The study and appreciation of scientific ideas and concepts is essential. As well as enabling us to understand the world around us we can also engage and have an informed opinion about current scientific controversies that could impact on our lives. Therefore it is important that the science we learn in the classroom is seen to have some relevance to the outside world.
In order that this can happen, we continually seek to ensure that our lessons draw on real life contexts. Science is a practically-based subject, where learning is achieved through enquiry. Our long term aim is to encourage pupils to develop their skills and use their observations to draw conclusions. Therefore, we seek to ensure that the pupils’ experiences are as practically based as possible.
Science can often be perceived as challenging by many pupils. For this reason we are committed to continually reviewing how we teach so that we can enthuse and engage all pupils, irrespective of their ability. We are proud of these achievements and are always developing our courses and teaching provision to maintain this very high standard.
In endeavouring to provide teaching and learning that is differentiated to the needs of the pupils, we set classes by ability from Year 7. Pupils are regularly assessed both by test and by formative assessment in the course of a lesson. This enables us to move pupils between sets in response to their needs.
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 is the foundation of scientific learning for us. We believe that if pupils are motivated and successful at this level it will give them the drive they need to develop further at GCSE. Our lessons are structured in line with the recommendation made by QCA. Our schemes of work have a heavy emphasis placed on practical based learning and problem-solving. In particular, we are developing CASE (Cognitive Acceleration through Science Education) as a means of developing pupils’ thinking and independent learning skills.
Pupils progressively build on their scientific knowledge and understanding from Year 7, through to Year 9. In line with the schools’ specialist status and when funds allow we are committed to increasing our ICT facilities. The pupils have access to computers and equipment to enable data-logging and use of the internet.
Pupils progressively build on their scientific knowledge and understanding from Year 7, through to Year 9. They then sit the SATs examination. In line with specialist status and when funds allow we are committed to increasing our ICT facilities. The pupils have access to computers and equipment to enable data logging and use of the internet.
Key Stage 4
Since September 2006 the provision for science at GCSE has radically changed in line with Government legislation. All pupils follow a GCSE Science, followed by a separate GCSE Additional Science. These two GCSEs will prepare pupils for further study of any of the sciences at AS/A2 level. All GCSE science exams are sat at the end of Year 11. For the most able we continue to run our GCSE courses in the separate sciences as another platform for post-16 study. Pupils study GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics. All exams are sat at the end of Year 11.
Some pupils are offered the opportunity to study GCSE Human Health & Physiology as an alternative to the challenging Additional Science GCSE. These pupils still study GCSE Science and hence leave school with two science-based GCSEs. Again, all of the exams are sat at the end of Year 11.
All these new courses are designed to improve the relevance of science and to enthuse and engage pupils.
We are also committed to providing a first class post-16 education. At A-level we offer AQA A-level Biology, OCR A-level Chemistry and Edexcel A-level Physics. Our results are outstanding, with many students going on to study the sciences at prestigious and well respected universities. Accommodation The department is housed in fifteen specialised laboratories. The department is well resourced, with good access to ICT facilities.
Currently, the Science department has sixteen full time and seven part-time teaching staff, qualified across all three science disciplines. The department includes a Head of Department, Co-ordinators of Key Stage 3 and 4, as well as subject leaders in the A-Level subjects. These teachers are supported by an excellent team of six technicians, led by the Senior Technician and they ensure that lessons are well resourced and can run smoothly.
As well as these we have two Subject Support Assistants. They work closely with the teaching staff in helping us modify lessons and work for those pupils who require learning support.