Science

Our Vision

Science is all about understanding how the Universe works. Pupils at different ages will gain a deeper understanding of parts of this quest. The use of experiments is vital in checking theoretical progress and it is the aim of the Science Faculty to impart some of the wonder and excitement that comes when concepts and mechanisms are understood. Science has also much to offer in terms of developing the analytical thinking and manipulative skills of pupils. The ability to handle equipment safely, to work in teams and to interpret real data are important skills for the future.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 pupils follow a Science course combining ‘Scientific Enquiry’ skills with subject content topics from Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The scheme of work runs from Year 7 through to Easter of Year 9. The main scientific skills have been broadly grouped into 4 areas and are revisited multiple times through the course. Each teaching topic e.g. Forces will have one of these skills embedded with the subject content.

The key skill areas are:

  • Planning – designing working experiments, developing ideas, hypothesis and questioning, working with variables and writing scientific methods.
  • Obtaining – completing experiments to gain results, choosing and manipulating equipment.
  • Analysing – Looking at collected results, presenting tables and graphs, mathematical analysis, pattern identification and conclusions. Presenting scientific findings.
  • Evaluating – critically assessing the quality of evidence and validity of conclusions. Suggesting improvements, comparing with historical theories and the development of scientific ideas.
Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students either take the Combined Science GCSE course (equivalent to two full GCSE subjects) or the three separate courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

This follows the AQA Examination Board and the most up to date pacing sheets for Year 10 and 11 which detail key dates, assessments and a topic by topic pacing guide can be accessed by the links below. Also below are links to the AQA website for full course specifications.

To support students there are many resources available via the school network link. These include:

  • a full bank of past paper exam questions and mark-schemes divided by topic
  • revision plans for summer and mock exams.
  • revision resources and scaffolds.
  • examination board specifications and useful skills documents.

Examination board (AQA) web pages:

Key Stage 5

This year there will be 176 student entries at A-level in a science which reflects the rude health, success, skill and enthusiasm of the Science learning environment. There are over 50 students on each of the currently offered A-Levels:

  • Biology – following the OCR Biology ‘A’ Specification H420
  • Chemistry – following the OCR Chemistry ‘A’ Specification H432
  • Physics – following the OCR – Advancing Physics ‘B’ Specification H557.

Biology

A Level Biology attracts those that are interested in the living world and how organisms function and survive. The OCR course emphasises the way in which scientists work and explores many real-world applications of biology – past, present and future. An integral part of the Year 13 course is fieldwork. The students are encouraged to attend a residential course during the summer term of year 12 in order to develop understanding of ecology, biodiversity and conservation, ecological investigation techniques, statistical analysis and data interpretation skills. As well as gaining an A Level qualification from the course, students also work towards gaining Practical Competency, a separately reported qualification based on a student’s practical skills.

Biology A Level can be used as an entry qualification for a variety of courses at higher education. Students from the school regularly go on to study medicine, veterinary sciences, zoology, ecology and biological sciences, as well as going straight into industry via apprenticeships.

OCR Biology A Specification official page

If you would like further details then please email Miss Allin.

Chemistry

Chemistry is the science of matter. In A Level Chemistry students will study the relationship between the structure and properties of materials and how materials interact with each other. The OCR Chemistry A course is organised into six modules that allows students to deepen their understanding of some areas and introduces new techniques and areas of study. Throughout the course students develop their practical competency, leading to a supplemental qualification, the Practical Endorsement in Chemistry, awarded to students who successfully develop all twelve competency skills.

OCR Chemistry A Specification official page

To enhance the study of chemistry, we regularly attend the Bristol University Christmas Chemistry Conference and students have the opportunity to visit the chemical analysis facilities at Bristol University in Year 13.

Chemistry A Level can be used as a stepping stone for a number of university courses. Students from KLB often go on to study Medicine, Natural Sciences, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and many other disciplines. Chemists are employed in a number of fields including developing new medicines, environmental protection, development of new foods and the petrochemical industry.

Link: RSC Chemistry Careers (http://www.rsc.org/careers/future/your-future-chemistry)

If you would like further details then please email Mr Verber.

Physics

A Level Physics is a stepping stone to further your study of a science based subject at university. It is an extremely versatile qualification and is essential for electronics, engineering and pure sciences and very useful for auxiliary science based subjects, such as medicine.

We are currently witnessing a “Golden age” of Physics with so many advances in Cosmology and Particle Physics. A-level physicists develop an appreciation of these advances and encounter some of the most fundamental questions in science. The A level syllabus is a concept based course which includes the modern ideas of Quantum Theory and Cosmology as well as the classical theories of Galileo and Newton. The science of the digital era (nanotechnology and quantum computers) is also a theme that runs through the course.

Enrichment opportunities include a trip to CERN in Geneva for sixth form students and students have the opportunity to partake in the Engineering Education Scheme.

Staff members

Mr R Shaw
Head of Science

Mr T Verber
Second in Science & Head of Chemistry

Miss V Allin
Head of Biology

Mr Z Diff
Head of Physics

Mr J Goode
Key Stage 3 Science Coordinator & Primary Partnership Leader

Mr J Dexter

Ms H Khan

Mr S McRitchie

Miss J Temple

Dr C Thomas

Mrs S Thurlow

Miss F Jones

Miss A Sisson

Miss W Herrera

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