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Science at Heritage Park

 

General Information

At Heritage Park the science department prides itself in offerings a rich curriculum covering a wide range of scientific areas from the 3 main sciences: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Teaching methods include group work, teacher lead discussions, practical investigations, experiments and independent research. At Heritage we have a purpose built science laboratory where pupils can carry out practical experiments using Bunsen burners, dissecting equipment and other scientific equipment. All practical sessions are setup and overseen by an experienced qualified teacher.

At Heritage we teach the pupils the essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science in today's world, Pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. Skills taught in science, such as data interpretation, applying mathematical concepts, calculate results and evaluating texts enhance and complement skills required across other curriculum areas. Pupils build their confidence and interpersonal skills by working together and share in the excitement of scientific discoveries.

Key Stage 3 Science

Year 8

At the start of Key Stage 3, pupils complete a safety in the laboratory unit. This is where pupils are introduced to the safety rules of the lab and how to use specialist equipment safely, they then complete simple practical activities to apply their knowledge and show that they have understood and know how to apply them. Pupils begin to develop their scientific vocabulary.  

During key stage 3, pupil follow the curriculum for science which includes topics from biology, chemistry and physics. The topics in biology include cells, food and digestion, respiration, microbes and diseases and ecological relationships. Chemistry topics include atoms and elements, compounds and mixtures, rocks and weathering and the rock cycle. The physics topics include heating and cooling, magnets and electromagnets, sound and hearing and light.

Assessment

At the end of each topic, pupils are assessed on their understanding. Pupils will also complete topic related practical exercises where their accurate use of scientific techniques are assessed. Pupils are levelled according to their stage and are graded as emerging, developing, securing or ready. 

Year 9

Building on the knowledge and understanding gained during year 8, pupils continue to study topics in the 3 main areas of science, but they are also able to begin working towards an AQA Entry Level in science.

The topics in biology are 'keeping healthy' and 'inheritance, evolution and the environment'. In chemistry they are 'materials from the earth' and 'oils, earth and atmosphere'. In physics they are 'energy transfer and efficiency' and 'electricity and waves'.  During each topic they complete a 'Teacher Devised Assessment' where pupils complete a practical investigation and write up their plan and results, and an 'Externally Set Assessment' where they complete a short exam paper covering the content they have studied.

Assessment

The end of topic assessments are graded according to the learning outcomes set by AQA Entry Level Science. Pupils are also assessed prior to key stage 4 entry by completing an examination assessing their sscientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of the full key stage 3 science national curriculum.

Useful Links

Support your child with key stage 3 science by checking out the following websites:

http://interactivesites.weebly.com/science.html

http://rigb.org/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z7nygk7

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

Key Stage 4

Pupils at Key stage 4 this year are completing the following GCSE course. The current Year 10 pupils are aiming to complete their GCSE Examination in June 2016 allowing them to study AQA GCSE Psychology in 2016-17. When the new Science Specifications come out in 2017, pupils will follow these.

AQA GCSE Human Health and Physiology

This specification enables students to learn about how the human body works, the structures that make it work and keep it healthy. GCSE Human Health and Physiology integrates the principles of 'How Science Works' throughout the two units in the areas of data, theories and explanations, practical and enquiry skills and communication skills. The course has been updated to give it a more applied approach: students learn about some of the science used by health professionals working in health and medical care. Pupils participate in hands on dissections including exploring sheep eyes, pig hearts, and double injected rats to give them an insight of how organs and systems look in real life. Having a degree in Cellular and molecular pathology the science teacher shares her knowledge in this area so pupils gain greater understanding of the human body.

Pupils will complete an 'Investigative Skills Assignment' (ISA) which is a coursework unit completed half way through the course. This is 25% of the final GCSE grade. The other 75% is made up of the final exam in the July when the course is complete.

Find out more about the course and the Specification at this website: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/human-health-and-physiology-4415

Assessment

Pupils will be assessed at the end of each topic of teaching using past exam papers to explore their knowledge and understanding and to help pupils to familiarize themselves with the structure of the exam.

Useful Links

Support your child studying GCSE Human Health and Physiology by checking out these websites:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/biology/

http://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse/biology

http://www.educationquizzes.com/gcse/biology/

For those candidates in Key Stage 4 for whom courses leading to a GCSE examination do not represent a realistic or appropriate goal. We at Heritage offer and OCR Entry level Science qualification.

OCR Entry Level Science

The course consists of 39 items, equally divided between biology, chemistry and physics. Units of study include for Biology Dead or Alive, Babies, Creepy Crawlies and Drugs in Society. For Chemistry Acids and Alkalis, Fibres and Fabrics, Restless Earth, CSI Plus and What's added to our Food? And Physics Our Electricity Supply, Attractive Forces, Nuclear Power, Full Spectrum and Medical Rays.

This course fulfils the requirements of the Ofqual common criteria and criteria for Entry Level qualications and covers those aspects of the Science National Curriculum Programme of Study for Key Stage 4 appropriate for students working at this level. The course will lead to national certification by OCR at Entry Level 1, 2 or 3.

Assessment

Knowledge understanding and application of science is assessed via the end of topic assessments. Each of which is graded according to the learning outcomes set by OCR Entry Level Science. Can-Do tasks which provide positive reinforcement of candidates' attainment and generate an assessment of the practical application of their knowledge, understanding and skills are completed frequently through the course. These tasks are set at three levels.

Furthermore pupils complete an independent scientific investigation linked to one of the study units. This offers the pupil useful preparation for undertaking a GCSE Controlled Assessment task. The task and the performance descriptors have been developed to allow an easy progression from the requirements for Entry Level to those for GCSE Science. This practical task accounts for 20% of the pupils overall grade.

It is recognised that many candidates, initially of low attainment at the start of the Entry Level course in key stage 4 will make sufficient progress to warrant an entry to GCSE Science qualification in their final year.

Find out more about the course and the Specification at this website:

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/entry-level-science-r591-from-2011/