Science educa on in England has been through some big changes in the last couple of years. In 2016, the curriculum and assessment for A level Sciences underwent the biggest overhaul seen for 10 years. The mathema cal content has increased, the content has been updated and the level of challenge has risen. GCSE’s have changed for 2016, the old grading A*-C grading system has gone, replaced by numbers 1-9, the content has changed to make the GCSE’s more challenging and Core and Addi onal Science has become a double award called ‘Double Science’. At QE we have worked with Southampton University and local schools to accommodate these changes and prepare students for the new assess- ments. We are extremely pleased with the way Year 13 students have worked with us and are preparing for the new style ‘all or nothing’ A level exams and Year 10 have made an engaging start to the new curriculum stepping up to mark as the level of challenge has increased.
Par ally in recogni on of the work we have done, the Science Faculty were formally awarded the Gold Science mark in September. The Science Mark ‘is a new quality standard designed to recognise and celebrate good, excellent and outstanding prac ce in secondary science departments across the UK ‘. The plaque in the centre of the picture was awarded to QE in September by the Na onal Science net- work and is a celebra on of the department's commitment to quality standards in science educa on.
Science trophies and achievements for 2016, from le to right. The par cipa on cer cate for the Go4 Set compe - on, best overall ‘Mt School as an Island’ Go4Set compe on, outstanding contribu on cer cate. The Gold Science Mark Award plaque, Best overall trophy (Go4Set), best entrepreneurial, the Tank Museum challenge at Bovington winners trophy and shield.
Whilst sta have been busy with the curriculum, students have been engaged with many extra curricula ac vi es
, achieving success in many di erent areas. Go4set is a regional compe on that involves a substan al project with a theme, it is carried out by teams of students over several months. All entries gain a par cipa on cer cate. The compe on for 2016 had the theme ‘My School is an Island’, the aim was to design a school with sustainability in mind- a very relevant project. The entry by students from QE, won rst prize, there was s compe on from other local schools.
Our students were commended for recognising the ‘big picture’, incorpora ng detailed nancial plans, with very clear links to energy genera on and use and included how the school could become self- sustaining with its own farm and waste plant to provide energy to run the school.
We have had students working with Bournemouth University on a ‘Robo cs’ day. The winners of this were asked to par cipate in a similar challenge at the Tank Museum at Bovington against local schools. One team won that compe on and the school name was added to the shield alongside other school names including Canford School and The Poole Grammar School’s.
Other no ceable events have been the par cipa on of A level Biology students in an Ecology project which has now become a link to a bigger project in France. Our high performance students are producing a short video outlining the work of a hospital Oncology department as part of a compe on.
Chemistry students are preparing for the Na onal Chemistry Olympiad run by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
At Easter, forty four students travelled to the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida, spoke with an astronaut and completed a tour of NASA. This year’s Easter trip is a three day visit to CERN in Switzerland to visit the Large Hadron Collider.
Last year was busy, 2017 is expected to be the same and the Science Faculty con nues to strengthen links with Southampton University, students in Year 12 have made a fantas c start to the Gold STEM Crest Award and we con nue to enter students in to local Science challenges and compe ons.