Science is at the core of the curriculum at Teddington School. Students follow the new Programme of Study at KS3 with a greater emphasis on How Science Works (HSW), the relevancy of Science, and how Science can impact on everyday life.
HSW develops skills and lays the foundation for success at KS4. It has five key elements, and across a range of contexts and practical situations students will be:
- Thinking: using ideas and models to explain the world around them.
- Understanding: explaining the economic, ethical, social and cultural implications of science
- Communicating: presenting scientific ideas and understanding how scientists communicate.
- Investigating: planning, carrying out and gathering evidence from a wide range of experiments.
- Using: gathering information from a variety of sources, taking into account errors or bias, to explain their ideas.
Throughout the course students will develop their Personalised Learning and Thinking Skills and will be assessed on not only their subject knowledge, but the skills outlined above.
There are many opportunities for further Science learning during KS3 and KS4 in the form of after-school activities, science film competitions, NPL water rockets competitions, educational visits and visiting speakers especially during Science Week in March.
The Science department also values the opportunities that the curriculum enhancement days provide. In the past we have organised educational outreach talks from the Science Museum, students have taken part in a ‘whodunnit’ forensic activity, Mission to Mars experience as well as investigating the properties of liquid nitrogen and making their own educational Science films. Our KS4 students have been provided with the opportunity for extended practical work linked to a component of their GCSE course(s), some of the year 11 students’ have also taken part in a science ‘speed dating’ activity where they interviewed a number of science ambassadors. We have also used this extended period of study to visit the Science Museum, Natural History Museum as well as the Royal Observatory in Greenwich.
The improved 14 – 19 curriculum offers all learners a pathway to success by allowing everyone the opportunity to choose the direction that best suits their interests. The pathways in Science are individually tailored to a pupils needs and will not only stimulate their interests in science, but also challenge them to achieve their potential whether they chose from GCSE Core Science and GCSE Additional Science, separate sciences to vocational BTEC courses and from a range of assessment models from key examinations to project based assignments.
In January 2011, the Science department was graded as being overall “outstanding” following an HMI subject survey inspection.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9)
During year 7, students are taught in mixed ability groups at the start of the term. In September all students will be assigned a NC level after completion of a baseline test and feedback from their feeder primary school, their progress will be monitored against this baseline evidence. Setting will then occur during late September following their attainment in this test in conjunction with their KS2 Science assessment information. In years 8 and 9, students are set according to ability using key data such as end of topic tests and key standardised exams. However, setting is flexible and regularly reviewed following standardised examinations throughout the year.
KS3 students are taught a combined curriculum where they cover 3 units a term in all three disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and the How Science Works components are incorporated into each unit.
Students in years 7 – 9 follow schemes of work using the new framework text books from ‘Collins KS3 course’. Homework will be set mainly from the Collins KS3 homework book but other homework could be set depending on the curriculum covered in the lesson and this could range from extended project style homework, independent research tasks to revision checklists before a main end of unit test.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10 and 11)
Students are set by ability in both years 10 and 11. In year 10 students are placed in groups according to their teacher assessments in year nine and reviewed in the light of end of key stage exam results. In year 10, the majority of students study the AQA Core Science GCSE, in year 11 the majority of students will then study the AQA Additional Science GCSE. Students are only entered for the Higher or Foundation Paper in January of their final year, following mock examinations in December and after consultation with parents. Some students will choose to study the three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The criteria for choosing triple award Science over the CORE Science and ADDITIONAL Science qualification is that you are either in the more able set or higher second set (level 5-7) and you will need to achieve a minimum of level 6 in the end of KS3 examination. You will have a keen interest in Science and want to pursue Science as a career choice. This course will make up 20% of your entire timetable so is more suited to the ‘more able’ students who clearly enjoy learning about the scientific concepts and practical investigations and possess a real passion for the subject..
The minimum requirement for entry on this course is to achieve a high level 6 (6a / 6b) in the end of KS3 examinations and end of unit examinations.
Some students will be chosen to study an alternative vocational course either in years 10 or 11. This course is the Edexcel BTEC extended certificate in Applied Science which is the equivalent to 2 GCSE passes.
Further information about the AQA GCSE Core Science, Additional Science and Triple Science is below. The documents include the key dates for 2011 – 2012.
All students are provided with a revision guide to supplement their studies. Students are also encouraged to use these books for independent study. We also sell the CGP revision guides and past papers in the department, your son/daughter needs to ask their science teacher if required for revision prior to the main exams.
The AQA Core Science GCSE and Additional Science GCSE provide a firm foundation for students wishing to pursue Advanced levels in college or vocational courses.