Science is taught in an interesting, practical way, in a happy working atmosphere. The department is located in a suite of ten laboratories on three floors and includes an Advanced Level Laboratory. The laboratories have recently been refurbished. We are also fortunate in having a well established conservation area, with several ponds, a small animal area and a large greenhouse plus potting shed.
Wherever possible, use is made of the school grounds in general and the conservation area in particular. It is our aim to make the students aware of the community in which they live.
Key Stage 3
At KS3, we have developed a course to reflect the new GCSE National Curriculum for Science introduced for 2016. The learning cycles for Year 7 and 8 are constructed to provide a strong foundation for pupils so we prepare them as much as possible to embrace the challenge of GCSE. All Year 7 students begin their secondary science education by completing the ‘Passport to Science’ module. This is designed to provide them with the basic skills for working safely in a laboratory and being able to plan and deliver scientific investigations. Students spend the remainder of Year 7 and Year 8 working through several biology, chemistry or physics units, all focusing on content which will accelerate their progression into GCSE science. Regular formative and summative assessment allows staff, students and parents to keep a check progress.
Key Stage 4
At KS4, our Year 11 students follow the Edexcel suite of GCSE Science courses with the majority of students studying Core and Additional Science. Some students are also offered the opportunity to study extension material in Year 11, leading to the award of separate GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Due to the recent changes in the National Curriculum for GCSE science, our Year 9 and 10 students follow the OCR Gateway courses. Similar to the previous GCSE, most of our students will be completing Combined Science and some students will be offered the extension course to gain separate qualifications in all three sciences. All exams are taken at the end of Year 11 for KS4.
Key Stage 5
A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught as linear courses with three modules in Year 12 leading to the AS Level and three in Year 13 leading on to the full A2 Level. Due to the new A-Level courses launched in September 2015, all students will take their A-Level exams at the end of year 13. At Advanced Level, we currently offer the courses offered by the OCR Board for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Depending on student numbers courses may be taught on a shared provision basis with one of our local partnership schools. In 2016, we are also offering a Level 3 BTEC Applied Science at KS5 which is predominantly coursework based, covering topics across the three science with a strong vocational focus.
Science is magic at Patchway!