The Curriculum -Science
Students in Key Stage 3 (Years 7, 8 and 9) follow a broad Science curriculum over 3 lessons per week focusing on delivering the key concepts of Biology, Chemistry and Physics along with multiple opportunities to learn new practical skills in our new and refurbished labs.
Students in Key stage 4 (Years 10 and 11) have the opportunity to follow 2 different routes:
- Combined Science (worth 2 GCSE’s – 5 lessons per week)
- Triple Science (worth 3 separate GCSE’s – 7 lessons per week), where students will be taught by subject specialists for each discipline.
Each route gives students the opportunity to continue to develop their knowledge of some of the key concepts within Science along with regular practical opportunities. Students will follow the Edexcel Science specification.
At Key Stage 5, students have 5 routes available to them:
- A-Level Biology (OCR)
- A-Level Chemistry (OCR)
- A-Level Physics (OCR)
Each of these options follows a 2 year linear course with no coursework elements. Students will cover a broad range of content over 2 years followed by 3 examinations. A students overall grade is determined only by these examinations. In all of these A-Levels, students will also have the opportunity to gain a Practical Endorsement as a further qualification. To achieve this, they will complete a series of Practical Assessment Groups (PAGs) throughout their course, focusing on equipping students with the necessary skills for Higher Education and beyond.
It is expected that students complete a range of tasks set for them over the duration of the Summer holidays to equip them with the knowledge required for a strong start in September for each of these subjects.
- Level 3 – Applied Science (Pearson) (Equivalent to 1 A-Level)
In this course, students follow a 2 year course with both an examination and coursework element. Students cover a range of modules from all three science disciplines (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) including key concepts and practical elements. This course is perfect for any student wishing to progress on to Higher Education with less of a focus on examinations.
It is expected that students complete a range of tasks set for them over the duration of the summer holidays to equip them with the knowledge required for a strong start in September for this subject.
- Level 3 – Animal Management (Pearson)
This 2 year course is solely coursework based and equips students with a range of both practical and theoretical knowledge to excel in animal focussed careers/ Higher Education courses. There is also plenty of hands-on experience for pupils, ranging from grooming to training mammals and correct handling/husbandry of exotic reptile species.
Section 3: Homework Expectations – Science
Across Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4, all students are expected to complete homework outside of their guided learning hours.
Students all have access to Tassomai. An online based learning platform that focusses on regular low stakes quizzing to continually re-cover key concepts of science and provide them with the opportunity to make mistakes, revise content and re-try questions to meet daily goals and gain rewards as a result.
- Students in Key stage 3 (Year 7 and Year 8) should complete 4 daily goals per week. Year 9 should complete 4 daily goals per week OR 200 correct questions per week.
- Students in Key Stage 4 should complete 4 daily goals per week OR 200 correct questions per week.
Failure to complete homework tasks set, will result in a teacher sanction in the form of a detention.
At Key Stage 5, students are provided with individualised homework from their subject specialist teachers in a range of formats from; examination practice questions, scientific review articles, practical write-ups, data analysis (statistics) and further reading. It is expected that students will put in approximately 1 hour per evening for each of their Science subjects.
Students at Key Stage 5 are also encouraged to use their study periods for additional reading around their subjects and completion of pre-lesson tasks. This can be done using the sixth form room dedicated to silent study.
Section 4: Extra-Curricular Opportunities
Students are always encouraged to participate in extra-curricular activities throughout their time with us at OBA.
Science offers a broad spectrum of opportunities including;
KS3 Science Club – Students get the chance to participate in exciting and relevant practical activities ranging from making bouncing custard balls to making and testing parachutes, plus plenty more to engage any budding scientist!
Innovations in Science – Innovation in Science is an enrichment program, spanning the whole academic year, targeting KS4 students. It focuses on career opportunities and pathways in which students may have never thought of, explorative scientific techniques and a hands-on approach to extra-curricular learning.
Students will explore science specialisms outside of their stereotypical career prospects and dive deeper into what it means to study science, and its application to wider life.
The program includes physics in music, biology in engineering and chemistry in crime. Students will get the chance to learn content, network with guest speakers and go on days out to enhance their knowledge and broaden their understanding. These specific areas of science will not be explored in depth in the normal KS4 science curriculum so students will develop their understanding in order to aid them in decision making for higher and further education
Brew and Review – Primarily aimed at Key Stage 5 students during breakfast time, to give them the opportunity to engage with scientific research and a chance to discuss this with their peers and teaching staff over a cup of tea!
Year 11 Catch-up Sessions – These sessions run on a weekly basis and give students in Year 11 the chance to re-cover key concepts of Science as well as gain examination practice and smaller group tuition should they be directed by their teachers to attend.