The science department is situated in a purpose-built facility constructed in 2001. The science centre consists of 10 science laboratories, with specific features designed to cater for Physics, Chemistry and Biology lessons. There are 12 science teachers, and 2 laboratory technicians. The science provision on offer ensures the opportunity for all pupils to achieve a recognised science qualification. Science lessons are exciting and pupils enjoy regular practical work and investigations to further understanding of the topics covered. Pupils are encouraged to question, as scientists and use their knowledge to help understand the world around them and life in the 21st Century.
The KS4 programme of study begins in year 9 and continues through to year 11 when students will sit their final exams in science. Students will have a choice of two routes through KS4 and will decide which route to follow in year 8 when they choose their options.
The majority of students will not choose science as one of their options and will study the AQA Trilogy Science syllabus. Students who study this course will have 5 science lessons per week to cover the syllabus content. By the end of this course students will sit 6 separate exams (information about these is found here) and will be awarded 2 identical GCSE grades in science depending on the outcome of their exam results.
Some students who wish to broaden their knowledge, understanding and skill base within science, or who have a wish to pursue science at A-level may choose science as an option subject in year 8. This is, however, not a requirement of students who wish to study A-level science and it is more important for students who wish to pursue science at KS5 to achieve a B grade overall. Students who study this course will have 8 timetabled lessons per week shared between biology, chemistry, and physics. By the end of this course students will sit 6 separate exams (information about these is found here; biology, chemistry, physics) and will be awarded 3 separate GCSE grades for biology, chemistry and physics depending on the outcome of their individual exam results.
For either route that students choose there are 2 tiers of entry – foundation and higher, and students will be guided towards a tier of entry by their classroom teacher using information about their minimum target grade and their progress throughout KS4. The majority of students will sit the higher paper but this is not suitable for all students. Students who sit the foundation paper can achieve a grade C or below and students who sit the higher paper can achieve a grade A*-D.
There is no longer any coursework or controlled internal assessment and all of the content will be examined in the terminal examinations in year 11. There are specific practical activities that students are required to complete during their lessons, and the skills acquired during these practical lessons will be assessed in the terminal examinations.
There is a greater emphasis on numeracy and literacy skills within the syllabus and this will also be examined in the terminal examinations.