Science

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

and we understand what we are taught.” 

Baba Dioum

 

Overview:

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 aim to create the next link in the generation of searchers.

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

Staff:

Mr R Mckeown (Learning Area Leader)

Miss M Morar (Lead Practitioner)

Ms S Weston (Lead Practitioner)

Miss L Surridge (Lead Practitioner)

Miss A Bloomfield (Assistant Deputy Leader of Science)

Miss N Headley 

Mr K Obhrai 

Mr M Cunningham 

Dr S Mills

Miss R West (Senior Technician)

Miss H Parry (Technician)

Intent:

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

  • 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.
  • Provide pupils with the knowledge and skills necessary to go on to study science at higher education or enter a career in STEM.
  • Understand some of the scientific phenomena they see around them, and to leave with a curiosity about ones 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 Rationale:

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 key stage 3 curriculum that we feel will enable us to reach our goals. These will be accomplished via five strands:

  • 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.  Classwork is supported by excellent resources that make the curriculum accessible to all.
  • 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.
  • Hinterland knowledge - Activities are designed to allow teachers to teach beyond the curriculum, to instil 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.  
  • Homework - Knowledge organisers to summarise and complement the knowledge learnt in class, and opportunities to review the core questions and answers. Homework, along with assessment is seen as opportunities for feedback. Completed tasks provide information about pupils’ progress that is used for future planning and more personalised learning.
  • 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 Key stage  we follow the AQA specifications – Combined Science: Trilogy (8464) & Biology (8461), Chemistry (8462) and Physics (8463).

The most able pupils can 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 have 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 taught using the traditional approach of separate biology, chemistry and physics lessons. Therefore, pupils taking combined science will still have three separate science teachers – a biologist, a chemist, and a physicist. 

Key Stage 5

The science department at Kings Langley School offers the following subjects at A level:

  • A level Biology (AQA)
  • A level Chemistry (OCR A)
  • A level Physics (OCR A)

All three courses encourage our 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 further study at university 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.

Specifications

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

Extra-Curricular

Lego Robotics Club - Using LEGO Spike and Mindstorms sets, pupils get to undertake creative projects. Pupils can build imaginative models that can then be brought to life by coding. The process allows pupils to think like an engineer - design, create, problem solve, and evaluate. These are essential STEM skills and helps develop the innovative minds of tomorrow whilst having fun. If you can think it up, you can create it!

Useful Links

School Science - Instagram Page

BBC - Bitesize

My GCSE Science

Active Learn