“Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.” Psalm 111
“Science is fun. Science is curiosity. We all have natural curiosity. Science is a process of investigating. It's posing questions and coming up with a method. It's delving in.” Sally Ride
Students will develop an understanding that science is a subject where they ask “what happens when…?” or “what happens if…?” and they will develop the skills necessary to design and carry out an experiment to collect results and interpret their meaning. They will develop a repertoire of practical skills enabling them to use simple and complex equipment in order to do this.
Students will develop an understanding of the importance of all living organisms, how they interact with our environment and through research, develop technology that improves quality of life.
Students will gain an awareness of the fragility of our planet, its ecosystems and atmosphere, and the important ways that we can preserve them.
Students will gain an understanding of how substances behave in the way that they do, how we use natural resources and the processes they undergo in order to become useful and the impact of this on the world around us. They will be guided on the importance of using resources responsibly and the science being developed to achieve this.
Students will develop an understanding of the physical laws of the Universe and how we can use these to develop technology that improves life on Earth and beyond.
Our curriculum cultivates pupils’ interest in and engagement with the world around them. It encourages pupils to ask questions and design a way to determine the answers in a rigorous scientific test. Pupils are guided to develop and use their understanding to solve a range of problems by applying their knowledge in unfamiliar contexts. The curriculum closely links the theoretical concepts and practical approaches so that pupils gain a comprehensive understanding of the subject. Students will learn how electricity, nuclear radiation, energy resources, forces and waves influence the world around us and how mathematics can help us analyse these phenomena. They will be guided to see how our knowledge keeps us safe and allows us to innovate and move forwards. Students will gain an understanding of cell biology, bioenergetics, infection and response, homeostasis, genetics and evolution and the significance of their Biology in their day to day lives. They will be able to make reasoned arguments about important issues such as IVF, use of vaccinations and stem cell research and confidently articulate their opinions, whilst challenging their peers’, using evidence to support their arguments. In Chemistry, students will gain an understanding of atoms as the fundamental building blocks of everything along with how and why they are classified. They will investigate why substances in the world behave in the way that they do and how we can manipulate natural substances in an efficient and sustainable manner so that the Earth’s resources aren’t depleted. They will be guided to evaluate different methods of processing from mathematical and environmental perspectives; linked to this pupils will understand why reactions occur and how they can be affected in industry and nature.
Fundamental concepts in Biology, Chemistry and Physics are met in year 7 and revisited throughout the key stage to add depth and breadth to students’ understanding. Equations are introduced in year 7 and pupils are challenged to progress in years 8 and 9 by changing units for different quantities and rearranging the equations. Practical skills are introduced at the very start of year 7 so that pupils can use basic laboratory equipment safely and correctly. Difficulty then progresses as more specialised equipment is introduced and practicals progress to be multi-stage. Teamwork is promoted as pupils work successfully in groups to plan and carry out their own investigations. We build links within and between the different sciences as pupils progress throughout the key stage to enable students to develop a deep understanding.
To prepare our students thoroughly for all aspects of their assessment. Students first study the fundamental ideas in each of the sciences (cells, atoms and energy) in greater depth than at KS3, building on and returning to these throughout their GCSE studies. Teachers deliver in their own specialism to stretch, challenge and support all students. Required practicals are taught through a mix of pupil and teacher-led methods, and supported by a wider body of experiments to enable pupils to develop the skills needed to achieve success in the exams. Understanding is consolidated with the use of knowledge organisers and mini quizzes in homework booklets, so that pupils are frequently tested on small chunks of the syllabus. Revision is embedded with the use of a variety of resources and pupils are shown how to revise in lessons.
A Level: To prepare our A Level students thoroughly for all aspects of assessment. Students build on the concepts learnt at GCSE to add completely new topics in each science, and study familiar ones in greater depth. Required practicals are taught with pupils compiling their work in a lab book; pupils are taught to analyse and evaluate their results in a more mathematical way to prepare them to use similar techniques at university. Students are taught by two subject specialists for each science, and there is a focus on developing students as independent learners who complete their own studies around the subject to broaden and strengthen their understanding.
Students are given the opportunity to develop their interest in Science through our year 7 and 8 STEM club, whilst the leadership skills of year 12 are developed as they are used here as subject ambassadors.
Students take part in national competitions such as Top of the Bench (Chemistry) and the various projects of the Physics Olympiad, as well as the annual trip to the local Physics Olympics. An emphasis is placed on broadening students’ experiences beyond what they would otherwise experience outside of the school environment and therefore pupil premium students are given priority on many educational visits. This includes annual trips to the Big Bang fair and regular attendance at lectures and events which introduce pupils to a variety of career opportunities in the sciences.
At sixth form level there is a focus on seeing science in action; Physics visits are run to the nuclear physics masterclass at Daresbury laboratories, whilst Biology students visit the local graveyard to extend required practical work out of the classroom and attend talks on conservation and classification at Chester Zoo to see the theories they study in action.
Cross curricular integration
Maths - strong links throughout the KS3, KS4 and KS5 courses. Line graphs and bar charts are covered in year 7 Maths and used in Science from the very start of year 7 (having been studied by pupils previously in primary school). Means are introduced in Maths in early year 7 and then used in Science throughout the key stages. Distance-time graphs are introduced in year 7 and again in year 11 at a similar time to help students reinforce and embed learning. Density and compound measures are met in Maths in year 9 and then built upon and reinforced in year 10 and 11 Physics.
PE - teaching content alongside PE at a similar time to help students reinforce and embed learning. For example year 7 skeleton and muscles, year 8 healthy diet, respiration and breathing and the cardiovascular system at GCSE.
Geography - introduce adaptations to particular ecosystems in year 7 which is built on in year 8 Geography. Strong links at GCSE where renewable energy, recycling and sustainable transport are covered in year 9 and 10 Science and similar ideas are used in year 11 Geography
Transition learning opportunities
Year 5 Day activities - led by Science. Gives an informal view of the ability and prior study of pupils in primary school.
Baseline Year 7 Practical & Theory - assessment completed following initial early teaching.
To be developed in the future: members of the Science team assigned to feeder primary schools and will make contact to go in and teach a lesson during the academic year. To use this to develop links with Primary school science leads. Also, links to the year 7 summer school.