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Teaching & Learning


A GCSE ready Science student will be equipped with a set of skills and the resilience needed to handle a wide range of problems, enabling them to embrace future study and enter an ever-changing world with ever-changing and unique problems. Students will have a secure body of knowledge, including particles and atoms, life on earth, the human body, electricity and motion and they will also develop a love for science that will allow them to explain why things happen.

Students will develop practical experience and refine these skills over time, from designing simple methods and using logical approaches to solve problems in an unfamiliar context, to enhancing their graphical representation of data approaches and evaluating the quality of data collected and the validity of conclusions subsequently drawn. This can only be diffused and distilled into our students by the infectious passion of our specialist classroom teachers. Their wealth of knowledge guarantees that, through our exciting curriculum, we build bridges across real world contexts, and highlight career paths that are rooted within the science industry to ensure our students have the prerequisite skills and attitudes for a successful future.

Key Stage 3 

The National Curriculum programme of study is delivered through a “Mastery” format.
Students follow the topics outlined in the programme of study until Christmas of Year 9, with a focus on developing the skills that they need to succeed in science higher up the school, and beyond.
Key Stage 3 (KS3) science is heavily practically-based. All students study ‘How Science Works’ as an integral part of each unit, as well as problem and investigative-based approaches to assessment and classwork.
At present classes in KS3 are mixed ability groups.

How are students assessed?

Students are regularly assessed against the “can do statements” which are reviewed intermittently to decide if a student is novice, developing or secure in that skill. Where students are not yet secure in a particular skill, intervention will be delivered and students are be instructed to access relevant material on a website called “Doddle” to support them away from the classroom. They are later re-assessed to determine if they have made progress.
Students and parents can access the Doddle website on a regular basis to track performance.
At termly intervals, students will also complete a progress test, to assess their knowledge and ability to apply their learning in unfamiliar formats.

What homework is set?

Students will receive homework weekly from their science teacher. Some homework may be accessed via Doddle. Students use the login details provided in their planner to access this when instructed to do so by their teacher.
The homework tasks are wide ranging, including researching about a topic, questions based on content covered in lessons, revision for spelling tests, responding to feedback, producing models of scientific objects or principles, preparing presentations and completing quizzes or activities on Doddle.

Key Stage 4 

At Christmas of Year 9, students complete the KS3 programme of study and have an end of key stage assessment. The groups are now set based on prior attainment and commence the new AQA GCSE course, graded 1-9.
Throughout the remainder of Year 9, all students follow the same programme of study, which is differentiated to their abilities. During this time students can choose whether to follow the AQA Double Award science course, or take separate GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics.
From Year 10, students who choose separate sciences follow a unique route which covers greater content in more depth. The remaining students who do not take that option follow the Double Award route, completing examinations at higher (1-4) or foundation (5-9) tier at the end of Year 11.

The course

These awards cover aspects of all three scientific disciplines and covers the following knowledge and skills;
• using knowledge and understanding to pose Scientific questions and define Scientific problems
• planning and carrying out investigative activities, including appropriate risk management, in a range of contexts
• collecting, selecting, processing, analysing and interpreting primary and secondary data to provide evidence
• evaluating methodology, evidence and data
• understanding the relationship between Science and society
• developing communications skills in scientific contexts.

How are students assessed?

Students completing legacy GCSEs in Summer 2016 will sit either 6 exams if completing Core & Additional Science, and 9 if completing separate science GCSEs. They will also complete a controlled assessment (known as an ISA) which contributes 25% of their overall grade for each GCSE. This is completed and marked in school, and externally moderated.
For current Y10 and all years thereon all GCSE 1-9 specifications are assessed through end of course examinations. There is no controlled assessment.

What can students go on to do after this course?

In the Sixth Form, we offer AS and A2 level courses in biology, chemistry and physics. These courses are available to students achieving two grade Bs (or 5s from 2018) in science, additional science and/or the separate sciences, along with grade 5 in maths.
We also offer a BTEC Level 3 course in Applied Science for those students who are successful at grade C (4 from 2018)