Science is a core National Curriculum subject and the Science Department aims to provide pupils of all abilities with a broad, balanced and relevant experience of the subject.
They will develop an understanding of key concepts from all Science and appreciation of the role of Science in their lives. Through theoretical and practical work in laboratories, they will acquire skills and abilities relevant to both Science and everyday life, in areas such as experimental design, good laboratory practice, safety, organisation and communication.
A variety of teaching styles are used, making full use of the modern technology available. There are data projectors and interactive whiteboards in both labs. Pupils are taken on many trips and guest speakers are invited to extend pupils' learning outside the classroom.
The courses taught follow the National Curriculum Science and go into greater depth where the Common Entrance syllabus requires further study. As a pupil progresses through the school, topics introduced at a basic level in early years will be revisited, revised and taken further, placing Science in the world outside and not just in the laboratory. Pupils will be prepared for examinations that occur at intervals throughout the course in order for them to make full use of their talents and abilities.
Safety is paramount in any practical subject and all pupils will follow a basic safety course, usually refreshed at the start of each academic year. The Science labs are modern, with smoke alarms, safety gas cut-off valves and isolation switches. First aid equipment is also close at hand.
Pupils' progress is monitored continuously in an informal way in oral class work, more formally with written work in lessons, written Preps and end of module tests. It is usual to give a numerical mark and effort grade for assessed written work. It is the aim of the department to return written work to the pupil as soon as possible with constructive comments. Where the Science curriculum is delivered by more than one teacher, there is regular consultation to assess effort and achievement and to arrive at an overall picture for reporting. Where possible, pupils scoring below expectation will be given extra help and then re-assessed.
It is the policy of the department to write internal examinations that allow pupils to demonstrate what they have learnt. The format of exams will mirror the style of the Common Entrance papers. Where possible model answers will be given to pupils after sitting the exams so that they will be able to see where they can make improvements. Ideally, a year group will all sit the same exam. In situations where this is not possible, there will be a number of common questions so that comparisons between teaching groups can be made. The degree of difficulty of internal examinations will be adjusted so that the pupils' marks convey a realistic measure of ability to parents.
A variety of texts are used throughout the course including: So you really want to learn Science - Books 1 & 2, Key Stage Three Science Companion, Spotlight Science 7, 8 & 9, Key Stage 2 & 3 Revision Guides and the ISEB Common Entrance Revision Guides.
Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.