Science

Key stage 3: Years 7 - 9

Students are taught Science at Keystage 3 with topics that cover the three main disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students are taught skills and the principles of How Science Works. The curriculum is delivered through a combination of practical investigations, learning activities, presentations, analysis and graph drawing as well as factual recall learning. A strong emphasis is placed on developing thinking skills.

Students undertake core assessments each term in the form of a written examination.  

Year 7

Students begin Year 7 with an introduction to the secondary school laboratory.  This unit covers the health and safety requirements of working in a school laboratory.  Pupils are then gradually introduced to a range of laboratory equipment and are taught how to use them correctly.

The topics covered in Year 7 are listed below.  These topics are delivered in rotation, so that not all of the Year 7 teaching groups are working on the same topic at any one time.

A.Tissues and Transplants
B. Reproduction
C. Ecology
D. Classification of living things
E. Acids and Alkalis
F. Chemical Reactions
G. Particle Theory of Matter
H. Metals and their uses
I. Energy and Sustainable Living
J. Electrical Circuits
K. Forces and their effects
L. The Solar System 

Year 8

In Year 8, pupils are arranged in sets for their Science lessons.  Pupils study a number of topics which build on the learnings from Year 7.

The topics covered in Year 8 are listed below.  Again, these topics are delivered in rotation, so that not all of the Year 8 teaching groups are working on the same topic at any one time.

 A. Digestion and diet
B. Respiration and circulation
C. Disease
D. Environmental Factors
E. Water and solutions
F. Materials and recycling
G. Elements and Compounds
H. Heat Transfers
I. Forces and transport
J. Light
K. Sound and Hearing 

Year 9

In Year 9, pupils remain in sets for their Science lessons – the sets are revised at the beginning of Year 9.

The topics covered in Year 9 are listed below.  Again, these extended topics are delivered in rotation, so that not all of the Year 9 teaching groups are working on the same topic at any one time.

Science and Fiction
Inheritance in plants and animals.  Environmental influences on variation are studied, to include selective breeding, cloning and genetic modification.

A Model Career
Organ systems and diet.  The benefits of exercise and the dangers of smoking and drugs are covered.

On the Farm
Photosynthesis and how plants are adapted to obtain the raw materials.  Farming and problems associated with modern farming techniques.

Crime Scene Investigations
Microscopes, organs, sexual reproduction and lifecycles.  Animal and human behaviour (ethology and psychology).

Building for the future
Properties of metals and rocks. Sustainability of materials.

Sculpture Park
Reactivity of metals and issues related to corrosion.

Cleaning Up
Effects of pollution – both natural and that caused by humans.  Evidence for global warming and some of its consequences.

Flying Materials
Materials and their properties.  Conservation of mass and transfer of energy in chemical reactions.

Buying Energy
Energy and energy transfers.  Generation of electricity using fossil fuels.

Satellites and space
Revises ideas about mass and weight and extends to look at the effects of gravity in the Solar System.

Record Breakers
Speed and the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on moving objects.  Terminal velocity.

Dam it!
Considers the link between forces and pressure, pressure calculations.  Levers, turning forces and moments. 

Key Stage 4 (Years 10-11)

At Key stage 4 students are prepared for:-

  • Traditional 3 Science GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (Edexcel specification), or
  • Double Award GCSEs, a combination of Core Science (Edexcel specification with either:
    Additional Science (Edexcel specification), or Human Health and Physiology (AQA specification), or
  • Single Award GCSE in Core Science.

In the main, students are taught by specialist teachers for each of the Biology, Chemistry and Physics elements of the courses.  Strong emphasis is placed on developing thinking skills and independent study. 

Key Stage 5 (Year 12 – 13)

Advanced levels are taught by specialist teachers.  The following A’ levels are offered:- 

  • Biology AQA
  • Chemistry AQA
  • Physics AQA 

Students are timetabled for 10 lessons a fortnight for each Science A’ level course.  AS examinations are completed at the end of Year 12 (for pupils who choose not to continue to year 13) and A Level examinations at the end of Year 13. 

Science Achievements

As a result of our wonderful provision of STEM activities in lower school, the numbers of students opting for 3 Science GCSEs and continuing into A level sciences has increased significantly over the last few years. In November 2012 our students completing GCSE Science, performed better than the average of all other students taking EDEXCEL GCSE Science exams. Students taking the separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics modules achieved 94% A*-C in November 2012.

In the last 3 years we have seen significant numbers of students accepted into Medical School, Engineering Degree courses and other Science-related degree courses.  Students regularly go onto study science subjects at the Russell Group Universities. In the last three years students have accepted places at Imperial, Manchester, Leeds, Bath and Nottingham Universities to name but a few.

 Exam Bodies: For year 11 triple science: http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/science-2011-individual.html

 For year 11 core or additional science (usually called double award) : http://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/science-2011-mixed.html

We have yet to choose an exam board for next year’s year 10 pupils (i.e. current year 9) as the specifications have only been accredited in the last week or so. Current year 10s are following the course on the second link, and will continue to do so next year as year 11s.

Year 12 Physics (and next year’s year 13) is at http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/physics-7407-7408

The course that year 13s are currently following will be discontinued after the exams in June. The same is true for Biology and Chemistry for the current year 13s, so the links to the A Level pages for these subjects are:

Biology: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402
Chemistry: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/chemistry-7404-7405 

Teaching Staff:

All staff are highly qualified and experienced with a sound knowledge of their subject area.

Mrs. E.White PGCSE BSc (Hons) Head of Science and Head of Biology
Mrs. H. Shaw PGCE MSc (Hons) 2nd in Department and Head of Physics
Mrs. V. Baxter PGCE BSc (Hons) KS3 and STEM Coordinator and Teacher of Chemistry
Mr. E. Willis PGCE BSc (Hons) Head of Chemistry
Mrs. D. Richards GTP BSc (Hons) Teacher of Biology
Mrs. A. Vickers PGCE BSc (Hons) Teacher of Chemistry
Mrs. H. Boyham PGCE BSc (Hons) MRes Teacher of Biology 

Support Staff

Mrs V McHugh (Senior Technician)
Miss T Brigham BSc (Hons)
Mrs P Shaw MSc