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SIMS

Science

 

We want students to enjoy science through a variety of practical experiences led by great teaching and learning so many will be inspired and supported to take up Science careers or engage as scientifically literate human beings.

Our curriculum will allow students to:
• develop skills in problem solving and analysis
• develop a lifelong appreciation for the sciences
• be able to explain how the world works around them.
• give them an excellent foundation for scientific careers.

The Science department is currently made up of 13 specialist teachers and three laboratory technicians. We have seven laboratories, 2 classrooms and a well-equipped prep room housed on the second floor of school. The laboratories provide a modern and spacious work environment.

 

Curriculum

At Key Stage 3 in Y7 and Y8, students study a range of units.. The scheme of work is also supplemented with homework and practical assessments throughout the term. At the end of each half term students are assessed through a 45 minute test based on the 2 units taught during that period.

At Key Stage 4, from Y9-11 Science aims to develop students’ knowledge and understanding of scientific theories, but also their ability to apply that knowledge, analyse and evaluate information, in practical and everyday scenarios. It gives students good life skills, regardless of the path they follow.

All of the students follow one of two pathway at GCSE, Edexcel Combined science or separate sciences matched to their assessment results. In combined science, students will sit six exams at the end of the course there will be two Biology exams, two Chemistry exams and two Physics exams. Separate sciences: which gives three GCSEs: GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics. Students are awarded individual grades for each discipline. Separate science students study all of the content from Biology, Chemistry and Physics disciplines of Combined Science, but with added extra material in each discipline. Separate science students also sit six exams at the end of the course. These six exams, at 1hr 45 minutes, are slightly longer than the Combined Science exams

At Post 16 A-Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics can be studied following the AQA GCE syllabi. A-Level sciences are taught by subject specialists.

The Science content in Biology A-level includes: Biological molecules; Cells; Organisms exchange substances with their environment; genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms; energy transfers in and between organisms; organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments; genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems and  control of gene expression. There are also 12 required practicals that students must complete to gain practical endorsement for this subjects. Students are supported to succeed through extra revision classes, homework, on-line resources and subsidised revision guides.

Biology students must undertake a compulsory 3 day field trip to complete ecology core practicals. We have been to Devon and Surrey to complete this. As well as being great team building it gives students extra support with applying statistical tests, investigating a variety of habitats and putting knowledge into context. This year we have been on University lectures and visited the Garden Museum.

For the Chemistry A-level there are 3 sections of the course broken into Physical chemistry (atomic structure, quantitative chem, kinetics and rates, bonding, energetics, equilibrium, REDOX, thermodynamics, electrode potentials, acids and bases) , Inorganic chemistry (periodicity, Group 2, Group 7, Period 3, transition metals, ions in aqueous solutions) and Organic chemistry (nomenclature, alkanes, alkenes, halogen alkanes, alcohols, carbonyls, acid derivatives, amines, amino acid and DNA, aromatics, polymers, organic synthesis, NMR, mass, chromatography and Infra-red spectroscopy).

A core of 12 practical’s are also completed throughout the course to prepare students for chemistry at university. Chemistry students also go on University visits, have host speakers and take part in a ‘Spectroscopy in a Suitcase’ workshop.

The Physics A-level course covers particles and radiation, waves and optics, mechanics and materials, electricity, further mechanics & thermal physics, fields, nuclear, medical skills. Physics students have attended University lectures and visit Royal Greenwich Observatory this year.

We support students to get work experience placements in science related fields and have successfully supported applications to summer schools at St Georges and IOP in Denmark Hill.

 

Facilities

Interactive whiteboards and a computers linked to the school network are available in every laboratory and classroom. Students are encouraged to research topics using ICT in lessons and out of school. The department has data logging equipment for use in lessons.

Extracurricular activities play a huge role in engaging students in science at The Elmgreen School. The science department organises external visits, talks and lectures as well as video conferences with Scientists. We talk part in Olympiads, competitions and support applications for work experience placements in Science related fields. The science department also runs a regular science club and gardening clubs during lunchtime and after school.

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