Welcome to the Science Department

The science department consists of 5 state of the art labs, 1 science classroom and a lecture theatre complete with science demonstration equipment at the front. Learning and Teaching in science is outstanding, with pupil progress being the main focus of all staff. Staff in the science department feedback to the students on a fortnightly basis using DIRT activities; Directed, Improvement, Reflection Time, during this time students focus on their work corrected by staff and try to improve it. This way the feedback from staff feeds forward and promotes a positive learning environment.

Science at KS3

Science at KS3 is about inspiring the students and engaging them in a stimulating learning environment. Within the classroom students will be given the opportunity to take part in practical activities as well as theory based tasks.

The new KS3 offers students to discover learning through the 10 big ideas in science and the 4 big ideas about science. These are promoted around the department in large speech bubbles for all to see. In lesson time the focus is on pupil discovery, whereby the students learn by doing and finding out for themselves. This is promoted by staff by having a “big picture” for the lesson which might involve a question that the students need to work together in finding the answer by the end.

The 10 Big ideas in science:
1. All material in the Universe is made of very small particles.
2. Objects can affect other objects at a distance.
3. Changing the movement of an object requires a net force to be acting on it.
4. The total amount of energy in the Universe is always the same but energy can be transformed when things change or are made to happen.
5. The composition of the Earth and its atmosphere and the processes occurring within them shape the Earth’s surface and its climate.
6. The solar system is a very small part of one of millions of galaxies in the Universe.
7. Organisms are organised on a cellular basis.
8. Organisms require a supply of energy and materials for which they are often dependent on or in competition with other organisms.
9. Genetic information is passed down from one generation of organisms to another.
10. The diversity of organisms, living and extinct, is the result of evolution.

The 4 Big ideas about science:
1. Science assumes that for every effect there is one or more causes.
2. Scientific explanations, theories and models are those that best fit the facts known at a particular time.
3. The knowledge produced by science is used in some technologies to create products to serve human ends.
4. Applications of science often have ethical, social, economic and political implications.

Assessment in Science at KS3
Assessments in KS3 look at the students’ ability to plan, conduct, collect data and analyse it in a practical environment. The students will produce practical write-ups of experiments that will be graded using the new Assessment without Levels guidance. This means that students will be graded using the following headings; breakthrough, elementary, intermediate and advanced. Each of these headings have sub sections for example Elementary 1. As students’ progress through KS3 they will reach Advanced 1 which ensures they are GCSE ready.

Science at KS4

KS4 Science – The Legacy (year 10 and 11)
Year 10 and 11 students are currently working in the legacy where they are continuing to learn either dual or triple award chemistry depending on their performance and attainment. Students will sit three exams per GCSE on the triple award course, as well as an ISA exam which is practical based. Students on dual award will sit both the core and additional exams and an ISA per science. Each contributing to 25% of the qualification.

KS4 Science Trilogy (Year 9)
Within the department the Year 9 students in Science are on a new three year KS4 journey. Within this journey students will study Biology, Chemistry and Physics by specialist teachers and produce a practical notebook for each of the subjects. These practical notebooks will provide evidence of the required practicals needed for the end of year exam. Based on student performance, some will continue on the three year journey and others will change course to a combined route.

Assessment in science at KS4
Students will sit two terminal exams for each of the three sciences at the end of year 11, in which numeracy will form a significant element. 20% of the Biology, 30% of the Chemistry paper and 40% of the Physics paper will be maths based, where students will need to apply their knowledge of equations or skills learnt in class.