Science

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, projector and interactive whiteboards. The faculty has 32 laptops for student use in the laboratory. We have ten highly qualified staff who are committed to providing a variety of teaching 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 also has two technicians who provide practical resources, assist in lessons and support the running of special events.

The Curriculum at KS3

During years 7 & 8 students cover aspects of biology, chemistry and physics building on prior knowledge from primary schools and embedding the foundations ready for their GCSEs. The schemes of learning are divided into 6 termly modules focusing on one of the aspects of science each term. The students are assessed in a variety of ways at the end of each term to track individual progress and ensure all students are stretched and challenged whatever their pathway.

Year 7

Particles and Earth Science; Students will learn how the particle model provides explanations for the different physical properties and behaviour of matter. The structure of the Earth, rock cycle and composition of our solar system will be explored.

Cells, systems and ecosystems; Students will learn how life processes are supported by the organisation of cells into tissues, organs and body systems. The muscle and skeletal systems work together.

Forces, light and sound; Students will learn how to recognise and measure different forces. Quantitative relationships can be applied to the way an object moves. Light and sound waves travel through different objects.

Acids and alkalis/simple chemical reactions; Students will learn how to describe elements and compounds to show characteristic chemical properties and patterns in their behaviour. Reactions of metals, acids and alkalis.

Reproduction;The human reproductive cycle includes adolescence, fertilisation and foetal development. Reproduction and germination in plants.

Energy, fuels; Students will learn how energy can be transferred usefully, stored, or dissipated, but cannot be created or destroyed. Renewable and non-renewable fuels will be evaluated in terms of their desirability in solving the energy crisis. Electrical circuits introduced.

End of Year Assessment: Students will develop revision strategies and an awareness of exam literacy.

Year 8 
Atoms, compounds & mixtures/heating and cooling;  Students learn how the periodic table was developed, and reaction patterns in Group 1, 7 and 0. Properties of unknown elements will be predicted from data analysis.
Digestion, food and respiration; Students learn how their bodies release energy via chemical reactions. Digestion of food requires enzymes. They will learn how to measure rates of such reactions.
Forces, pressure and moments; Students learn how to categorise and calculate a range of forces. They will use equations to investigate Hooke’s Law, and will calculate moments.
Classification, the environment and feeding; Students learn how explain how variations can make one individual or species more likely to survive and reproduce than another. Photosynthesis is key to a food chain. Biodiversity can be measured and explored.
The Earth’s resources; Students will explore a range of chemical reactions. They will learn how metals are extracted, and evaluate effects of recycling.
Magnetism and electricity; Students learn how bar and electromagnets can produce a variety of effects. Electrical current will be measured in series and parallel circuits and differences explained.
End of Year Assessment:  Students will develop revision strategies and an awareness of exam literacy.

KS4

Students will begin studying material for the GCSE course in year 9 students. Early modules bridge and consolidate content from final KS3 modules before students progressing onto the foundations of their GCSE modules. During year 9 students all students will complete units of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. During the first two terms students will complete a range of assessments to suit the needs of all learners.

Students will be streamed into one of two pathways part way through year 9:

  • Trilogy (up to six groups out of 8)
  • Separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSE) studied by up to two groups out of 8.

At Key Stage 4, students follow AQA syllabi.

KS5

At Key Stage 5 A-levels in Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Applied Science are offered.

Science and STEM Clubs

Raising awareness of where studying STEM subjects can take students beyond school is an important part of our work. We have strong links with the University of Bath, University of Bristol and University of West England which see students visiting laboratories, taking part in competitions and workshops as well as gaining an insight into how research scientists work. Students benefit from visits from STEM ambassadors working in industry and research as well as workshops run by the likes of Bloodhound SSC, Dyson, SS Great Britain, Atkins and the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Our Science Club runs every Wednesday after school in terms 3-4. Students work through a programme including constructing and programming a Lego robot, researching and experimenting to gain national CREST awards, and finding out more about space.

Cross-Curricular Links

Science works closely with other areas in the school to develop students’ skills and raise achievement. Projects have included a Science, Mathematics and Technology Fashion Show project for all Year 8 students in which teams plan a fashion show and make an item of clothing from reused or recycled materials. 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. A member of the Mathematics Faculty has been supported in delivering numeracy based projects in other subject areas such as ICT, Geography, Business Studies and Physics.

University Links and Professional Scientists

Raising awareness of where studying STEM subjects can take them beyond school is an important part of our work. Our students have received visits from STEM ambassadors working in industry and researching in local universities. Ambassadors have presented their work as well as informed students of how they progressed into their current work. Students have also visited the University of Bath and University of Bristol’s Chemistry labs, taking part in competitions and workshops as well as gaining an insight into how research scientists work. Students have also benefitted from STEM workshops in school run by the Smallpiece Trust and Dyson.

The Department

Mrs E Prior  Head of Science Faculty
Mr M Cooper   Leader for STEM
Mrs L Hobbs  Second in Science Faculty (KS4 and Physics)
Mr M Hamilton  Leader for KS3 and Biology
Mr P Heuff  Deputy Headteacher and Science Teacher
Mrs J Macalister Science Teacher and Head of Austen House
Mrs I Langsi Science Teacher
Mrs V Lewis Science Teacher
Miss Ashford  Science Teacher
Mrs J Burke  Science Teacher
Mr S Pittard Senior Science Support Technician
Miss S Hemmings Science Support Technician