“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.
Whilst the many concepts in this Science curriculum are undoubtedly fascinating they can, at times, appear abstract. We in the Science team at Thomas More strive to make these concepts accessible by delivering lessons that make them come to life by firmly linking them to the real world. We firmly believe that Science is a practical subject and that pupils learn best when they can experience and investigate concepts and as such experimental work features throughout.
Year 7 and 8 – KS3 Science
The KS3 Science curriculum is taught over two years following the Exploring Science scheme of work (available here). This is a spiral curriculum which means that students will study similarly themed topics during Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4. This gives pupils a strong foundation in preparation for their GCSEs as the topics studied in Key Stage 3 are revisited, consolidated and extended. There is a strong emphasis on knowledge acquisition, alongside a focus on skill development. These skills include critical thinking, planning, presentation, research and creative thinking.
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 predominately online and these provide the pupils with immediate feedback and guidance.
Year 9 to 11 – KS4 Science
At KS4 pupils either take Edexcel Combined Double Science GCSEs (available here) or opt for the Edexcel Separate Sciences GCSEs (available here). 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 (available here)
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 (available here)
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.
Year 12 and 13 – KS5 Science
Post-16 the Science Department at Thomas More offers full A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and a Level 3 BTEC Applied Science taught by subject specialists in a dedicated sixth form teaching laboratory. Further details regarding these courses can be found in the sixth form prospectus.
Staff and facilities
The Science Department at Thomas More is housed in our own building with six purpose-built science laboratories and nine, including two members of the senior leadership team, Science teachers. We are fortunate to have two dedicated technicians who support the practical work that is at the heart of our teaching.
- Dr Brushwood - Curriculum Leader Science (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Mr Fullbrook - Science teacher
- Mr Patel - Science teacher
- Mrs Spencer-Bowdage - Science teacher
- Ms Bryant - Science teacher
- Mrs Baptiste-Buckley - Science teacher