Head of Science

Miss S Lockett – slockett@ndonline.org

 

Aims

Welcome to Science, where students receive high quality, stimulating lessons that each include a variety of tasks delivered in an innovative and hands-on manner. Students engage in a range of Science concepts, from GM foods to the Higgs Boson through to Mendeleev and Theories of Relativity.

The Science Department at Notre Dame strives to give students a positive teaching and learning experience. Lessons cover not just theoretical content but include a range of practical activities aimed to challenge pupils as well as improve their technical skills.

 

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

We deliver the Secondary Science Framework, including How Science Works, which puts the pupils learning in context and encourages them to evaluate the impact of developments on society. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

In Year 7 and 8 all students follow a two year KS3 curriculum embedding core concepts and skills in preparation for KS4. This consists of 12 topics per year, 4 in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students then progress to GCSE Science in Year 9. Pupils are taught all 3 Science disciplines by the Science staff.

We also have a weekly extra-curricular Science Club for Year 7 and 8 students which includes fun and often messy experiments!

Key Stage 4

Our most able scientists complete GCSE Sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Physics over 3 years (starting in Year 9).  Year 10 students complete GCSE Core Science. Depending on their GCSE Core results, students either continue with a GCSE Additional Science in Year 11 (examined in January and June) or are entered for a BTEC Principles of Science Certificate.

Key Stage 5

We offer traditional A Levels in Human Biology, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All qualifications are offered by the OCR examination board.

 

Assessment

Assessment involves regular testing by completing end of module tests, along with quizzes throughout the year. In the middle of Year 9, we complete an end of KS3 exam. The results of this and all other in-year tests are used to set students in the following academic year.

Students complete all external examinations at the end of Year 11 and are set mock exams periodically. Year 10 pupils complete GCSE Core Science, examined externally in January and in June. All sciences involve the completion of an Individual Skills Assignment (ISA) worth 25% of their final grade in each year.