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DEPARTMENT CONTEXT

STAFF CODE

NAME

RESPONSIBILITIES

GIK Kat Gillett Director of Learning Science
MOP Paula Monaghan Teacher of Science and Assistant Headteacher
FAC Candice Falconer Teacher of Science
BOR Ryan Bourne Teacher of Science and Head of Years 7/8
KMA Kurtt Martin Head of Food and Head of Years 9/10
ESL Lucille Esson Science Technician

Facilities:

7 Specialist Science classrooms well equipped with gas and water access points, smartboards.

2 Physics rooms (blackout blinds)

5 Fume cupboards

Technicians’ rooms with various Physics, Chemistry and Biology resources

         CURRICULUM PLANS

Science

 

 

Years 7 & 8 (KS3)

 

 

All students study science and cover biology, chemistry, physics and earth science topics. Our curriculum a spiralised Curriculum where we prepare students for GCSE science by providing them with the skills and knowledge but also a curiosity about the world and a confidence in practical problem solving and exploration. We will do this by providing lots of opportunity for practical work in small groups, focusing on the core knowledge that underpins all future understanding of Scientific study.

For the 2019-2020 academic year we are rewriting the KS3 schemes of work and resources using the AQA framework This is still based broadly on the DfE national curriculum learning objectives that provides our students with a varied diet of theoretical and practical learning. Having a KS3 without levels for assessment gives a freedom to plan in a more joined up way with KS4 content. Learning outcomes and resources build on and extend KS2 learning and begin to develop skills and knowledge for GCSE such as fundamental science ideas as well as maths and literacy skills. 

As well as building a strong foundation of skills and knowledge for KS4 our curriculum is designed to develop students’ interest and curiosity in the world around them through practical work, demonstrations and projects. Practical work and exploration is at the heart of our science teaching in order to anchor learning in a deep and long term way as well as to build on the natural inquisitiveness and joy that students come to secondary school with. Projects will have a larger emphasis and be set as homework tasks for some topics and in lesson activities for others.

All KS3 students will be assessed in linear style assessments every second half term that will cover the content covered in the course so far. Students are in mixed ability groupings for Years 7 and 8.

Food Technology: Beginning in year 7 students learn kitchen skills including safety which allow them to move on to more technical aspects of cookery. This supports student’s development both academically and in their life skills outside of school. In year 8 students learn to cook a wider range of full dishes that can be replicated at home and in the future. In preparation for later learning and non-school contexts students begin to gain knowledge of nutrition including healthy eating, food science and sustainability. Students follow the National Curriculum and are taught in mixed ability groups. There is a very high practical focus throughout both years and there are many opportunities for independent activities within a supervised environment.

Year 9, 10 and 11 (KS4)

Our curriculum at key stage four builds on foundations of key enquiry skills and scientific knowledge form earlier years. It is aimed at preparing students to have a skills and knowledge of science and to be able to problem solve and think critically within and outside of school. This is supported by a strong programme of practical science work. These factors also prepare students to succeed in their science qualification in order to have options for their future education and work lives.

We offer combined and separate sciences at Key Stage Four following the AQA specifications:

Separate Biology AQA 8461

Separate Chemistry AQA 8462

Separate Physics AQA 8463

Combined Science AQA 8464

Curriculum planning for years 9, 10 and 11 has been completed and assessment plans are fully built into these plans. Incumbent year 11 students have 6 periods of Science a week. 

Year 9 and 10 will have two teachers per class. We are trialling this given our particular parameters in terms of teachers and the capacity to teach the course over three years allowing us some more flexibility on timing. 

Year 11 will have either two or three teachers depending on the set. Lower sets will have fewer teachers as this helps with their progress by having more consistency, where by more able sets are supported by teachers with expertise in their field (physics, biology or chemistry).

The Curriculum is modelled to allow time for revisiting and revising topics throughout the course to ensure that they are fully prepared for the final examinations. All students in KS4 will be assessed throughout topics and also in linear style assessments once per term.

Students at KS4 must complete either 21 or 28 required practicals (depending on whether they sit combined or separate science). This helps to develop their practical skills and problem solving abilities and is a requirement from Ofqual for all schools.

