Science at Spring Hill High School contributes significantly to Students’ enjoyment and understanding of the world and their place within it. It is made accessible to all pupils meeting their needs. With a focus on practical work, first-hand experience and special events designed to inspire and engage learners. Teaching key skills such as making observations, predictions and evaluation of first hand observations are of equal importance to knowledge and understanding.
Key Stage 3 students’ learning is greatly focused towards building independent and problem solving skills to allow students to develop their own ability to explore and find things out in science. The building of our new science laboratory has made it possible to give student the opportunities to engage in and experiment with high level practical science. The student truly enjoy these opportunities and has allowed for more independent exploration of scientific topics that meet the needs of the students and academically differentiated to allow them to access accreditation in science.
Key stage 4 students study for GCSEs in Biology, Physics and Chemistry.
What key skills will be developed at Key Stage 3?
Students are taught through practical work wherever possible and students develop an understanding of experimental procedures. By the end of KS3 they should be able to:
- Identify the variables in an experiment and control them appropriately (fair testing);
- Manipulate equipment and carry out a practical safely;
- Generate and record accurate data from an experiment;
- Turn their results into an appropriate graph;
- Process results by completing calculations where appropriate;
- Make valid conclusions from data, and justify these conclusions.
What is GCSE Science?
GCSE Science introduces students to fundamental ideas in scientific theory and helps them learn practical skills through topical investigations. Two options are available Single Science and Trilogy. Students can opt for either to achieve a GCSE. Both options allow students to continue their study into the sixth form for all sciences.
AQA Method of Assessment: All courses are Linear: exams in Y11 Single Biology: There are 6 exams of 1 hour 15 minutes (70 marks). Exams are available at Foundation or Higher Tier. GCSE Trilogy: There are 2 exams for each of the sciences (so 6 exams in total) which are 1 hour 45 minutes at Higher or Foundation Tier.
What Key Skills will I develop in GCSE Science?
GCSE Science will encourage students to:
- Use knowledge and understanding to pose scientific questions and define scientific problems;
- Plan and carry out investigative activities, including appropriate risk management, in a range of scientific contexts;
- Collect, select, process, analyse and interpret primary and secondary data to provide evidence and evaluate methodology, evidence and data;
- Understand the relationship between Science and society and develop communications skills in scientific contexts;
- Use mathematical formula and mathematical methods to analyse and interpret data and make predictions.
Why are individuals different? Can plants save the world from global warming? How can we feed the world? Should we genetically engineer organisms to be more like our “perfect” requirements? Will medicine be able to make us live forever? Biology is the study of living things, both those alive today and those we know about from fossils. It includes Human Biology but goes well beyond this, covering Ecology, Plant Biology and Microbiology.
We aim to encourage an inquisitive and practical approach to the subject. We are a department that values inquiry over mere information and encourage creative thought. In Biology lessons we encourage our students to take risks and make it acceptable for them to try and fail – the best scientists learn from their mistakes!
We hope that through the study of Biology we can open the girls’ eyes to the wonder of the living world from sub-cellular organelles through to whole ecosystems and human impact on the environment.
A wide range of activities are used to make the subject as practical, engaging and challenging as possible from Key stage 3 through to Key Stage 5. Practical work forms the backbone of class activities wherever possible in order to develop analysis and interpretation skills as well as helping the girls to challenge their understanding of the Biological concepts learnt. The emphasis in Biology lessons is to give the girls an opportunity to work things out for themselves to help them to gain a deeper understanding rather than just learning facts. Other class activities such as internet research, peer teaching, role play and field work ensure that lessons are active and engaging whilst also providing challenge.
Possible Careers Having AStudied GCSE Science
In our increasingly technological society, Science is becoming more and more important. Qualifications in Science open up many career opportunities. Opportunities to explore careers in science are integrated into science lessons, visit to the big bang fair and STEM engineering activities. However most of the career opportunities in Science require the continued study of Science at Sixth Form level (i.e. A Level). Students who have studied for Combined Science or the Separate Sciences may opt to continue to study one or more Sciences at KS5.