Science

In Science we aim to build on students’ natural curiosity about the world around us, asking both why and how things happen; challenging misconceptions and developing a deep understanding of scientific processes. We explore the principles that underpin our understanding of the physical world and learn the skills to investigate, gather data and analyse results; in order to draw conclusions that provide evidence which supports or challenges hypotheses. Ultimately, science knowledge and skills equip our students with the ability to question claims made in the media and make informed decisions about their own lives.

 

Key Stage 3

The curriculum has been design to create firm foundations of knowledge and skills that build throughout the course. Learning is planned to be interactive with students receiving specialist teaching through a variety of activities, including practical investigation.

In Biology students learn about the fundamentals of plant and animal physiology, genetics and ecology.

In Chemistry students explore concepts around chemical reactions, the interaction of matter and chemical processes of the Earth and atmosphere.

In Physics students develop ideas within energy, forces and electromagnetism topics.

 

Key Stage 4

The GCSE course is started in term 3 of Year 9 in order to allow sufficient time to develop a full understanding of the topics studied and the required skills. Students follow the AQA syllabus and in Year 10 and 11, choosing to take either Combined (double award) or Separate (triple award) Science. The Separate (Biology, Chemistry, Physics) course has greater breadth and depth of content than the Combined. All students cover “required practicals” which are experiments that may have examination questions based around them.

Biology covers topics: Cell biology, Classification, Infection and response, Bioenergetics, Homeostasis, Inheritance, Variation and evolution and Ecology.

Chemistry covers topics: Atomic structure, Bonding, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical energy changes, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere and Sustainability.

Physics covers topics: Energy, Electricity, Particles, Radioactivity, Forces, Waves, Electromagnetism and Space.

 

Key Stage 5

In Key Stage 5, we offer A levels in all three sciences: Biology (Edexcel), Chemistry (Edexcel) and Physics (AQA). These two year courses build on GCSE in terms of both content and quantitative treatment of biological, chemical and physical topics. Biologists will gain the ability to characterize and explain nature's processes; chemists will become trained in justifying trends and phenomena by models and evidence and physicists will be able to estimate and approximate outcomes in our material world. Our courses provide a firm foundation for sciences at university. The three sciences share Common Practical Assessment Criteria which are assessed throughout the course, as students develop independent skills. The Practical Endorsement is a pass/fail qualification awarded alongside the examined A level grade.