There are all kinds of interesting questions that come from a knowledge of science, which only adds to the excitement and mystery and awe of a flower.”
Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in Physics
Science is an integral aspect of our everyday lives, more than in any previous time, and influences many areas of our lives as diverse as what we eat, how much leisure time we enjoy, and how we communicate. Our vision at Thomas More is for our pupils to leave scientifically literate and so able to make well informed choices on the complex issues they will face, both today and in the future.
Years 7 & 8 consists of 6 themed units taught across the year. The units all contain elements of biology, chemistry and physics, building upon the foundations of science from primary school developing the skills needed for success at GCSE.
- CSI Science - Introduction to safe working
- 999: Emergency - Body systems, health & disease
- Titanic - Forces and particle models
- Shipwrecked - Diet and Survival
- Earth in Danger - Energy resources and habitats
- Leaving Earth - Space
- Each unit will be assessed by a number of tasks, each focusing on a different skill. The assessment is split into 5 skills: literacy (10%), application (30%), recall (30%), data handling (10%) and practical skills (20%). The scores for these will be combined to form an overall grade.
- At the end of each unit of work, a DIRT sheet will be completed to help students identify recurring areas of weakness and target areas for revision.
The main key skills that will be developed in years 7 & 8 are:
- Safe practical working
- Recording results
- Writing methods for practical procedures
At KS4 pupils either take Edexcel Combined Double Science GCSEs or opt for the Edexcel Separate Sciences GCSEs. In both cases these courses are delivered over three years, enabling pupils to fully explore and gain a strong understanding of these subjects. There is now no coursework element to any Science GCSEs.
For both pathways the Edexcel scheme of work is followed, this is again a spiral curriculum ensuring that topics pupils first encountered in Year 9 are revisited and extended in later years as their scientific proficiency increases. Each half term pupils are formally assessed on the topics they have studied over that half term. Alongside this summative assessment mid-topic progress tasks are completed, these provide personalised support to pupils focused on developing the key skills and knowledge required for them to progress. Homework tasks are mixture of online tasks focused on knowledge recall and extend activities focused on scientific literacy and application.
Combined Double Science Award
This is the national standard which most pupils will follow. Pupils study a range of biology, chemistry and physics topics. Exams are sat in the summer term of Year 11. Pupils receive two GCSE grades solely determined by their overall performance in six final examination papers.
Separate Science Award
This is commonly referred to as “triple science”. This is an academic route that will challenge the most-able pupils and is advisable, though not compulsory, for those interested in pursuing careers in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Medical fields.
Pupils study all of the Combined content and additional extension topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. These topics are more advanced and are an excellent preparation for the A-level Sciences. Pupils receive three separate GCSE grades in Biology, Chemistry and Physics solely determined by their performance in two final examination papers for each subject.
Additional and recommended learning tools or reading
- Physics and Maths Tutor Website
- Pearson Revision Guides
- Dr Brown Chemistry Revision Website
- WJEC Question Bank website
- Mr J Hawkins (Head of department)
- Mr J Kearns (Deputy head teacher)
- Dr J Brushwood (Assistant Head Teacher)
- Mr R Small (Head of Physics)
- Mrs K Spencer (Deputy head department)
- Mr I Patel
- Miss K Slingerland
- Mrs Barber
- Mrs Williamson