Science

The Science Faculty is accommodated in two buildings housing seven spacious, modern and well equipped laboratories in addition to three preparatory rooms. All laboratories are wireless networked and have a computer, projector and interactive whiteboards. The faculty has 32 laptops for student use in the laboratory. We have eight highly qualified staff who are committed to providing a variety of teaching methods to motivate and engage students towards science and to encourage students to continue their science studies beyond Key Stage 4. We work together in a collaborative fashion to plan, review and improve all aspects of the science curriculum. The team also has three technicians who provide practical resources, assist in lessons and support the running of special events.

The Curriculum at KS3

During years 7 & 8 students cover aspects of biology, chemistry and physics building on prior knowledge from primary schools and embedding the foundations ready for their GCSEs. The schemes of learning are divided into 6 termly modules focusing on one of the aspects of science each term. The students are assessed in a variety of ways at the end of each term to track individual progress and ensure all students are stretched and challenged whatever their target grade.

The overview illustrates the curriculum route through years 7 and 8.

Science Scheme of Learning Y7 Year Plan 2014 – 2015

 

Topic

Brief description:

Sep – Feb
(6weeks per topic on a rotation)

Particles and solutions

Students will learn how the particle model provides explanations for the different physical properties and behaviour of matter.
Different substances show characteristic chemical properties and patterns in their behaviour. 

Food and digestion

Students will learn how life processes are supported by the organisation of cells into tissues, organs and body systems. The digestive system breaks down the food we eat to allow the nutrients required to be absorbed. Enzymes play a crucial role in digestion. 

Forces & electrical circuits

Students will learn how to recognise and measure different forces. Quantitative relationships can be applied to the way an object moves. Electrical circuits are compared to produce a variety of effects.

Feb – July
(6weeks per topic on a rotation)

Acids and alkalis/simple chemical reactions

Students will learn how to describe elements and compounds to show characteristic chemical properties and patterns in their behaviour.

Cells and reproduction

Students will learn how life processes are supported by the organisation of cells into tissues, organs and body systems. The human reproductive cycle includes adolescence, fertilisation and foetal development.

Energy and the solar system

Students will learn how energy can be transferred usefully, stored, or dissipated, but cannot be created or destroyed. Astronomy and space science provide insight into the nature and observed motions of the sun, moon, stars, planets and other celestial bodies.

End of Year Assessment:   Students will develop revision strategies and an awareness of exam literacy.

 

Science Scheme of Learning Y8 Year Plan 2014 – 2015

 

Topic

Brief description:

Sep – Feb
(6weeks per topic on a rotation)

Atoms, compounds & mixtures/heating and cooling

Students learn how elements consist of atoms that combine together in chemical reactions to form compounds. Elements and compounds show characteristic chemical properties and patterns in their behaviour.

Plants for photosynthesis, food and respiration

Students learn how life processes are supported by the organisation of cells into tissues, organs and body systems. All living are interdependent, interacting with each other and their environment.

Sound and light

Students learn how humans hear and see things. That light travels in straight lines and the need for a medium for sound to travel through. A wave model is used to describe key characteristics of light and sound.

Feb – July
(6weeks per topic on a rotation)

Classification, the environment and feeding

Students learn how explain how variations can make one individual or species more likely to survive and reproduce than another. Simple behaviours in response to internal and external stimuli can aid survival.

Rocks and weathering

Students learn how the rock cycle involves different processes. Natural products and their sources are researched.

Magnetism, gravity and space

Students learn how bar and electromagnets can produce a variety of effects. Astronomy and space science provide insight into the nature and observed motions of the sun, moon, stars, planets and other celestial bodies.

End of Year Assessment:  Students will develop revision strategies and an awareness of exam literacy.

During the first two terms of year 9 students consolidate the final KS3 modules before progressing onto the foundations of their GCSE modules in January. During year 9 students all students will complete the core component of GCSE core science from the AQA Science B specification. During these terms students will complete a range of assessments to suit the needs of all learners and ensure the GCSE pathway they follow in year 10 will provide them the opportunity to achieve the best GCSE results as well as preparing them for their future aspirations.

The overview illustrates the curriculum route through year.

Year 9 Curriculum Route

Science Scheme of Learning Y9 Year Plan 2014 – 2015

 

Topic

Brief description:

Sep – Feb
(6weeks per topic on a rotation)

Energy, electricity and speed/Patterns of reactivity

Students will learn how energy can be transferred usefully, stored, or dissipated, but cannot be created or destroyed. Electric current in circuits can produce a variety of effects. Forces are interactions between objects and can affect their shape and motion. Substances show characteristic properties and patterns in their behaviour.

Environmental chemistry/fit, healthy and inheritance

Students will learn how natural elements and compounds to show characteristic chemical properties and patterns in their behaviour. Organs systems in the body work together to maintain health and fitness. Variation in organisms can be artificially induced by genetic engineering and the effect of these organisms on the environment.

