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 students to develop their skills and use their observations to draw conclusions. Therefore, we seek to ensure that the students’ experiences are as practically based as possible.
Science can often be perceived as challenging by many students. For this reason we are committed to continually reviewing how we teach so that we can enthuse and engage all students, 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 students, we set classes by ability from Year 7. Students are regularly assessed both by test and by formative assessment in the course of a lesson. This enables us to move students between sets in response to their needs.
Year 7 and 8 is the foundation of scientific learning for us. We believe that if students are motivated and successful at this level it will give them the drive they need to develop further at GCSE. Our schemes of work have a heavy emphasis placed on practical based learning and problem-solving. Topics covered are broad and build in time for students to master the concepts needed for deeper learning at GCSE level.
The new 9-1 GCSE science will be first examined in May 2018. This is a radical change from the outgoing GCSE as controlled assessments have been removed and all examinations are at the end of year 11.
All students will get the choice between combined science (2 GCSE’s) and triple science (3 GCSE’s). The content studied will be more rigorous and there will be more emphasis on recall. All students will undertake required practical work which will also be assessed in the examinations.
The entirety of year 9 will begin the studying GCSE content and will not separate into combined science and triple science groups until year 10.
Upon entering Year 10, students follow one of the following two GCSE routes through Years 10 and 11:
This course offers two GCSE’s in science, and covers a range of topics from the three main science disciplines as listed below:
Biology content: cells, organisation, infection and response, bioenergetics, homeostasis, inheritance, variation and evolution, ecology.
Chemistry content: atomic structure, bonding and properties, quantitative chemistry, chemical and energy changes, rate of reaction, organic chemistry, analysis and the atmosphere.
Physics content: energy, electricity, particle model, structure of atoms, forces, waves, magnetism.
There is no longer a coursework requirement at GCSE, nevertheless, practical work remains at the heart of science and there will be written questions in the exams. These will draw on the knowledge and understanding students have gained by carrying out the practical activities in class. These questions will count for at least 15% of the overall marks for the qualification.
Students will sit six examinations at the end of Year 11: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each of the papers are 1h 15m long, and assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas.
Students will have the choice to study all three sciences as separate GCSEs. This ‘triple science’ course covers all the topics listed in the ‘double award’ above, however, in each topic there is extra subject knowledge. In addition, the Physics GCSE includes a topic on Space physics.
- Cell biology
- Infection and response
- Homeostasis and response
- Inheritance, variation and evolution
- Atomic structure and the periodic table
- Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
- Quantitative chemistry
- Chemical changes
- Energy changes
- The rate and extent of chemical change
- Organic chemistry
- Chemical analysis
- Chemistry of the atmosphere
- Using resources
- Magnetism and electromagnetism
- Particle model of matter
- Atomic structure
- Space physics (physics only)
As with double award, there are six papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas.
The triple science exam papers will be 1h 45m.
There is no longer a coursework requirement at GCSE, nevertheless, practical work remains at the heart of science and there will be written questions in the exams. These will draw on the knowledge and understanding students have gained by carrying out the practical activities in class. These questions will count for at least 15% of the overall marks each of the three qualifications.