Food Technology:  Following on from their previous learning, students continue to gain practical skills and knowledge of all aspects of food technology. The course maintains a strong focus on healthy living, sustainability and food science which supports their academic progress and their development into independence after school. The curriculum is essentially spiral in design with more technical language and advanced skills for our key stage four students.  

Students in Years 9 to 11 are following the GCSE Food Preparation and Nutrition: (Spec 8585 QAN 601/8421/8).  The course comprises of five core topics: Food, nutrition and health, food science, food safety, food choice and food provenance.

Students are assessed via a written exam of 1 hour and 45 minutes worth 50% of the final GCSE.  The remaining 50% is two written assignments, one on the characteristics of food = 15% and the other a written assignment based on cooking and preparing 3 dishes that meet certain dietary requirements = 35%.

 

Year 12 and 13 (KS5)

Our KS5 provision has a huge advantage of small class sizes which allows for a very tailored approach to suit the needs of our particular students. The curriculum is developed closely from AQA outlines to support strong academic success which leads to good future outcomes, from university entrance to engineering apprentices. Teachers within KS5 are able to weave in applications of their specialism into lessons where appropriate and link to potential careers. Students are prepared for further study or work because of a focus on student led learning, independent study and critical thinking skills. For example in chemistry students must plan, resource and deliver one mini topic as a presentation to their peers in Year 13.

We offer the following courses at A level:

Biology (AQA 7401/7402)

Chemistry (AQA 7404/7405)

Physics (AQA 7407/7408)

The courses are all running to new specifications which are two year, linear programmes. Biology, Physics and Chemistry include a practical endorsement; students need to complete 12 practical’s throughout the course and these skills are assessed as 30% of their final grade through a written paper.  All subjects are assessed via terminal exam papers. 

EXTRA-CURRICULAR PROVISION

STEM

We run many varied STEM activities both in and outside of school. These are organised by our Head Technician and classroom teachers and students will be informed depending on the type of activity and numbers. These cut across all year groups and ability groupings. During the 2018-2019 year we ran an in class competition to build and race miniature cars called the Blood Hound Race.  AS a department we have organised and run several trips, for example the Dead on Time trip which was a forensics themed trip to Brunel University.   These trips also allow students to explore careers.

KS3: A lunchtime science club driven by practical activities is offered to those in KS3. These will have a range of biology, chemistry and physics activities in order to share the joy of exploring the world around us and carry out their own investigations outside of the national curriculum.

KS4: Intervention sessions are run focussing on year 11 classes but open to others once per week for an hour. In addition teachers offer extra revision outside of school time as part of a broader intervention schedule. We also organise and run various trips for different groups of students throughout the year. These focus on areas from all three specialisms and will focus on the non-examined year groups 9 and 10. A bespoke extension science session is being run on top of the after school intervention for students who have particularly high target grades. This will begin for the incumbent Year 11s in September. 

KS5: KS5 teachers offer an open door policy for Year 12 and 13 to obtain resources or help after school. KS5 students also support in KS4 interventions which enriches their own knowledge and skills. We actively encourage our A level students to join us for their self-directed study which will be organised more formally where there is need. Trips are organised for students to explore careers but also to explore the potential that science has in the real world.

Food Technology:

An open door policy is operated at all times in this department for students to complete or check homework as well as get help and support with revision. As well as this more formal interventions are run for Year 11 students which have practice runs for the final cooking practical assessments. The students are able to receive targeted constructive feedback to improve and therefore make better progress and gain confidence.

A regional competition called the Rotary Young Chef which has recently restarted is being explored which has been attended in the past with good success. We hope to attend and offer our students this valuable out of school experience.  The food department also supports the hugely successful Senior Residents Tea Party which provides excellent opportunities for students and staff to link with the wider community and utilise their skills in a real time setting.

USEFUL WEBSITES

In addition to websites including I am Learning, Logonscience (Key Stage 4) and Kerboodle (Key Stage 5), for which subscriptions are paid the following websites are free and are also used:

General for all key stages

https://www.senecalearning.com/

https://www.physicsandmathstutor.com/

https://www.khanacademy.org/

KS4 science

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zrkw2hv

http://www.gcsescience.com/index.html

https://www.youtube.com/user/myGCSEscience

https://www.primrosekitten.com/‚Äč

KS3 science

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zng4d2p