GCSE Biology 1.1/Chemistry 1.1

Students will learn how a balanced diet and regular exercise keeps the body healthy. Microbes and prevention of illness.
The important role of vaccinations.  Atoms and elements are the building blocks of chemistry. Atoms contain protons, neutrons and electrons. When elements react they produce compounds.

Feb – July
(6weeks per topic on a rotation)

GCSE Chemistry 1.1 / Biology 1.1

Students will learn how atoms and elements are the building blocks of chemistry. Atoms contain protons, neutrons and electrons. When elements react they produce compounds. A balanced diet and regular exercise keeps the body healthy. Microbes and prevention of illness.
The important role of vaccinations. 

GCSE Physics 1.1/Biology 1.2

Students will learn how energy can be transferred from one place to another by work or by heating processes. The nervous system and hormones enable us to respond to external changes. Internal control through hormones in plants and animals. 

GCSE Biology 1.2/Chemistry 1.2

Students will learn how the nervous system and hormones enable us to respond to external changes. Internal control through hormones in plants and animals. Rocks provide essential building materials. Limestone is a naturally occurring resource that provides cement and concrete.

 

KS4

At Key Stage 4, the majority of students follow AQA syllabi. In Year 10, Separate Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) is studied by two groups (out of six). There are also three groups studying Science A (Core Science). In Year 11 students who have taken Core Science in Year 10 follow either Additional Science or Additional Applied Science courses. In Years 10 and 11, there is a group following a Level 2 BTEC in Principles of Applied Science.

KS5

At Key Stage 5 A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science are offered.

Science Specialism

In 2008, Science gained specialism status providing us with the opportunity to raise the profile of Science both within and beyond the school. The following five targets are our current focus for development:

  • To raise the profile of Computing and establish links between Science and Computing.
  • To establish an ‘Excellence in Science’ programme to raise attainment at A level and prepare students for GCSE study.
  • To promote STEM subjects and raise aspirations in these subjects.
  • Develop stronger links with partner primary schools through outreach work.
  • To raise the profile of numeracy across the curriculum.

During the five years in which we have had specialism status, we have enriched the curriculum for our students in the following way:

Science and STEM Clubs

Raising awareness of where studying STEM subjects can take students beyond school is an important part of our work. We have strong links with the University of Bath, University of Bristol and University of West England which see students visiting laboratories, taking part in competitions and workshops as well as gaining an insight into how research scientists work. Regular trips are also run to science festivals such as Bath Taps into Science, Teen Tech, Salters Chemistry and the Festival of Neuroscience, as well as to workplaces where science ‘happens’ such as Oldbury Nuclear Power Station, Bristol Zoological Gardens and Folly Farm.

Students benefit from visits from STEM ambassadors working in industry and research as well as workshops run by the likes of Bloodhound SSC, Dyson, SS Great Britain, Atkins and the Royal Academy of Engineering. National Science and Engineering Week and National Chemistry Week are celebrated with lunchtime, classroom and tutorial activities, and due to popular demand we have launched our own Physics Week to join these national events.

Our Science Club runs every Wednesday lunchtime. Students work through a programme including constructing and programming a Lego robot, researching and experimenting to gain national CREST awards, and finding out more about space.

Cross-Curricular Links

Science works closely with other areas in the school to develop students’ skills and raise achievement. Projects have included a Science, Mathematics and Technology Fashion Show project for all Year 8 students in which teams plan a fashion show and make an item of clothing from reused or recycled materials. Year 7, 8 and 9 students have had linked Science and Mathematics lessons, with projects designed to develop numeracy and data handling skills in a scientific context. A member of the Mathematics Faculty has been supported in delivering numeracy based projects in other subject areas such as ICT, Geography, Business Studies and Physics.

University Links and Professional Scientists

Raising awareness of where studying STEM subjects can take them beyond school is an important part of our work. Our students have received visits from STEM ambassadors working in industry and researching in local universities. Ambassadors have presented their work as well as informed students of how they progressed into their current work. Students have also visited the University of Bath and University of Bristol’s Chemistry labs, taking part in competitions and workshops as well as gaining an insight into how research scientists work. Students have also benefitted from STEM workshops in school run by the Smallpeice Trust and Dyson.

ICT in Science

Our laptops are used in conjunction with data-logging devices for student use in investigative tasks and to engage students in the use of ICT in Science.

Primary School Outreach

The specialism has also provided us with an opportunity to raise the profile of Science in many of our partner primary schools. We have worked with staff and students in Year 5 and 6 supporting the Science curriculum at Key Stage 2 as well as delivering enrichment activities in lessons. We have also hosted hundreds of primary school students at the school, giving them a chance to work with unfamiliar equipment in our laboratories. The feedback we have had from students and staff has been extremely positive as we tailor sessions to meet with the requests we receive.

The Department

Mrs L Hobbs Head of Science Department
Mr O Davies Science Teacher
Ms J Hampden-Smith Science Teacher (Chemistry)
Mrs J Macalister Science Teacher and Head of House
Mr M Hamilton Science Teacher
Mrs I Langsi Science Teacher
Mrs V Lewis Science Teacher
Mr S Pittard Senior Science Support Technician
Miss S Hemmings Science Support Technician