The Science Department is a thriving and successful department, with eight full-time Science teachers, supported by two full-time technicians. The department is enthusiastic, hard-working and respected within the school for its efficiency and professionalism.
- Departmental Aims: To develop in pupils a spirit for enquiry and the ability to examine critically, the issues which a modern Science based society raises.
- Expected outcomes: To prepare pupils for a life beyond school, in which their Science base will assist them in making choices and access opportunities in a rapidly changing World.
Science provision within each Key Stage
Key Stage 3 Science
A new course written by the department has been introduced with each Science teacher delivering all three subjects. Science is delivered in 12% of curriculum time at this Key Stage. Class sizes are typically 30 pupils of similar ability in Years 7 and 8. Towards the end of Year 8, those students wishing to take Triple Science GCSE’s will opt for this pathway in KS4.
Key Stage 4 Science
All learners study the AQA suite of Science GCSE’s.
Students from Set 1 who opted for Triple Sciences commence their 3 GCSE’s in parallel, with exams taken at the end of Year 11. Triple Science is delivered in 24% of the Curriculum time with 3 teachers, each delivering their subject specialism.
Sets 2, 3, 4 & 5 follow the GCSE Combined Science Double Award starting in Year 9 with all to be examined at the end of Year 11. There are three units Biology, Chemistry and Physics plus a Working Scientifically unit.
20% of the Curriculum time is allocated in Year 9, Year 10 and 11 with two teachers delivering the subject content per group.
Set 6 pupils take a single GCSE STEM Technical award completing 3 portfolio modules spread over the Key Stage and a single exam at the end of Year 11. 20% of the Curriculum time is allocated in Year 9, Year 10 and 11 with two teachers delivering the subject content per group.
Key Stage 5 Science
Traditional A-level courses are taught in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The department provides a residential fieldwork opportunity for Y13 Biology students enhancing the A-level Biology course. All Science A-levels are with the AQA examination body, providing a good depth and range of topics within each subject area. For A-level Biology, Chemistry and Physics each qualification consists of eight units in Year 12 and a further 8 in Year 13.
The practical element of each subject is woven throughout the course in the form of Required Practicals that will be assessed on the terminal paper. All exams are taken at the end of the course and qualification is 100% exam based.
Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science
The qualification is structured into 360 Guided Learning Hours, equivalent in size to one A Level. There are four units of which three are mandatory: Principles and Applications of Science I, Science Investigation Skills and are assessed externally and Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques. Mandatory content is 83% and external assessment is 58%.
All students are actively encouraged to take responsibility for their own progress, with emphasis on the development of learner centred activities. Each year, students achieve the highest grades in Science examinations and have gone on to a wide range of top universities to study an even greater range of science based courses, including Veterinary Science, Pharmacy and Medicine. Students have also progressed onto vocational courses such as nursing and taken up apprenticeships with local companies.
Click below to link to the relevant AQA Science Website
Accommodation and specialist resources
The whole department is housed in a suite of new purpose built laboratories consisting of seven general teaching laboratories each with Smartboards which are serviced by two well stocked prep rooms. The teaching areas are spacious and well equipped environments promoting high-quality teaching and learning.
The department is the largest within the school, but as it is relatively small compared to many other schools, there are many opportunities to contribute to overall development and this is always encouraged. The Science department prides itself on the level of support and mentoring offered to all new staff. It is the policy of the Science Department to make the full range of ability teaching equally available to each member of the department.
Extra Curricular Activities
Appropriate trips and activities are organised for all Key Stages, including
- STEM Club, run after school on a Thursday led by Miss Cox with the support of the rest of the Dept.
- Visiting Stems net Ambassadors providing insight into scientific research and careers.
- After school revision and Controlled Assessment preparation sessions for Year 10 and 11 students
- Easter School AS/A2 ISA preparation sessions for Year 12/13 students
- Science Careers Awareness Raising day with selected Year 9 students
- Chemistry Careers Awareness Raising Trip to the Black Country Museum
- Trips to Thinktank museum in Birmingham
- Reading Space Centre visit with Year 9 students
- Biology Ecology Field Study trip to North Wales with Year 13 Biology students
- Aston University Biology Masterclass with Year 12/13 students
- Biology Big Quiz at Birmingham University with Year 10 students
- Classroom Medics organisation provided hands on activities for AS/A2 Applied Science students.