Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.
While studying science, our students will be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of the subject. They will be helped to appreciate the achievements of science in showing how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a number of key ideas relating to the sciences which are inter-linked, and which are of universal application.
At KS3, basic knowledge and skills from KS2 are built upon with informative lessons using specialist resources and scientific experiments to hone basic investigational skills. At GCSE level, independent learning is a fundamental aspect and is encouraged. Students are given regular opportunities to attend intervention and enrichment sessions offered by the science department. With the new GCSE examinations increasing in length and number, we feel it is important to build up our students’ resilience and perseverance by equipping them with resources and strategies to use, especially in relation to exam technique and questions. At KS4 we put a lot of emphasis on past paper questions, analysing mark schemes and using these to help students assess each other’s responses.
We support literacy by…
developing scientific vocabulary, oracy, comprehension and writing. To develop vocabulary, we use keyword lists at the start of each topic and ensure the keywords for each lesson are explained and discussed when lesson objectives are given. Students are also given extended writing tasks where they have to use all the keywords within the explanation. To develop oracy, students are encouraged to use sentence starters to begin explanations, use keywords within a sentence or repeat back words/sections of their work to improve. In class, students are often required to interpret scientific images or data for them to understand what is written, which is one strategy we use to develop comprehension. Finally in order to develop scientific writing, students are encouraged to use writing or planning frames to structure their thoughts and write them down. Models of good writing are used, especially for longer answer exam questions along with the mark scheme and examiners notes. These are used to identify the features and structure of the answers that gain high marks for the students to use in their own writing.
We support numeracy by…
placing a great deal of emphasis on mathematical skills for the new Science GCSE. With these examinations beginning from 2018, it is vital that we develop these skills from KS3. Right from the beginning of Year 7, our students are taught to collect data, do calculations, choose how to represent data, draw charts and graphs, work with probability and ratio, deal with variability, look for patterns and relationships in bar charts and line graphs, use scientific models and mathematical equations and delve into mathematics in the real world. We aim to ensure consistency with language and procedures in science and mathematics lessons, to help our students transfer their mathematical skills and understanding effectively to their science learning.
How will my child be ‘set’ in this subject?
At KS3 students are set according to their KS2 average point score. Sets are then altered if the need arises usually at the end of each year. At KS4, students are set initially in relation to their option pathways whilst also taking into account progress in KS3. Again, sets are altered throughout KS4 to ensure our students are in the best place.
How many periods a week will children spend learning this subject?
- Year 7 & 8 (KS3) – 3 hours per week.
- Year 9, 10 & 11 (combined science) – 5 hours per week.
- Year 9, 10 & 11 (separate sciences) – 7 hours per week.
What career opportunities of this subject?
The job prospects from Science are endless and diverse; in fact, there are very few careers that do not require some form of scientific knowledge or skills. Careers in medicine include doctors, nurses, paramedics, midwifes, other health care professionals, psychologists, and psychiatrists. Other career options include sports physiotherapists, crime scene investigators, teachers, engineers, and vets. Those who study science could work in many areas, such as with animals, chemicals, or in sport, depending on your interests.
What ‘out-of-classroom’ or extra-curricular learning experiences will my child get?
The college regularly invites outside speakers from science-related industries and higher-education establishments to speak to our Key Stage 4 pupils to raise aspirations. The faculty also runs a science club for Key Stage 3 where students have the chance to take part in activities and experiments which they may not have chance to do during lessons, as well as a Science Clinic to help out with homework. Details of these can be found on our extra-curricular timetable (link). Opportunities also arise throughout the year for selected students to take part in STEM- and science-related activities led by local universities and companies.
Mr. O. Al-Khatab