Science is at the core of the curriculum at St Bede's school. The teaching of science offers students the ability to access a wealth of knowledge and information which will contribute to an overall understanding of how and why things work. Science is able to explain the mechanics and reasons behind the daily functioning of complex systems, which range from the human body to sophisticated modern methods of transport. Students are able to use this knowledge to understand new concepts, make well-informed decisions and pursue new interests. Science also helps to provide tactile or visible proof of many facts we read about in books or see on the television; this helps to increase understanding and helps students to retain that information.
Many students find science extremely inspiring and interesting. Science instils a sense of intrigue and enables students to develop understanding and form questions based both on the knowledge they already have and the insight they wish to gain in the future. Students who excel in science lessons are likely to develop a strong ability to think critically.
For more information about each key stage, please click on the sections below.
Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8, 9)
Students follow the new Programme of Study at KS3 with a greater emphasis on How Science Works (HSW), the relevancy of science, and how science can impact on everyday life.
HSW develops skills and lays the foundation for success at KS4. It has five key elements, and across a range of contexts and practical situations students will be: thinking, understanding, communicating, investigating and using information.
During Years 7 and 8 students are taught in mixed ability groups throughout the year. In Year 9 students are set according to ability using data from three exams sat throughout Year 8. Setting is reviewed in Year 9 following an exam sat towards the end of the Autumn term.
KS3 students are taught a combined curriculum where they cover units in all three disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics, with the How Science Works components being incorporated into each unit.
At St Bedes we follow schemes of work using the new framework text books from ‘Collins Connect KS3 course’. Collins Connect allows students to use an online learning platform to support them by providing an online text book and interactive activities.
Homework will be set mainly from the Collins KS3 text book, online homework from the learning platform, extended projects, independent research tasks, completing assessed practical tasks or reviewing their mastery statements for revision before an end of module test.
There are many opportunities for further science learning during KS3 in the form of extra curricular clubs, science competitions and challenges and a range of activities that pupils can experience during Science Week in March every year.
Your child is likely to broaden their ideas behind scientific knowledge during Key Stage 3, and this will include exploring concrete and abstract ideas and applying them to chemistry, biology and physics. You can help your child during Key Stage 3 by using scientific language wherever possible and encouraging them to use it too. Continue to make science a part of their everyday life and ask them questions when appropriate; for example, ask them to explain photosynthesis or tell you about the digestion process. You could also encourage them to practise their periodic table and use flash cards to test them.
To support them in accessing the curriculum ensure they have written their Collins Connect login in the tracker at the front of their exercise book. This will give them access to the class text book and allow them to complete online homework and assessments. Check that they have completed and reviewed their mastery statements at the end of each module of work to support revision and identify any areas of weakness. If you feel that your child is struggling in any aspect of science encourage them to attend the KS3 Science Clinic that takes place every Wednesday lunchtime. They can also purchase a KS3 Revision Guide from the school shop to support them with their revision.
Key Stage 4 (Years 10, 11)
Students are set by ability in both Years 10 and 11. In Year 10 students are placed in groups according to their exam results in Year nine. In Year 10/11, the majority of students study the AQA Trilogy Science Double Award GCSE.
Some students will study the three separate AQA GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
Key Stage 4 science is split into three subjects: biology, chemistry and physics. It is crucial that they have a quiet and comfortable working area to focus on their practical assignments, homework and revision. Science will be a lot more complex during Key Stage 4 so encourage your child to use different coloured pens and paper to make revision more fun, and get involved with quizzes and tests to see if the information has sunk in.
Tips and tricks to help with science: a quick guide
Ask questions or ‘brain-teasers’ to encourage your child to be inquisitive.
Conduct simple and fun science experiments at home.
Find online resources you can access together.
Let your child watch science programmes or documentaries with you in order to spark their interest. There are also science books and magazines that could help build on their curiosity.
To support them in accessing the curriculum ensure they have written their Kerboodle login in the tracker at the front of their exercise book. This will give them access to the class text book and allow them to complete online homework and assessments. Check that they have completed and reviewed their progress tracker at the end of each exam to support revision and identify any areas of weakness. Pupils also have a workbook for each subject that homework questions are set from. It is also good practise for them to complete any questions not set for homework for revision. Pupils can also purchase a KS4 Revision Guide from the school shop to support them with their revision. If you feel that your child is struggling in any aspect of science encourage them to attend the KS4 revision sessions prior to their Y11 exams or speak to their science teacher.
In Sixth Form, students do not have to study all sciences - they can choose depending on preferences and ability, although they can of course study more than one if they are able to, or require to for further education.
The course combines theory and practical work on a range of biological topics. This includes the study of all aspects of plants and animals including humans. Practical work complements theory and takes place at regular intervals. There are also field trips which complement the AS course.
Chemistry is a coherent body of knowledge about the world around us. It gives us an insight into the reasoning behind phenomena and to make sense of what we see. Why do water pipes burst in the winter? Why does superglue end up solid just when you need it most? What causes global warming? Are the world’s great chefs artists or just inspired chemists? You will experience the strange bubbling liquids, smells and explosions as you make your way through the course leaving you with a desire to understand the chemistry behind it.
Rooms full of strange machines and walls covered in complicated equations? You are more likely to meet a physicist at your bank, managing a company, designing aircraft and ships or running a department at your local hospital than in a laboratory! Physics opens doors to more careers than you might imagine. So if you fancy a subject where we ask ‘why?’ and can usually find the answers, then study physics.
For more information about this subject at KS5, please click here to view the relevant subject leaflet at the bottom of the page.