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Welcome to the Science Department
2022 - 2023

 

Julian Dance
Director of Science

The Team:                   

Timothy Roach              Lead Practitioner for Science
Tom Cartwright             Curriculum Leader - Biology
Paula Balch                      Classroom Teacher
Emma Cartwright        Classroom Teacher
Marwa Saber                  Classroom Teacher
Fleur Riall                         Senior Science Technician
John Burbidge               Science Technician

 

Introduction to the Department:

In the Science Department we aim to help all students build up their knowledge and skills in Chemistry, Physics and Biology. Science allows students to begin to make well-informed choices about the environment and society they live in, and begin to understand how all the components of the Universe are interrelated.  We endeavour to help make the transition from primary to secondary school as smooth as possible.  Learning in Years 7 & 8 builds upon the foundations of science put in place during primary school and begins to add more detail and complexity. We work with students to support them in their thinking about science and how to plan, design and implement scientific investigations to answer key questions.

The BIG IDEA 5 Year Curriculum:

Science is taught on the basis that most ideas about the Universe, and the interactions within it can be explained by relatively few Big Ideas about Science. For the 5 years that students are with us, our science Curriculum hinges on 10 key ideas that develop in complexity and demand as they progress through the School. Our Curriculum Map shows how they progress through these ideas. The new GCSE’s in Science require students to have a strong and extensive knowledge of Science so that they can apply what they know in new contexts and undertake effective analysis of data and information. Recalling knowledge accounts for 40% of the marks at GCSE, whilst application and analysis accounts for the remaining 60%. We believe that teaching a 5 Year curriculum that flows consistently and helps students develop understanding will equip them with the knowledge and skills to flourish at GCSE.

Key Stage 3 Information:

In Key Stage 3 we are constantly developing our curriculum to make it dynamic and relevant to the students we teach. By blending together assessment of what our students know, and how they investigate phenomena, we produce life-long learners who have an interest in the natural world and the ability to explore it further.

Course structure through Key Stage 3

Key Stage 4 Information

In Key Stage 4, students enter one of two pathways, Combined Science or Separate Sciences, based on their potential and their endeavour throughout Key Stage 3. Discussions and decisions about which pathway pupils will follow are made during Year 8, and students are able to opt to follow the Separate Science pathway with the agreement of the Director of Science.

All students are taught the fundamental content during Year 9 and will be taught to a high level of demand, to provide the solid foundations for the GCSE qualifications. Students need to recognise that to achieve the higher grades in Separate Science (7 to 9) they will need to develop their skills of independent learning and be able to reflect, review and revise the course outside the classroom.

Separate Science

For students intending to follow a science based career or those that are curious and interested in Science, we offer GCSE’s in the Separate Sciences allowing them to gain three GCSE’s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each course explores content ranging from purely theoretical to the applications of science.

Each separate GCSE involves two summative exams totalling 3 ½ hours. There is no coursework with this course, but practical skills are assessed and knowledge of a set of 28 Required Practical activities is required and can be assessed in the summative exams.

As well as this there are new Maths guidelines for each course, where there will be a certain percentage of questions related to mathematical calculations; 10% in Biology; 20% Chemistry; 30% Physics. There will also be formula which the students will need to learn and be able to recall as the list of equations given has been reduced.

Combined Science

This course offers two GCSE’s in the Combined Science GCSE, and explores the main disciplines (Chemistry, Physics, Biology), with the content ranging from purely theoretical to the applications of science. The content is also similar to Separate Science but explored in less depth.

Combined Science will have a total of 7 hours of exams. There is no coursework with this new course, but practical skills are assessed and knowledge of a set of 22 Required Practical activities is required and can be assessed in the summative exams.

As well as this there are new Maths guidelines for each course, where there will be a certain percentage of questions related to mathematical calculation; 20% across all papers. There will also be formula which the students will need to learn and be able to recall as the list of equations given has been reduced.

Steps to Success

The increasing demand of the final GCSE qualifications has reaffirmed the need for students to develop their skills of independent learning and resilience. Many students find Science a challenging subject, and we are committed to ensure that we help them navigate their pathway through Science, regardless of their plans when they leave Secondary School.

Our experience in teaching Science has shown that children who are willing to complete homework to a high standard and in a timely fashion, and who are willing to read around the subject in their own time usually secure the higher grades at the end of Year 11. Being willing to try and have a go and accepting that at times they will not get everything correct at their initial attempts is an important facet of learning about Science.

Support for Science

We use the Doddle (www.doddlelearn.co.uk) platform extensively to help us deliver engaging and relevant content for all our lessons to all ability levels. The interactive nature of the platform allows students to access the lesson content that they are being taught and the revision and review resources that are essential to making good progress in Science. We encourage all students to access the platform regularly to augment their learning, and will set homework tasks that use the platform. Where IT access at home is a problem, students can attend Homework Club at school and complete tasks here.

For homework, we set regular practice tests on Educake (www.educake.co.uk) that we expect all students to attempt. The tests are designed and set by the teacher and can test content that students are currently working on or can allow students to develop their retrieval skills by testing on a previous topic. We also use the platform diagnostically to ascertain prior understanding before setting out on a new topic. The platform provides teachers with very detailed information about how students are progressing and allows us to adapt and focus our teaching on the areas where children require the most support.

Finally, we also recommend that students get into the habit of using BBC Bitesize (https://www.bbc.com/education/levels/z98jmp3) to review and revise Science. The resources provided are excellent and allow students to test themselves and identify what they need to revise and focus on. Teachers will frequent refer students to Bitesize in order to deepen their learning, and we can link from Educake to specific BBC Bitesize topics.

Course structure through Key Stage 4

Year 9

Year 10

Year 11

Examination Board used

We follow the AQA exam board for Separate Science and Combined Science qualifications.

Qualification to be obtained

GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry, GCSE Physics or GCSE Combined Science Award

Other Information:

Students will be provided with the opportunity to purchase a suitable GCSE revision guide and workbook to help guide and focus their work outside of school to augment in-class learning.

Crest Awards. The Department are looking to offer places for students to sign up to the Crest Awards scheme. https://www.crestawards.org/. This will be offered as part of our Eggar’s Experience and can lead to students being awarded nationally recognised awards in Science.

TEENTECH – a STEM project run locally in Basingstoke, where 10 students from year 9 get a chance to experience presentations and work on challenges as groups.