Science

Science at The Park School focuses upon providing pupils with not just subject content driven lessons, but an environment where young scientists develop an understanding of what it means to really work scientifically and further those enquiry process skills that started at primary school. Being able to analyse, communicate, enquire and problem solve is what Science is about and that is what our department strives to instil in our students all the way from Year 7 to 11. At the same time, we ensure that all students gain an understanding of the meaning of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and the Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Our science teachers’ specialist backgrounds cover all of the areas within science and we work closely and collaboratively as a team to share our strengths to help raise the outcomes for our learners. We make wide use of ICT to help develop students’ understanding of scientific ideas and to illustrate how Science is used in real life. Pupils also have access to various ICT resources such as Kerboodle, GCSE Pod, Focus Investigations and our very own in-house website for the GCSE courses. These are there to further engagement in Science whilst also promoting deeper study and independent learning.

At Key Stage 3, students follow the National Curriculum content arranged in a way based upon the AQA KS3 Syllabus’ Big Ideas. It’s easier for students to develop an understanding of a big idea by multiple interactions with the concepts within the idea. By connecting smaller ideas to more abstract ideas, students will be better prepared to apply these concepts when approaching an unfamiliar topic. Each big idea topic contains four smaller topics that build in complexity. Using the big ideas principle, the generalisations, principles and models which connect concepts are at the heart of our syllabus. We believe this is how students learn to see the world analytically, to explain phenomena and make predictions – all skills they need for their next stage of scientific learning. Students are set by ability in Years 8 and 9.

At Key Stage 4, most students will take the double award AQA GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy), whilst more able students may opt for separate AQA GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All GCSEs are now assessed solely by terminal examinations, (six for Combined Science and six longer papers for Separate Sciences). The practical element of Science is embedded within these written examinations and pupils are assessed on a set of Required Practical Activities that are carried out in class over the duration of the GCSE courses.

 

 

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