“I’ve been looking through microscopes to see how our life begins, and I’ve been training my lens on the stars to see where it ends.” - Tim Booth 1992
In the Science Department at St. Monica’s we encourage the pupils to explore the big questions -“How?” and “Why?” To rise to this challenge we have created our own bespoke KS3 schemes which provides a curriculum that engages students’ interest and enables them to develop their knowledge and understanding of the world and how things work. Practical experience and seeing for ourselves forms the foundation of how we encourage students to learn and through their experience as we look to develop the Scientists and creative thinkers of tomorrow.
Science is a compulsory subject for all students. It allows students to develop life-long skills such as:
- Working safely
- Considering and evaluating evidence
- Making and testing predictions
- Working independently and as a group
- Thinking creatively
- Literacy skills
- Numeracy skills
- Logic and problem solving
- British values
- Catholic Ethos
KEY STAGE 3
During Key Stage 3 students are taught the content for the new Science National Curriculum. To encourage our pupils to understand that Science links to all aspects of life and to the other curriculum areas, we have designed themed units. As a result we were able to tailor our lessons to the needs of the students and our Catholic ethos, as well as embedding skills for Key Stage 4.
Examples are – Year 7 “Noah’s Arc” examines Science’s relationship with Religion, Year 8 “Science at War” links Science with History and Year 9 “The Day after tomorrow” closely matches Science, geography and Global Issues. All lessons have direct links and skill building activities to promote literacy, numeracy, and SMSC.
In Year 9 we complete the curriculum and prepare our students for life after KS3 and consolidate specific numeracy skills necessary for a smooth transition to the new GCSE. The pupils sit a SATS-Style examination in the Summer term to help cement the knowledge needed and to provide data that informs the GCSE options and setting. This year we are planning a pre-GCSE unit which has been provided by AQA.
KEY STAGE 4
In Year 10 students are streamed on ability and start studying towards their GCSE examinations.
We are in an enviable position that allows us to ensure that all students in science are taught by science specialists during Year 10 and 11. Students completing the combined science qualification will be taught on rotation.
Leading up to the Year 11 GCSE examinations the science department offers a range of compulsory revision and drop in sessions – see the Science notice board for up-to-date times and venues.
Year 10 and Year 11 students are taught the OCR 21st Century Science syllabus. From 2017 there will be only two potential pathways that students can follow. In pathway 1 students will study individual sciences, resulting in 3 GCSEs. In pathway 2 students will be taught the new Combined Science, with the outcome being 2 GCSEs. In following either pathway, students can achieve grades 1-9 and both provide a platform for students to study sciences to Advanced Level.
Assessment involves practice papers and end of unit exams that are made up from harder past OCR questions and focus on specific skills. We spend time using new metacognition techniques during feedback - giving students an opportunity to reflect on their progress and receive support on how to improve. There will be an emphasis on developing scientific literacy to support students in acquiring the skills needed for the extended writing questions. Each unit has targeted 6 mark questions to assist with this. GCSE exams will be taken at the end of Year 11.
The current Year 11 pupils (leavers 2017) are still following the legacy schemes where grades A*-A still apply. There are revision links in the section you can access by clicking on the link below.