Welcome to the Faculty of Science.
We have a staff comprising of thirteen teachers, three technicians and a teaching assistant. Amongst the team there are specialist teachers in the three traditional Sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics and teachers with experience of various aspects of Applied Science. This is reflected in the courses offered at GCSE and Post 16.The broad spectrum of staff specialisms coupled with a high level of ICT skills have led to a Science curriculum that encompasses a range of learning styles and encourages students to develop skills that encourage them to examine the world around them.
In response to the abolition of Key Stage 3 SATS exams, the Faculty has designed a new course. In the first term of Year 9 there is a focus on practical and research skills, development of the skills associated with experiment design and reporting. The new course has an emphasis on how Science is relevant to students lives and the philosophy associated with ‘How Science Works’.
Most students complete two GCSE’s in Science over the course of years 10 and 11. Since 2006 students have had the option of studying the three separate sciences; Biology, Chemistry and Physics at GCSE and this has become increasing popular over the last three years, with the number of students taking this option doubling over the last three years. As a consequence there has been a substantial increase in the number of students going on to study the Sciences further at Post 16.
The new course for the first term is designed to develop students skills in a number of areas that prepare them for GCSE.
The activities include:
Researching a scientific question (a key component of GCSE Core Science coursework)
Strategically planning to test a scientific idea, collecting relevant data, analysis and evaluation of the data collected.
Examine key ideas in science
Study the way that scientific discoveries have led to an understanding of the world around us and how this is relevant to us in our everyday lives.
The course is designed around the new Assessing Pupils Progress framework which replaces the SATS exams and aims to assess students’ skills in a number of key areas.
At the end of the first term students will begin the Core Science GCSE.
The course aims to develop scientific literacy. There are two main strands:
• key science explanations which help us to make sense of our lives
• ideas about science which show how science works.
This course views science from the perspective of a member of the public and is taught in the context of topics of current and cultural interest. Future scientists will also benefit from learning about how science works.
The GCSE is divided into 9 modules split equally over the three area of science and assessed through examination (66.6%) and two pieces of centre assessed work; a ‘Case Study’ and ‘Data Analysis’ (33.3%).
Additional Science features science for scientists. It prepares students for progression to study AS and A-levels in the sciences. By giving more emphasis and space to more fundamental ideas in the sciences, it provides a stimulating, preparation for more advanced study.
The GCSE is divided into 9 modules split equally over the three area of science and assessed through examination (66.6%) and a single piece of coursework which accounts for the final assessment (33.3%).
In year 9 students can select to study the three separate sciences at Key Stage 4. This requires students to study all the material in Core and Additional Science along with extra material related to topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The additional units are designated Unit 7 and encompass ideas related to topics in each separate science.
B7 Further Biology: Biology across the ecosystem
• Living organisms are interdependent - energy flow through ecosystems. Soil.
• Photosynthesis - importance of photosynthesis in the food chain.
• Heterotrophic nutrition - symbiosis and commensalisms. Parasites.
• New technologies - DNA technologies; social, ethical and economic implications.
• Respiration - respiration and exercise.
• Circulation - components of blood; blood types; the circulation system.
• Skeletal systems - skeletal system; health and fitness.
C7 Further Chemistry: Chemistry for a sustainable world
• Alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters. Organic molecules and functional groups; alcohols; carboxylic acids; esters.
• Energy changes in Chemistry. Why are there energy changes during chemical reactions?
• Reversible reactions and equilibria - introducing dynamic equilibrium
• Analysis - analytical procedures; chromatography; quantitative analysis
• Green Chemistry - the chemical industry; the characteristics of green Chemistry; making ethanol.
P7 Further Physics: Observing the Universe
• Observing the sky with the naked eye - stars, planets and satellites.
• How does a telescope work? Making a real image with a converging lens and the use of a second lens to create a telescope.
• What are the objects we see in the night sky and how far are they? Spectra and brightness of stars; parsec; Cepheid variables; Hubble constant.
• What are stars? Birth and death of stars; nuclear processes.
• How do astronomers work together?
Post 16 Courses
At Post 16 level four courses are offered. AS/A2 Applied Science, AS/A2 Biology, AS/A2 Chemistry, AS/A2 Physics.
This range of Advanced level courses offers academic or applied routes to higher education. The number of students studying one or more Post 16 Science course has increased over the last three years. Many of the students have been inspired to continue to study Science related subjects at University and frequently return to Q.E. or stay in contact to share their experiences.
Why study Physics?
Physics is a highly regarded, rigorous and academic course with clear progressions and a multitude of eventual careers. It is a massively versatile course with students demonstrating logical and analytical thought processes, numeracy, information technology skills, organisation and the ability to see straight to the heart of a problem. These skills are widely transferable and are part of the reason why Physics is such a highly regarded qualification. Physics offers a broad and deep insight into the functioning of the universe on length scales ranging from particles within a single proton up to the expansion and subsequent evolution of the universe since the beginning of time. It is this unique experience of scale that physics can offer from within the classroom.
Why study Chemistry?
Advanced level Chemistry students complete a course that builds upon Science at Key Stage 4, developing thinking and practical skills with new experiences and ideas. Chemistry can be taken as part of a diverse combination of post-16 studies for students that are yet to finalise their route into Further Education or as part of a Science focused combination to lead on to greater specialisation within the discipline. Chemistry meets the needs of all students providing the stretch and challenge needed to stimulate the high achievers, whilst offering centre assessed coursework with ‘can-do’ activities for practical skills that link to the curriculum to support learning so that students can meet and exceed their target grades.