Science Department

Science Department

Science staff:  Mr K Brinkley (Head of Department), Mrs C Forder (Second in Department/MAGT Co-ordinator), Dr F Harper (Second in Department), Mr W Browne (Assistant Headteacher), Mr T J Gray, Mr T Bhatti, Mrs K McSorley (maternity leave cover), Miss I Turek (Senior Science Technician), Miss J Mallett (Science Technician).

All of us, as citizens, need to be able to cope with the science that shapes our lives. We are on the receiving end of scientific ideas and technical information in many different roles such as householder, parent, patient, voter or juror. Some young people aspire to be scientists, or to work in careers where knowledge of science is essential. Students need both science for citizens, and science for scientists. The Science Department is well equipped to develop students skills and interest in Science.

All the specialisms of Science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics are represented in the Department with specialist teachers in all subjects.

Our ethos: 

  • To raise standards of achievement in Science
  • To make our science teaching exciting and relevant to pupils of all ages and abilities.
  • To help pupils understand science and the methods of scientific thinking through discussion and evaluation of concepts as well as through practical investigative tasks.
  • To encourage pupils to enjoy science and to continue to study it further beyond the school environment.
  • To teach science so that pupils realise its importance in the development of the world around us.
  • To promote an understanding of science, as a fundamental feature of 21st Century life.

Key Stage 3 

Years 7,8 & 9

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum builds on students’ achievements at KS2, and develops scientific skills necessary for KS4 and beyond.  These skills are organised in the following way:

S-strategy C-collecting I-interpreting E-evaluating N-non fiction C - communication E-ethics

Our scheme of work has been written in-house with the specific objective of preparing students for GCSE, and uses additional material from Wiki.  Students study six main units a year.

Unit 1: (S)  SCIENCE – introducing six skill areas with particular focus on developing a strategy.  The particle model provides explanations for the different physical properties and the behaviour of matter in Cook!

Unit 2: (CI)  Olympics – collecting data on forces and using tables and graphs to interpret results.  This will be extended in Aliens, where data analysis will reveal patterns and trends from which conclusions can be drawn to support or disprove scientific ideas

Unit 3: (E)  Forensics – evaluating evidence from a crime scene to establish the importance of achieving reliable conclusions, using techniques that include microscopy and chromatography.

Unit 4: (N)  A&E – reading non-fiction text as a stimulus to help students write letters to inform patients about life-threatening injuries and giving birth

Unit 5: (C)  Survival - Endangered and Extinct – developing communication and collaboration skills to create a presentation that will capture an audience’s attention, hold their interest and engage them about animal habitats

Unit 6: (E)  Design a Home – investigating the ethical impact of green home improvements (reduce, reuse, recycle).

Unit 1: (S)  SCIENCE – planning a strategy to investigate which snack gives you the most energy.  During NViz students also compare theories to understand how to answer the essential question – ‘How can we predict what will happen in the future?’ with respect to climate change and its consequences.

Unit 2: (CI)  Alive and Kicking – collecting and interpreting data where the variables are tested fairly and measured precisely, so that the relationship between the two variables is clear.  Students will use mucus as a model.

Unit 3: (E)  Catastrophe – evaluating past and present geological evidence so that students can monitor volcano changes and predict eruptions

Unit 4: (N) Studio Magic - reading and writing non-fiction texts to create a manual that could act as a guide for a trainee technician preparing for a music festival.

Unit 5: (C) Pyrotechnics - developing communication and collaboration skills to create a plan for a firework display using students’ chemical knowledge.

Unit 6: (E) Species at War – investigating the ethical impact of human activity on biodiversity. 

Unit 1: (S) SCIENCE – planning a strategy to investigate the speed at which a paper helicopter falls.

Unit 2: (CIE)  Fire, Air, Water, Earth – collecting, interpreting and evaluating evidence collected from an environmental chemistry investigation to study the environmental impact of humans on our environment.

Unit 3: (N)  IVF – Writing a scientific essay presenting the arguments for and against the use of IVF treatment.

Unit 4: (C) Ecozone - Developing communication and collaboration skills that are used to promote sustainability and recognise its importance in the 21st century.

Unit 5: (E) Gold finger – Considering the ethics of mining for metals, and questioning what consumers can do to help minimize the damage.

Key Stage 4 

Years 10 & 11

In years 10 and 11, students have choices of 3 routes, to study:
a) Separate Science or Core Science backed up with b) Additional Science
or c) OCR National award level 2.

21st Century Science

Exam board: (OCR)

Specification: Core Science (J241) [Science A - J241]

GCSE Core Science concepts feature many of the major theories of science in a way that encourages students to appreciate their importance to everyday life.  The course also explores how scientific information is obtained, how reliable it is, what its limitations are, and how this information helps society to make important decisions.  Students are prepared to deal with issues involving science which they may meet, for example, mobile phone safety, decisions about childhood vaccinations, and sustainable use of resources. The module is spit into 9 units:

B1       You & your genes
C1       Air quality
P1       The Earth in the Universe
B2       Keeping healthy
C2       Material choices
P2       Radiation & Life
B3       Life on Earth
C3       Chemicals in our lives: Risks and Benefits
P3       Sustainable energy 

21st Century Science

Exam board: (OCR)

Specification: Additional Science A (J242) [Science A - J242]

This is a concept-led course developed to meet the needs of candidates seeking a deeper understanding of basic scientific ideas.  The course focuses on scientific explanations and models, and gives candidates an insight into how scientists develop scientific understanding of ourselves and the world we inhabit. The module is spit into 9 units:

B4 The processes of life

C4 Chemical Patterns

P4 Explaining motion

B5 Growth and development

C5 Chemicals around us

P5 Electric circuits

B6 Brain and Mind

C6 Chemical synthesis

P6 Radioactive materials


Exam board: (OCR)

Specification: OCR Nationals Level 2

This is a pre-vocational, portfolio based course equivalent to 2 GCSE grades.

OCR Nationals are an exam-free alternative to GCSEs, taking a more engaging, practical approach to learning and assessment. Industry-relevant qualifications geared to key sector requirements, these vocationally related qualifications are increasingly popular with schools and colleges, and suit a range of learning styles.

This is not a route encouraged for students who wish to undertake A level in a Science subject.

3 topics are studied:

Unit 1 Best Practice in Science:
Students develop a thorough knowledge and understanding of the skills necessary to undertake scientific research.

Unit 2: Materials Science:
Students develop knowledge and understanding of how to identify and test materials to ensure that they have suitable properties to meet the fitness for purpose of a product. They will also be able to perform laboratory activities in order to obtain and manufacture materials and show understanding of how the properties of materials relate to their structures.

Unit 7 Science and the environment
Students develop knowledge and understanding of how human activity impacts on the environment.