Science 2017-05-24T10:46:41+00:00

Science

“The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.” – Albert Einstein

Welcome & Ethos

Hello and welcome to the science department! Our aim is for the students at Nunnery Wood High School to be successful in science by achieving their academic potential and by enabling them to become scientifically literate citizens of the future. To achieve this we want students to develop an understanding of ‘How Science Works’ and the effect of science on society and the environment as well as an understanding of the key scientific concepts. Studying science is not only worthwhile and enjoyable but it also enables students to develop critical thinking, problem solving skills and personal qualities such as empathy, initiative, self-confidence and independence.

Context of the Subject

A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, students should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Our science department believes that students should develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the integration of literacy and numeracy skills as well as apply their understanding of spirituality, morality, culture and ethics. students should be able to articulate associated processes and key characteristics using technical terminology accurately and precisely by building up an extended specialist vocabulary. In addition, students should also apply their mathematical knowledge to their understanding of science, including collecting, presenting and analysing data. The social, ethical and economic implications of science maximise students’ engagement with and motivation to study science.

Our core belief is that through studying science at Nunnery Wood high School we develop our students’ understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through scientific enquiry and discovery that enables students to answer scientific questions about the world around them. Students leave here equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

For the students here at Nunnery Wood High School the Science Department aims:

  • To create an environment where our students enjoy, and rise to, the challenges of science.
  • To offer a variety of approaches to teaching and learning that engage, motivate and demand the active participation of all our students.
  • To set and monitor challenging targets with high expectations for all our students.
  • To develop our students’ abilities in all aspects of their critical, philosophical and scientific thinking.
  • To explore enrichment opportunities outside the curriculum to enhance our students’ enjoyment of science.
  • To ensure a smooth progression in teaching and learning throughout our students’ journey at Nunnery Wood High School.
  • To endeavor to ensure that all of our students reach their true potential in science.

Staffing Structure

Curriculum Leader
Miss G Lott
Email: g.lott@nunnerywood.worcs.sch.uk
Phone: 01905 363676

Team Structure
Curriculum Leader
2 Assistant Curriculum Leaders
6 full-time members of staff
2 part-time members of staff
2 full-time specialist science teaching assistants
3 science Technicians.

Curriculum Facilities

Science is housed in a collection of ten well-equipped laboratories and one dedicated science classroom in the main body of the school, with a central departmental office. In addition the department has a communal workroom which is utilised for smaller support intervention and departmental meetings. Each laboratory has an interactive whiteboard, with full gas and water facilities to support practical work and is supported by up-to-date textbooks that match the new specification GCSEs and the KS3 National Curriculum. Staff and students have ready access to online materials that are used to enhance the teaching and learning of science both in and outside of the classroom.

Science – KS3

KS3 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS3 teaching in the subject area

At Nunnery Wood High School the aim is to provide a high-quality science education that provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all pupils should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, students should be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They should be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

The National Curriculum for science aims to ensure that all students:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

Organisation of the KS3 curriculum and how students are assessed (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings.

In Year 7 students will cover the following topics:

  • How Science Works
  • Cells
  • Structure and function of body systems
  • Reproduction
  • Particles and their behaviour
  • Elements, atoms, and compounds
  • Reactions
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Forces
  • Sound
  • Light
  • Space

In Year 8 students will cover the following topics:

  • Health and lifestyle
  • Ecosystem processes
  • Adaptations and inheritance
  • The periodic table
  • Separation techniques
  • Metals and acids
  • The Earth
  • Electricity and magnetism
  • Energy
  • Motion and Pressure

In Year 7 and in Year 8 students have six lessons a fortnight before beginning their GCSE study in Year 9.

Science – KS4

Students begin studying GCSE science in Year 9 following either Combined science AQA 9-1 Trilogy

(specification code: 8464) or Separate science AQA Trilogy to include Biology (specification code: 8461), Chemistry (specification code: 8462) and Physics (specification code: 8463).

KS4 Description of the key skills, knowledge and understanding that are a prime focus of KS4 teaching in the subject area

Combined science AQA 9-1 Trilogy
The assessment of this new specification will see pupils studying the new AQA Trilogy 9-1 syllabus. The course will follow over the 3 years and end with terminal exams in the Summer of Year 11. They will be using practical skills throughout Year 9, 10 and 11 which will also be assessed in the terminal GCSE exams. There is a greater emphasis on mathematical techniques and literacy skills in the examination where students will be asked to process more data and write detailed essay style answers.

Separate science is only available to select students during the options process in Year 9. The course consists of separate units for biology, chemistry and physics which contribute to the award of three separate science GCSEs, each with a distinct grade. Students should be aware that all exams per subject must be taken at the end of Year 11.

Organisation of the KS4 curriculum (brief summary of long term plan of units and very approximate timings)

For the combined science course AQA have developed 21 required practical activities for combined science that pupils must participate in during lessons and apply their knowledge of these practical activities to exam questions.

In combined science there are: 7 required practicals in biology, 6 required practicals in chemistry and 8 required practicals in physics.

Maths skills:
In Combined science the percentage of marks for Maths skills is: 20%.

For the separate science course AQA have developed 28 required practical activities that pupils must participate in during lessons and apply their knowledge of these practical activities to exam questions.

In separate science there are: 10 required practicals in biology, 8 required practicals in chemistry and 10 required practicals in physics.

Maths skills
In separate science the percentage of marks for Maths skills is a ratio of 1:2:3 in Biology Chemistry and Physics and include: Biology: 10%, Chemistry: 20% and Physics: 30%.

Assessment

Details re Assessment (number of examinations, weighting, components)

Key topic list per year group

Combined Science
Biology – 2 exams (Each paper is 1 hour 15 minutes and worth 70 marks)
Chemistry – 2 exams (Each paper is 1 hour 15 minutes and worth 70 marks)
Physics – 2 exams (Each paper is 1 hour 15 minutes and worth 70 marks)

All examinations in combined science are added together to gain a double GCSE in Combined science.

Separate Science
Biology – 2 exams (Each paper is 1 hour 45 minutes and worth 100 marks)
Chemistry – 2 exams (Each paper is 1 hour 45 minutes and worth 100 marks)
Physics – 2 exams (Each paper is 1 hour 45 minutes and worth 100 marks)

The separate science examinations for paper 1 and paper 2 are added together to achieve a GCSE award in each science discipline.