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The Department is fully staffed with a Head of Biology, Head of Chemistry and Head of Physics, as well as 2ic’s for each subject. Other responsibilities and representation on key whole school working groups are shared amongst the team. We have four experienced technicians, one full-time and three part-time, all of whom are extremely helpful. We have a great mix of 11 teaching staff within the Department covering all Science disciplines which shares experience and expertise with the enthusiasm and knowledge of current educational views of the newer members of staff.
The Science Department is mostly housed in the Main Building on two floors where there are nine laboratories and two preparation rooms. All of the laboratories have interactive whiteboards and the Department is able to take classes to work in the Learning Resources Centre and bookable ICT rooms. In the RR6 (sixth form) building we have a purpose built laboratory with full preparation room and storage facilities.
At Key Stage 3 (Years 7 &8) we teach the AQA Big Ideas specification (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/ks3/ks3-science-syllabus). This breaks down science into 10 big ideas that are taught in Year 7 and then revisited in Year 8.
In Biology the Big Ideas are: Organisms, Ecosystems, and Genes.
In Chemistry the Big Ideas are: Matter, Reactions, and Earth.
In Physics the Big Ideas are Forces, Electromagnetism, Energy and Waves.
Students are assessed at the beginning of Year 7 in order to determine their starting ability. This test will be used to set students, however sets are regularly reviewed throughout the year. Students are also assessed at the end of each topic, using the GCSE 1-9 scale. There is an end of year exam which questions students’ understanding of topics from throughout the course.
At Key Stage 4 (Years 9-11) students will study for either the AQA Trilogy course (Double Science GCSE) or AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse). The decision between the Double and Separate GCSE courses is made in the spring of Year 10, when students complete a mock assessment. Students should achieve a grade 6 or above in order to be assured a place on the triple science course.
Students will study the following topics:-
Biology: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and Response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and response; Inheritance,
variation and evolution; Ecology.
Chemistry: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; Energy changes; The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical Analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; Using resources.
Physics: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of Matter; Atomic structure; Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism; Space physics.
Key Stage 5 GCE A levels offered at RR6 are as follows:
Biology students study OCR Biology (http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-biology-h021-h421/).
Chemistry students study AQA Chemistry (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/chemistry-7404-7405).
Physics students study AQA Physics (http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/physics-7407-7408).
All courses are taught at both the Rutlish and Ricards Lodge sites.
Enrichment and enhancement activities which have been offered to students include a Science Club in Years 7 and 8 and revision classes for Years 9, 10 and 11. Students have taken trips in recent years to the Science Museum, The Royal Observatory Greenwich, Fieldwork Centres and Universities.
The main aim in the Department is to make this an area of the School that students enjoy visiting, where they feel that the lessons are well planned and imaginatively taught by teachers who are in command of their subject with the ability to inspire. Our excellent results show we are achieving this.
Mrs H Nash, Head of Biology
Mrs C Beck, Head of Chemistry
Ms H Ryan, Head of Physics