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Science

The Department seeks to give students access to and knowledge of science by developing an understanding of scientific facts and methods. This includes using evidence produced from experiments to explain observations. We believe a sound knowledge of science and its methods is essential for all in the modern world so that informed choices can be made about contemporary issues such as climate change, nuclear energy, stem cell research, animal testing and so on.



The department has three well equipped science laboratories, four experienced teachers and an indispensable laboratory technician.


KeyStage 3



The curriculum is based on the National Curriculum of England and Wales using the ‘Science Works’ text books and resource materials. There is a large element of practical work so that students can develop the laboratory skills required for IGCSE and A/AS level science courses. Practical work also serves to enhance students understanding of the concepts covered in Key stage 3.

The topics covered in year 7 are cells, reproduction, differences, classification, acid reactions, particles, elements and compounds, chemical reactions, electricity and magnetism, energy, forces and space.

In year 8 the students study life support, keeping healthy, people and the environment, shaping life, the periodic table, inside materials, metal reactions, rocks, heating and cooling, light, sound and forces.

In year 9 the topics covered are variation, extremes, interdependence, carbon cycle, future transport, natural resources, earth and space, energy and science in sport.


GCSE



In key stage 4 the science department offers separate IGCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics. All of these courses are popular choices and have a substantial practical element which builds on the laboratory skills and techniques covered in key stage 3.

At the end of year 11 there are two examinations in each of the sciences, one of two hours and the other of one hour. There is no coursework component for any of the IGCSE science subjects.

The biology course covers; organisms and life processes, animal physiology, plant physiology, ecology and the environment, variation and selection, microorganisms and genetic engineering.

The chemistry course covers; particles, essential background chemistry, industrial inorganic chemistry,  organic chemistry and chemical calculations.

The physics course covers; forces and motion, electricity, waves, solids liquids and gases, magnetism and electromagnetism, radioactivity and particles.



A Level



The science department offers AS and A level course in biology, chemistry and physics. For entry onto these courses students are expected to have achieved a GCSE grade ‘B’ or better. A GCSE grade ‘C’ or better in mathematics would be particularly useful for chemistry and physics.

Assessment is by three written examinations during year 12 and three more during year 13. There is no coursework, this has been replaced by examination papers based on laboratory procedures and techniques, which contribute 20% to the final grade. The practical work is an integral part of each of the units covered in years 12 and 13 so is not taught separately.

In year 12 the biologists study lifestyle, health and risk, genes and health, the voice of the genome, biodiversity and natural resources. In year 13 the topics are; on the wild side, infection immunity and forensics, run for your life, and grey matter.

In year 12 the chemists cover core principals of chemistry and application of the core principles. In year 13 they study; rates, equilibria, further organic chemistry, transition metals and organic nitrogen chemistry.

In year 12 the physicists study mechanics, materials, waves, DC electricity and light. In year 13 the topics are; further mechanics, electric and magnetic fields, particles physics, thermal energy, nuclear decay, oscillations and astrophysics.

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