Science capital is an essential part of modern life. As a faculty we firmly believe that an understanding of scientific concepts is not simply for those students wishing to pursue science as a career but an essential ingredient for all school leavers.
The courses offered at all key stages reflect this need to develop students’ critical evaluation of scientific evidence, as well as develop the analytical and problem solving skills for students to be successful in science qualifications post-16.
Our varied enrichment opportunities provide experiences beyond the syllabus give an insight into the life of scientists, engineers and related professions and the chance to work and collaborate on genuine research projects.
Science at key stage 3 is delivered over two years. The course offered is bespoke to QE but based upon the Pearson KS3 syllabus. Each unit of study addresses one of the aspects from the core science areas of biology, chemistry or physics. Experimental skills and scientific method are woven into the KS3 course throughout.
Each topic will be assessed by a combination of formative activities throughout the teaching of the topic and a summative test at the end of the module. A synoptic paper will be taken at the end of Year 7 and Year 8 to show progress throughout this vital, bedrock key stage. Students have 8 periods of science per fortnight and are encouraged to take part in various JuniorSTEM club activities through the year.
All Key Stage 4 students study separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) at GCSE level, using the Edexcel 9-1 suite of qualifications. Students are allocated 4 periods per fortnight for each of biology, physics and chemistry.
Each subject area is broken down into key topic areas and key skills. Key skills are assessed through a range of core practical activities and further examined in synoptic papers at the end of year 11. Internal assessment will comprise of summative and formative work, and each year will have an end of year exam. Each subject consists of 2 examination papers, 1 hour and 45 minutes in duration.
At key stage 4 a number of specific extra-curricular STEM projects are available to students (see below). In addition, they have the opportunity to work towards a silver crest award as an enrichment opportunity.
Common to all courses at KS5 is practical work relating to the course being studied. All pupils are graded against the same criteria to demonstrate capability in their chosen Science. These practical skills are further examined in their synoptic exam papers taken at the end of Year 13. There is a wealth of extra-curricular activities in the faculty, including trips, research and olympiads. Students are encouraged to become part of the department and develop their broader interest and passion for STEM.
We offer the Edexcel GCE Biology specification. Students continue to develop their understanding of How Science Works, building on understanding from KS4.
• Energy for biological processes
• Microbiology and pathogens
• Modern genetics
• Origins of genetic variation
• Control systems
There are 16 core practicals that cover all of the 12 techniques required for the practical competency measure.
• Knowledge of all core practicals can be tested within exam papers.
• Core practicals form part of the practical competency assessment.
Students continue developing their understanding of scientific method and how chemists contribute to industry and research.Students will develop their quantitative and qualitative analysis, prepare compounds and solve both practical and numerical problems.
Organic chemistry II
Organic chemistry III
Modern analytical techniques
There are 16 core practicals that cover all of the 12 techniques required for the practical competency measure
Knowledge of all core practicals can be tested within exam papers
Core practicals form part of the practical competency assessment.
Students continue looking into subjects covered at GCSE and to cover new areas.
Electric and magnetic fields
Nuclear and particle physics
Students of all abilities are encouraged to participate in various enrichment activities. In addition to relevant visits and trips as part of the curriculum, for example GCSE Science Live, we offer the following opportunities to students:
Mentoring Year 5 pupils during forensics days
GCSE Science Live
SpaceQuESTnear space weather balloon missions as part of the ESA/ESERO Asgard project
Biotech research group
Visits to A level science live, University of Reading women in science, JET nuclear fusion research centre, CERN & United Nations