Science

Staff

Teaching Rooms

The school has 7 fully equipped Science Laboratories (two specialist labs for each of the three separate subjects and one all purpose general science laboratory).  Each laboratory is equipped with all essential equipment for practical work, with networked computer station on all teacher benches, ceiling mounted data projector and a projection visualiser.  Four laboratories are equipped with SmartBoard Interactive Whiteboards.  Each laboratory has access to a Prep Room with adequate storage facilities.  Two of the Prep Rooms have additional staff work spaces.

The Science Department also has access to an ICT suite containing 30 networked PC’s and a staff computer linked directly to an Interactive Whiteboard. 

Resources

‘Starting Science’ and ‘Thinking Through Science’ text books are used for the Y7 and Y8 topics in Key Stage 3.  In addition, there are ‘Biology First’, ‘Chemistry First’ and ‘Physics First’ text books available that provide a good introduction to the separate sciences delivered in Year 9.  A variety of GCSE and AS and A2 text books are available for students to use at Key Stages 4 and 5.  In addition to this, all GCSE Science students and A level students in Biology and Chemistry have their own personalised login to an on-line text book and bank of resources, which can be accessed both in school and at home.  There is a wireless network throughout the school which the students may access during their lessons where appropriate.

A number of software programmes are available through the school network in the ICT suite.  One of the most popular of these is the ‘Boardworks’ package for KS3, KS4 (Core, Additional and Separate Sciences) and AS and A2 level in all three sciences.

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

Y7 and Y8 follow a topic based General Science course.  In both years there is a time allocation of 3 hours per week (12% curriculum time).  In Year 7, one hour a fortnight is given over to one of the activities from the CASE Thinking Science scheme.  Schemes of Work for Y7 and Y8 have been updated over the last two years to take on the format of and many ideas from the QCA Scheme for Key Stage 3 and incorporate recent changes to the National Curriculum framework.  In Year 7, the Units of Work include Observation and Measurement, Separating and Purifying, Acids and Alkalis, Humans as Organisms, Forces, Heating Chemicals and Reproduction.  In Year 8, the students study Water, Earth and Space, Materials and their Uses, Living Things and their Environment, Energy and Electricity.

In Y9, the students follow courses in each of the three separate sciences with 3 hours per fortnight for each subject (18% curriculum time).  Key Stage 3 assessments are completed in the first two terms of Y9; the final term is used to begin the delivery of the GCSE course.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 all students follow the AQA Science course.  The subject is taught through the separate disciplines with students allocated into Double Award and Triple Award groups from the beginning of Year 10.  Physics, Chemistry and Biology is delivered by subject specialists, where possible, throughout Key Stage 4. In Y10 the time allocation is 3 hours per subject per fortnight, which increases to 4 hours per subject per 10 day cycle in Y11.

At both Double Award and Triple Award the course is assessed through examinations at the end of Year 11.  Students following the Double Award route gain a Core Science and an Additional Science GCSE.  Triple Award student gain a GCSE in each of the three separate sciences.  For each GCSE there are three examinations worth 75% of the final grade; 25% of the marks are also achieved through practical Investigative Skills Assessments, which are completed in Y11.

Key Stage 5

Post-16 courses are offered within the co-educational Sleaford Joint Sixth Form and, in recent years, Science has proved to be an extremely popular choice, attracting many additional students into the school.  Biology and Chemistry offer the AQA AS and A2 courses and the Edexcel course is studied at AS and A2 level in Physics.  New Specifications are currently under review as new courses are to be introduced from September 2015.  Further information on each of these courses can be obtained from the relevant exam board websites.  A requirement of at least a B grade at GCSE is considered to be the qualification for entry onto AS level courses. Each AS course is allocated 9 hours of teaching time per fortnight, with 8 hours per fortnight at A2 in Year 13.   All courses are currently assessed through written modular examinations and coursework (although this format will be changing from September 2015).

Extra-curricular opportunities

Science activities feature as part of the school’s inter house competitions.  Additional activities and visits have been undertaken to various Science Centres as part of the whole school Curriculum Days.  Students have participated in the Salters Science competitions, Institute of Physics competitions and in a number of events involving schools working with our local employers.

The Department is also engaged in a very successful outreach programme delivering Science lessons to Y5 and Y6 students in a number of our feeder primary schools.