes in science are there to test pupil knowledge and application of this knowledge. Students will be regularly assessed on how well they can recall, explain and apply their learning to unfamiliar scenarios. Students will also be assessed on their scientific competencies to ensure they are able to follow procedures and work safely in a laboratory environment.

Post 16

  • BTEC – Applied Science
  • A Level Biology
  • A Level Chemistry
  • A Level Physics