Course Outline – Science
As a Science Department, we are committed to providing the opportunity for all students to develop into confident, enthusiastic, curious and knowledgeable scientists capable of logical independent thought. We aim to ensure that all students acquire an understanding and knowledge of Science through well-designed studies relevant to their age and ability that will leave them with a real and lasting interest and enthusiasm for Science. In doing this we encourage students to develop the intellectual and practical skills that will allow them to achieve highly in competitive examinations at all levels and to develop the abilities and skills that will bring them success in further education and in the workplace. We also aim to prepare and inform students about STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) based careers. As part of the learning process, students develop numeracy and literacy skills in a scientific context and develop an awareness of the natural environment, human impact on it and the role of Science in minimising any negative impact.
During all their studies we ensure students experience a safe working environment and develop an awareness of and commitment to safe working practice. In doing this we aim to create a learning environment in which students can take pleasure in their successes, learn from their mistakes and have the confidence to ask questions to enhance their understanding.
The Science Curriculum
- Years 7 and 8 – all students study each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics for 1 hour each week. The courses cover the KS3 Science National Curriculum.
- Years 9 to 11 – all students study each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics for 2 hours each week. The courses cover the GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics specifications. At the end of Year 9 students can complete a Science project allowing them to achieve a Crest Award. This gives them the opportunity to investigate a scientific idea of their own choosing in a small group. By designing, carrying out and analysing their own experiments independently, but with support where necessary, they gain experience of the scientific method and design process.
- We aim to deliver a blended curriculum that allows all students to achieve their best and allows mutual support with other subjects such as Mathematics, Geography and Computer Science.
- In Years 12 and 13 students can opt to study A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In each fortnight there are 9 hours of teacher taught lessons and an additional 1 hour timetabled to independently complete set work. Science A Levels are popular choices which are commonly studied in combination with each other and with Mathematics A Level.
The department is fortunate in having a suite of twelve purpose built laboratories served by five preparation rooms and supported by three technicians. This results in almost all science lessons being taught in laboratories and allows practical work to be fully integrated into the lessons at the most opportune time.
Co-curricular and Extracurricular Activities
A wide range of STEM based activities take place during the school year. A Year 7 Science Club meets regularly to carry out science activities. Many students from Years 10 to 12 volunteer as Science Leaders to promote Science within the school and organise activities. Year 12 and 13 students take part in competitions such as the Biology, Chemistry and Physics Olympiads. There are opportunities to attend careers conferences to find out more about STEM based careers and there are student run societies for future medics, vets and engineers.
Opportunities for Further Studies and Destinations
Science A Levels are required for many university courses including: Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Materials Science, Engineering, Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Biochemistry, Medicinal Science, Genetics, Geology and Physical Geography. In addition, success with Sciences at A Level reflects transferable skills such as numeracy, analytical and problem solving skills which are widely valued by both universities and employers in management, finance and other technical areas.
Many of our students go on to study competitive courses such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry and many go on to study Science and Engineering degrees at competitive universities including Oxford and Cambridge.