Science

 “We conserve what we love, we love what we understand,

and we understand what we are taught.” 

Baba Dioum 

Science is an evolution of ideas, never static and never finished in its quest for a sharper more accurate picture of reality. From its earliest roots in Mesopotamia, no single insight in this search has been sacred, only the searching.

We believe that science belongs to everyone. Our civilisation depends on science and technology and yet the language, values, and methods of Science can make many of us feel excluded from it. Here at KLS we aim to remove many of the boundaries associated with Science and make it accessible to all.

As a department, we agree that our goals are as follows:

  • Provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to go on to study Science at higher education or enter a career in STEM.
  • Be able to place what they learn in an interconnected web of knowledge; making meaningful links that help them take logical steps towards answering an unknown question.
  • Understand of some of the scientific phenomena they see around them, and to leave with a curiosity about which they don’t.
  • Have an understanding of our impact on the environment, and a responsibility and respect towards all living organisms.
  • Instil a sense of awe at the beauty of the world around them, and a desire to make it a better place.
  • Be able to navigate science topics independently, to effectively communicate their understanding, and be equipped with the skills to go out and learn more about the world.
  • Give them the knowledge they need in order to make good decisions, problem solve on a daily basis and be critical of what they read/see/hear in the media.
  • Be resilient to failure and to learn from their mistakes.

Key Stage 3

By its very definition, Science is organised knowledge. ‘Knowing’ this core knowledge improves pupil confidence, enjoyment, and progress in the subject.

Here at Kings Langley we have developed a knowledge-rich KS3 curriculum that we feel will enable us to reach our goals. The following five strands will help us accomplish this. 

1. Classwork. Activities designed to help the pupils understand and answer the core questions about science.  Knowledge the pupils need is taught explicitly and in context.  Class work is supported by excellent resources that make the curriculum accessible to all. Copies of teaching PPTs, knowledge organisers, and I can do statements are available on TEAMS under student resources. This allows pre-learning, catching up on missed work due to absence, remote learning, and revision.

2. Practical work. Pupils are explicitly taught and given multiple opportunities to practice a range of skills through the completion of varied and comprehensive practical work.

3. Hinterland knowledge. Activities are designed to allow teachers to teach beyond the curriculum, to instill that love of science that our department shares and wishes to share with our pupils. This may take the forms of discussions of current events, historic discoveries, futuristic technology and using relevant examples that pupils can identify with. 

4. Homework. Homework is set online using the platform Seneca Learning.

5. Assessment. In addition to bi-annual exams, pupils are tested twice per topic to assess their strengths and areas for development. These assessments are opportunities for student reflection and are used by teachers to inform future planning, ensuring pupils make more progress.

Key Stage 4

At KS4 we follow the AQA specifications:

Combined Science (Double award): Trilogy (8464)

Separate Science (Triple award): Biology (8461), Chemistry (8462), Physics (8463).

Higher attaining pupils may choose to follow the Triple Science Programme - three GCSE’s, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All other pupils follow the Combined Science ‘Trilogy’ programme which is worth two GCSE’s.

Both courses are tiered and have six terminal exams at the end of year 11. The exams contribute to 100% of the final overall grade – there is no coursework. However, pupils are required to complete several practicals where they learn the necessary skills to become good scientists. These are undertaken in normal lesson time but are assessed for in the terminal exams.

All pupils, irrelevant of the science course, are fortunate to be taught using the traditional approach of having separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics teachers. All classes are mixed ability.

Homework is set online using the platform Seneca Learning.

In addition to bi-annual exams, pupils are tested twice per topic to assess their strengths and areas for development. These assessments are opportunities for student reflection and are used by teachers to inform future planning, ensuring pupils make more progress. 

Key Stage 5

At KS5 we follow the OCR-A specifications for all three sciences. All three courses encourage students to develop deep subject knowledge across a range of topics, as well as understand how each module links to each other. We have designed our programmes of study to be interesting, relevant, and to lay the groundwork for higher education on courses such as medicine, sciences and engineering.

Practical work is an essential part of science, and the development of practical skills is integrated alongside the theoretical lessons. Students will complete a series of practicals throughout the two-year course and gain a practical endorsement certificate in addition to their A level qualification.

Curriculum overviews - Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Subject specification - Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Useful links

https://senecalearning.com/en-GB/

https://www.my-gcsescience.com

https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/examspecs/z8r997h

Staff:

Mr R Mckeown (Learning Area Leader) - mckeownr@kls.herts.sch.uk 

Miss M Morar (Lead Practitioner) - morarm@kls.herts.sch.uk

Miss A Bloomfield (Assistant Deputy Leader of Science) - bloomfielda@kls.herts.sch.uk

Mr G Davey - daveyg@kls.herts.sch.uk

Mr T Astley - astleyt@kls.herts.sch.uk 

Mr M Lewin - lewinm@kls.herts.sch.uk 

Ms S Walker - walkers@kls.herts.sch.uk

Mr A Choudhury- choudhurya@kls.herts.sch.uk

Mr G Searle - searleg@kls.herts.sch.uk

Ms A Williams - williamsa@kls.herts.sch.uk

Ms S Weston - westons@kls.herts.sch.uk 

Miss K Patel (Technician)

Mr A Woof (Technician)