Mrs D. Serafini
Members of the department
Mr L. Humphries (Head of physics and co-ordinator of KS4)
Ms N. Thornton (Head of biology and co-ordinator of KS3)
Mrs B. Morgan (KS5 co-ordinator, Assistant Head of Sixth form and biology teacher)
Mrs S. Helme (biology teacher and KS3 science club co-ordinator)
Miss R. Hollier (biology/physics teacher)
Mrs K. Hughes (biology/H&SC teacher)
Mr D. Hunt (Director of Study for Curie House and chemistry teacher)
Mr D. Jones (biology/physics teacher)
Mrs K. Moseley (biology teacher)
Mr A. Samuel (physics teacher)
Mrs J. Segar (chemistry teacher)
Dr J.Lewis (chemistry/physics teacher)
Mr O.Tattum (physics teacher)
LSAs and Technicians
Mrs R. Dale (Head Technician)
Mr J. Brown (science technician)
Mrs D. Done (science technician)
Mrs D. Murphy (science LSA)
About Our Subject
At GCSE the students follow the OCR A Gateway syllabus with all studying combined science until the end of year 10. Moving into year 11, some will continue with combined science while for others it will be more appropriate to follow the triple science route. Those continuing with combined science into year 11 will be afforded more in class preparation time for the final exams due to there being less content to cover.
GCSE science is a three year course starting in year 9 and is geared towards the new method of grading 9-1.
Biology course and chemistry course sentences remain the same. The first physics course sentence needs to be replaced with the following:
The physics course is divided into 6 modules for combined science and 8 modules for triple science, with considerable overlap in content between the two. These help the students to understand how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be understood in terms of a small number of key ideas which are of universal application.
From the sentence beginning ‘These are illustrated through topics on matter, ………’ until the end remains the same.
KS3 science is delivered during years 7 and 8. Students follow a scheme of work based on the new science curriculum which prepares them for GCSE. Each unit is assessed with an end of topic test. In total they have 6 lessons of science a fortnight which are taught by 2 teachers where possible. At the end of year 7 and 8 all students sit an end of year test to give them the experience of organising some effective revision for all topics covered in the year. Students are encouraged to experiment with revision techniques throughout the course – a vital skill that will help in the next step at KS4. During year 7, students study topics that include material from biology, chemistry and physics. These topics are; Cells & Cell Processes and Biological Systems (biology); Mixtures & Materials and Elements & Compounds (chemistry); Energy, Forces & Space (physics). Students develop their practical and team working skills with a variety of experimental work throughout the year. The current year 8 students are studying more topics that include material from biology, chemistry and physics. These topics are; Plants & Ecosystems, Genetics & Evolution (biology); Acids & Bases, and Environmental Chemistry (chemistry); Electricity & magnetism, Sound & Light (physics). These topics include a range of experimental work designed to further their practical skills and enhance their data analysis skills in order to prepare for GCSE. Also available to our KS3 students is Science Club. This club runs weekly and gives students the opportunity to take part in fantastic and exciting practical work that leaves them enthused for the rest of week.
At GCSE the students are now following the new OCR syllabus with the majority taking triple science. GCSE science is a three year course starting in year 9 and is geared towards the new method of grading 9-1. The biology course is divided into 6 modules, which cover an array of biological concepts such as cells, microscopy, cell division, growth, organ systems, and ecosystems. The chemistry course is also split into 6 modules and will cover particles, elements, compounds and mixtures, chemical reactions including predicting, identifying, monitoring and controlling chemical reactions and global challenges. The physics course is divided into 8 modules which help the students to understand how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas which are of universal application. These are illustrated through topics on matter, forces, electricity, magnetism, waves, radioactivity and energy. At the beginning of each module the students are given learning outcome booklets so that they can track their progress through the course. Students are exposed to several teaching methods that incorporate both theory and practical work. There is no coursework involved in the new specification, but students are expected to complete a range of practical work throughout the course which can be assessed in the final exams. Students are usually tested twice per module and this allows us to track progress and report this through the PMR. Any intervention that is required may take place as either part of lesson, homework, or on some occasions students are asked to attend an intervention session after school. Students are always welcome to science club after school for extra help or support with lessons and homework.
The science department offers all three sciences at KS5, biology, chemistry and physics, taught by subject specialists. All three sub-specialities within the department follow the new OCR syllabus, (OCR Biology A, OCR Chemistry A, and OCR Physics A). The content for each subject is divided into 6 modules. Module 1 for each of the three sciences is focused on developing practical skills which are assessed throughout the written examinations and also through the Practical Endorsement. All students are entered for the A level examination at the end of a two year period and each science A level is assessed over 3 papers. The courses are delivered to allow students to take the AS level exam at the end of year 12 although this is not something we encourage, it is possible if requested. There is no coursework as such, but students will receive the Practical Endorsement at the end of the 2 year period. To pass the Practical Endorsement students will be expected to have demonstrated a number of different practical skills throughout the 2 year course. The Practical Endorsement will be reported as a pass or fail and this is independent of the grade attained in the science A levels and will appear on all students’ certificates as a separately reported result, alongside the overall grade for the qualification. From September 2108 we offer the vocational science qualification BTEC level 3 National Extended Certificate in Applied Science. This gives students the opportunity to showcase their skills through practical assessments and is equivalent in size to one A level.
Students of year 12 biology will attend a two-day non-residential course to cover aspects of field work that include the statistical analysis of data they have collected themselves. There is an additional cost to this and whilst not compulsory does add a lot of value to their studies in aiding their understanding of field work in various habitats.
Many of the KS5 science students volunteer to support KS3 and KS4 science lessons as part of the enrichment programme. We also have KS5 science students supporting the KS3 science club which is mainly done for fun, but helps to inspire the younger students to consider careers in science by letting them enjoy the fun of science. Our KS5 science students have also benefitted from the many Impetus science lectures in the last two years which included in February 2017, Professor Lord Robert Winston, as well as a wide range of inspirational speakers from both industry and British universities.
We have forged strong and growing links with Worcester University and our students have the opportunity to attend Taster Days there on curriculum content and wider interest. Last year, for example, the Taster Day on Forensic Science was well attended and we hope to offer similar annually. Dr Mike Wheeler (Senior Lecturer in Biology) has been into the school to deliver a number of talks on such topics as Bioinformatics and Exobiology.
The science department is proud to boast the biggest uptake of A Level students and we strive to ensure that we can offer not only excellent teaching with our own continued professional development but that we are always searching for new opportunities for the students so that they can add these to their UCAS applications.