The Science Faculty is accommodated in two buildings housing seven spacious, modern and well equipped laboratories in addition to three preparatory rooms. All laboratories are wireless networked and have a computer and projector with six out of seven incorporating interactive whiteboards. The department has 32 laptops for student use in the laboratory. The Faculty is comprised of nine highly qualified staff who are committed to providing a variety of methods to motivate and engage students towards Science and to encourage students to continue their Science studies beyond Key Stage 4. We work together in a collaborative fashion to plan, review and improve all aspects of the Science curriculum. The team is also has three technicians who assist our work in lessons and when running special events.
Teaching and Learning
At Key Stage 3 students follow a general science course that draws on the QCA schemes of work and is supported by Framework Science. The Key Stage 3 curriculum is organised in modules of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and is taught in tutor groups during Year 7 and in mixed ability groups throughout Year 8 and 9.
At Key Stage 4 the majority of students follow the AQA modular syllabi. In Year 10, Separate Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) is studied by three groups (out of seven). There are also three groups studying Science A (Core Science). In Year 11 students who have taken Core Science in Year 10 follow either Additional Science or Additional Applied Science courses. In Years 10 and 11, there is a group following a Level 2 BTEC in Applied Science.
At Key Stage 5 A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Studies are offered.
In 2008, Science gained specialism status providing us with the opportunity to raise the profile of Science both within and beyond the school. The following four targets are our current focus for development:
- Development of school Virtual Learning Environment for all areas with Science acting as lead subject.
- Improve Gifted and Talented provision in Science and raise the whole-school profile of Science.
- Science outreach work with local primary schools.
- Strengthening Science and Mathematics curriculum links.
During the three years in which we have had specialism status, we have enriched the curriculum for our students in the following way:
Science Challenge club – This weekly lunchtime activity allows students to develop further their enthusiasm towards Science. The club enters students for local and national competitions such as the First Lego League Robot Challenge where students design, build and programme a Lego robot and present a research project based on a central theme to a panel of judges. Last year our team was particularly successful in the teamwork category as judges were so impressed with the way students from Year 7 up to Year 11 worked together. The club also allows students to run events in school and at Bath University for other students to celebrate events such as National Chemistry Week and National Science Week. Last year a team of Year 9 students reached the national final of the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) wetsuit challenge held in London. Students presented their project to a team of judges from industry and the para-olympian triathlete Jimmy Goddard.
Cross-Curricular Links – Science works closely with other areas in the school to develop students’ skills and raise achievement. Projects have included a Science-Media Day in Year 9 where students planned and recorded a Science video clip and the best were entered for a national web based competition. Year 7, 8 and 9 students have had linked Science and Mathematics lessons, with projects designed to develop numeracy and data handling skills in a scientific context. Science staff have team-taught lessons with staff from Geography, German, PE and Mathematics which focus on the skills and knowledge required in both subjects.
University Links and Professional Scientists – Raising awareness of where Science can take our students beyond school is an important part of our work. Our students have received visits from scientists working in the NHS, the nuclear industry, the Institute of Physics and the Royal Navy. Students have participated in events held at the University of Bath and University of Bristol’s Chemistry labs, gaining an insight into how professional scientists work.
ICT in Science
Our laptops are used in conjunction with data-logging devices for student use in investigative tasks. We work closely with our locally based suppliers of datalogging equipment ScienceScope to engage students through use of ICT in lessons.
Primary School Outreach
The specialism has also provided us with an opportunity to raise the profile of Science in many of our partner primary schools. We have worked with staff and students from Year 1 to Year 6 supporting the Science curriculum at Key Stage 1 and 2 as well as delivering enrichment activities. We have hosted hundreds of primary school students at the school, giving then a chance to work with unfamiliar equipment in our laboratories. The feedback we have had from students and staff has been extremely positive and we are continuing to develop our provision.
Dr D Robson - Head of Faculty (Key Stage 4)(Chemistry and Physics) Acting Assistant Headteacher
Mr N Brooking - Science Teacher (Physics and Chemistry)
Dr H Craig - Science Teacher (Biology and Applied Science)
Mrs V Hunter - Science Teacher (Chemistry)
Mrs J Macalister - Science Teacher (Biology) Head of Year 7
Miss C Ward - Science Teacher (Biology)
Head of Year 9
Miss K Lewis - Science Teacher
Mr S Pittard - Senior Science Support Technician
Miss S Hemmings - Science Support Technician
Miss S Essex - Science Support Technician