science smThe Science department is based on one section of the first floor of the school building. We are housed in purpose built laboratories and deliver Science to every student in the school.

Specific information about the Key Stage 3 curriculum and how it is assessed:

The Key Stage 3 Course is taught via discreet units of work throughout. Each unit has an accompanying Student Workbook and Student Homework Book in which students work. They will also use exercise books or lined paper according to the decision of the classroom teacher. Each pupil requires a folder from the beginning of year 7 in which to keep all work.

The booklets are as follows:

Year 7:
•    Gravity and Space (Physics unit)
•    Human Reproduction (Biology unit)
•    A First Look at Life (Biology unit)
•    Safety and Skills
•    Chemical Reactions (Chemistry unit)
•    Forces and Energy (Physics unit)
Year 8:
•    Plants and Photosynthesis (Biology unit)
•    Rocks and Metals (Chemistry unit)
•    Elements and Compounds (Chemistry unit)
•    Light and Sound (Physics unit)
•    Ecology (Biology unit)
•    Electricity and Magnetism (Physics unit)
•    Forces and Motion (Physics unit)

All units have a strong element of practical work and skills training in addition to building a sound basis of scientific knowledge.
Opportunities for VAK learning are throughout the schemes of work. The schemes provide a strong basis to lessons. This can be built upon and adapted by classroom teachers. A feature of good and excellent lessons is exactly this development of an already strong lesson.

Teacher’s notes have clear guidelines for differentiation using a must, should, could system. Opportunities for staff to extend this using skills and knowledge of pupils are ongoing.

Year 9
To start separate GCSE Science of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, a student will need to reach a consistent level 6b throughout year 8.
All other students will complete the following units of work:

  •     Food and Digestion (Biology Unit )
  •    Chemistry and the Environment (Chemistry Unit)
  •    A GCSE/BTEC Bridging course designed to ease the transition to GCSE level work.

Specific information about the Key Stage 4 curriculum and how it is assessed:

GCSE Science
We follow the OCR gateway Science courses. We offer Core GCSE Science, Additional GCSE Science plus the separate GCSE subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
The majority of students will complete Core and Additional Science throughout years 10 and 11 leading to 2 Science GCSE grades.
Those who follow the separate Science route will complete three Science GCSE subjects and attain three separate GCSE grades.
With the changes to GCSE Science, all assessment is now in the May/June of year 10 and 11. January exams are no longer available.
In year 10, Core GCSE will be completed. For separate Science, one of the GCSE subjects will be completed.
In year 11, Additional Science GCSE will be completed. For separate Sciences, the remaining two subjects will be completed.
Some key points to remember are:
1.    Coursework has to be completed in the year of the exam. It is now a controlled assessment in school. This is a vital day and constitutes 25% of the final GCSE grade. It needs to be treated as an external exam.
2.    Retakes are much more difficult to do. If one unit is retaken, the whole of the assessment has to be retaken the following June. More importantly, the retake grade counts, even if it is lower. It is advisable to consider retakes as being unavailable.
3.    If a terminal exam is missed, it would have to be completed with all other units for the GCSE in the following June exam series.

BTEC Science
Introducing the new BTEC First Award in Principles of Science (Edexcel)

BTEC First qualifications were originally designed for use in colleges, schools and the workplace as an introductory level 2 course for learners wanting to study in the
context of a vocational sector. This is still relevant today. The skills learnt in studying
a BTEC First will aid progression to further study and prepare learners to enter the
workplace in due course.

BTECs are vocationally related qualifications, where learners develop knowledge and
understanding by applying their learning and skills in a work-related context.
Additionally, they are popular and effective because they engage learners to take
responsibility for their own learning and to develop skills that are essential for the
modern-day workplace.

These skills include: team working; working from a prescribed brief; working to
deadlines; presenting information effectively; and accurately completing
administrative tasks and processes. BTEC Firsts motivate learners and open doors to
progression into further study and responsibility within the workplace.

The Edexcel BTEC Level 1/Level 2 First Award in Principles of Applied Science has
been designed to deliver the Key Stage 4 Programme of Study for science by
covering the key scientific principles vital for both scientists and citizens of the
future. The qualification is appropriate for learners of all abilities who will benefit from a practical and applied approach to learning in a vocational context. It has been developed to:
1.    Exemplify scientific principles in vocational contexts, leading to an understanding of how those principles are applied in practice and how they can facilitate a move either onto further periods of study or into employment
2.    Give learners the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of science principles and practice.
The BTEC philosophy of learning through doing remains at the heart of the qualification. Learners will be given the opportunity to gain a broad understanding and knowledge of, and skills in, the applied science sector.

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