Science aims to encourage learners to develop confidence, and have a positive attitude towards science and develop an understanding of the importance of its role in their own lives and to society as a whole. Students are taught through a variety of teaching styles of which practical work plays an intrinsic part. Key areas of development revolve around scientific investigations, which encompasses planning and organisation, Numeracy, Literacy, Problem solving but also allows for creativity and innovation.
Year 7 Science is taught in laboratories by experienced and well-qualified staff, they are kept in form classes to help with transition and social integration and normally have 3hrs per week. We have created five 8 week learning plans which provide a wide range of topics, this allow us to build on and assess understanding from their Key stage 2 experiences. These topics are broad and have a large practical element to them, which is enjoyable and develops many scientific investigatory skills. Units include Space and Energy, Cells and reproduction and Rocks and Acids. Each units has a formal test which is used for setting but also Assessment points which try to develop literacy, numeracy and ICT skills development.
During Year 8 science really begins to lay firmer foundations on which to build deeper scientific understanding for the future. Again five 8 week learning plans are employed to cover units such as classification and adaptation, Separating mixtures, the systems of the human body and also light and sound waves. We endeavour to include thoughtful and innovative practicals to provide enjoyment and skill progression. We have good links with Techniquest who come into the school to stretch the students with several technological challenges.
In Year 9 we begin teaching the WJEC Science course which allows students to get an earlier feel and taste of the GCSE work, this allows more time to develop a wider and in-depth understanding which provides better long term recall and scientific knowledge for the future.
Science is delivered by an extremely competent and highly qualified team, who have many years of experience. Groups are taught in well-resourced laboratories in ability sets, which allows differentiated work to push learners to their full potential within the three disciplines. We have an excellent record with the separate ‘triple’ science group who always gain at least 50% A’s and A*’s. Our double award students also enjoy plenty of success following the WJEC course, this includes many specified practicals to raise interest, understanding, motivation and experimental skill development. A wide range of resources are employed to make science relevant, enjoyable and thought provoking. Both courses provide firm foundations with which to progress onto A level Science subjects.
GCSE Science (Double Award) is compulsory at key stage 4.
Science is an important subject in today’s complex world of innovation and technology. Without the advancements in science we would not benefit from good medical care, modern communications, enough food for our growing population and energy solutions for our increasing demand. Science makes sense of the world around us and gives us an opportunity to enquire, investigate and expand our horizons. The National Curriculum dictates that all students undertake a balanced course of study of the sciences at GCSE level so that we fulfil an ever growing need for a workforce to match our future. Every child will be expected to achieve at least two GCSEs in science.
This is a course that will award a double GCSE at the end of Year 11. You will study biology, chemistry and physics with subject specialist teachers and be examined on each at the end of year 10 and year 11. In addition you will be expected to carry out practical tasks in lessons and complete a practical assessment worth 10% of the final grade.
Students will study for three SEPARATE GCSE QUALIFICATIONS: GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics.
The WJEC course is structured differently from the double award, meaning it will not be possible to choose to switch between the courses at a later date. Each examined unit has two tiered papers; foundation (G-C) and higher (E-A*). Each teacher will advise their students of which paper would be best suited to their ability.
Students will learn about the human body, how it works and how it interacts with the environment. This will necessitate an awareness of social issues. They will learn about animals, plants and their habitats and understand about the delicate balance that exists between species and their environment. By studying Biology students are in training for a wide variety of careers from the medical profession, through agricultural and sporting to environment centred careers.
Chemistry is the study of substances, what they are made of, how they interact and what role they play in living things. It is the study of all materials and is vital to every aspect of life. The study of Chemistry to GCSE opens the possibility of a wide range of careers, not just confined to those related to medicine and engineering. Knowledge of chemistry is very useful when working in any sphere of industry, but especially the chemical and pharmaceutical industries. It encourages organised and methodical thought, practical ability is developed and a problem solving approach is at times useful.
Physics is the study of ‘what, why and how’, covering a diverse range of subjects ranging from sub-atomic particles to how the universe was formed! The ideas, techniques and skills developed during your GCSE will be invaluable not only within the fields of engineering, but for understanding how things work in everyday life. Is Nuclear Power dangerous? Why should you turn your computer off and not leave it on stand-by? How can Physics help Wales win the 6 Nations?
Employment prospects for students who go on to study Physics at higher level are excellent and a wide variety of career options are available, particularly in engineering – from electronic, electrical and mechanical, to aircraft, materials or medical engineering. Sound and Mining Engineers travel the globe, Rocket engineers send astrophysicists into space, Radiographers save lives and Particle Physicists will save the world!
For more information about these courses, please take a look at our Year 9 Options Booklet.