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Science

Vision:

Science at Silverdale School is characterised by a strong team spirit and a shared, common goal of enabling all students to enjoy and achieve in Science.

The Science department strives to ensure that all pupils achieve their best and that they have sufficient knowledge and understanding to become confident citizens in the increasingly scientific world. Through excellent teaching and enthusiasm for their specialist subjects, teachers inspire all students and promote high levels of engagement, aspiration and progression beyond KS4.

Teaching and Learning

Science is taught by biology, chemistry and physics specialists from Y8 upwards in one of our 10 laboratories and 3 classrooms. Y7 are taught in mixed ability groups, with setting from Y8 onwards. We have opportunities to use ICT in lessons and aim to involve pupils in practical work whenever possible. Learning and Teaching approaches are varied in order to engage and challenge all students.

We encourage students to question the scientific method and nurture their interest such that they pursue further study. There is a significant level of uptake of science subjects in the sixth form and beyond.

Curriculum

Key Stage 3:

In years 7 to 9, students study a broad range of scientific topics that lead to development of ‘How Science Works’ skills, student confidence at carrying out practical work
and a solid foundation of knowledge for GCSE. An ‘in-house’ scheme of work is followed that matches the requirements of the National Curriculum. Y7 classes are taught ‘Science’ but from Y8 they have dedicated Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons.

See the PDF at the bottom of this page for the order of Science topics taught at each stage.

Key Stage 4:

All students follow AQA (aqa.org.uk) for GCSE Science. We start teaching the GCSE in February of Y9, although students make their options during Y9 and these are implemented in the September of Y10. They opt in to study the three separate sciences to gain 3 GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (Triple Science) or decide to study the Combined:Trilogy course, gaining 2 GCSE’s in Science. All exams are taken in Y11, there are no longer modular options. Coursework or ISA controlled assessment work has been removed and there are now required practicals which will be assessed in the examinations.

The current Y11 will be the last cohort to complete non-linear GCSE courses. Some students are studying for one GCSE in Additional Science having achieved a GCSE in Core Science in Y10. They will take 3 exams in June (B2, C2 and P2). A small cohort are completing Core Science over 2 years and will take B1, C1 and P1 examinations. The remaining students studying Triple Science will take 9 examinations for 3 GCSEs in Biology (B1,B2 and B3), Chemistry (C1, C2 and C3) and Physics (P1, P2 and P3). These ‘old’ courses incorporate an ISA controlled assessment worth 25%, 75% is gained from examinations.

See the PDF at the bottom of this page for the order of Science topics taught at each stage.

Key Stage 5:

Science courses are very popular at KS5. All science courses have 12 required practicals which are assessed in the examinations. June examinations are taken in Y13, unless a student opts to study an AS in Science when the exams are in June of Y12. All KS5 science subjects require the equivalent of Y11 GCSE Science at grade B or grade B in the relevant separate science. All 3 Science A-level subjects also require Mathematics GCSE grade B.

New linear specifications were introduced with Y12 students in September 2015 AQA courses are followed in all three science subjects. Further details of specifications can be found at aqa.org.uk.

See the PDF at the bottom of this page for the order of Science topics taught at each stage.

Homework:

Homework is set and marked regularly for all year groups, in line with school policy. The nature of this work can be expected to vary widely, to include activities such as research, revision or creative tasks as well as formal written pieces. Students should see their teacher at the earliest opportunity if the task is unclear or they cannot complete it. Extra help will be available if sought before the deadline. Where students fail to complete homework on time, the following sanctions will be applied:

1. Formal warning/10 minutes detention.

2. Contact home from subject teacher (message in Planner).

3. Failure to improve: Department detention (20 minutes).
 

Extra-Curricular Activities:

  • Y7 Science Club
  • Y8 students are able to enjoy a day of Biology fieldwork in the Peak District.
  • Y12 Biologists enjoy a three day residential fieldtrip to Malham Tarn.
  • Y12 Chemists are chosen to compete in a local and national competition hosted by Sheffield Hallam University.
  • KS3 Science Homework Club at 12.50 Tuesday-Thursday
  • Y12&Y13 Science Review club, run by students with an interest in scientific discoveries reported in the media and journals
  • Informal ‘drop in’ sessions are available for any student requiring extra help.
  • We have a thriving programme of activities for National Science Week that aims to provide something for everyone.
  • Y7 students have the chance to take part in fieldwork as part of a combined trip with Geography.
  • Occasional competitions and events are organised or promoted where appropriate.