Curriculum Leader: Mrs B Smith
Subject Teachers: Dr C Fay, Dr H Jones, Mr M Wildsmith, Ms H Nasser, Mr O Afolayan, Mr J Curtis, Mr E Efunbote.
Science is simply common sense at its best. Thomas Huxley
Overall Purpose of the Subject - Summary:
The study of science allows us to explore the world and universe that we live in and should foster and engage our curiosity about natural phenomena that we observe. By developing a better understanding and set of skills associated with scientific activity we can make better, more informed decisions about the society and environment we live in.
Course Outline and Structure - Key Stage 3
Science at KS3 is taught in a topic format based on the new National Programme of Study for Science at KS3. Lessons are a blend of developing new knowledge and skills coupled with enquiry led projects and investigations. A strong emphasis is placed on the development of scientific skills such as forming hypotheses and questions, planning investigations, collecting and analysing data and making sense of what the data indicates.
Currently, Year 7 students are being taught in mixed ability tutor groups during Autumn Term and then put into ability based sets during September. They complete various topics, including Introduction to Science, Cells, Particles and Forces. All pupils sit a baseline test and periodic assessments during Autumn Term to ensure they are placed into the most appropriate sets during the Spring Term.
Year 8 pupils continue to follow the skills and knowledge based curriculum, with periodic topic assessment throughout the course allowing their progress to be measured, enabling rapid intervention where necessary with further support from the teaching and support staff.
Our Year 9 pupils currently follow the Year 9 skills and knowledge curriculum for the Autumn Term as we prepare them for the commencement of the GCSE courses during the Spring Term. We teach a number of investigative led modules at the start of Year 9 that allow pupils to continue to develop their enquiry skills. At the beginning of September pupils sit a GCSE transition test to assess their readiness for GCSE. This enables any changes to setting to be made prior to the start of GCSE teaching and will identify any gaps in skills and knowledge that we can address at the start of the courses.
Assessment Method - Key Stage 3
Modular in class topic tests, enquiry based investigations and ‘big picture’ open ended question assessments.
Course Outline and Structure - Key Stage 4 Exam Board: AQA
The most able pupils will be selected to follow the Triple Science Programme (three GCSE’s of Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and all other pupils will follow the new GCSE Combined Science (9-1) programme. This decision is made during the Spring Term of Year 9 and it is envisaged that pupils will follow these courses for the remainder of Year 9, 10 and 11.
The GCSE Triple Science programme requires a great deal of self-motivated, independent learning by all pupils and study outside of the school environment. Pupils are expected to supplement their own learning by peer and self-assessment, identifying gaps in their own knowledge and skills by using independent study skills to complement their learning at school. Pupils will be assessed by two exam papers at the end of Year 11 for each subject, which means six papers in total for the Triple Science programme.
The new AQA Combined Science course will be taught to all pupils from the beginning of Year 9. This course uses the Department for Education new grading criteria of 9 to 1, assessed through six exam papers at the end of Year 11. The course is examined by terminal assessment which means all the exams will be scheduled at the end of Year 11 and there is no coursework element. The exams contribute to 100% of the final overall grade. The GCSE Combined Science course counts as two GCSE’s, i.e. double award.
Currently we plan to teach the Combined Science Course using the traditional approach of separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons. There is however flexibility in how we deliver the teaching and we will continually review the delivery to ensure the pupils have the best possible opportunities for learning.
Assessment Method - Key Stage 4
Terminal assessment at the end of Year 11, as outlined above. Individual topics will be assessed internally through topic