The study of Science is an essential part of the school curriculum and provides students with the knowledge and skills that impact on almost all other areas of school life. Firstly students are introduced to the concept of the scientific method which, put simply, is where you start with an idea, create a concrete way to prove or disprove your idea, and objectively show what you learned. This encourages students to approach problems logically and use collected evidence to think critically. These important thinking skills can be applied in many areas of study.
In addition Science harnesses children’s natural inquisitive nature by allowing them to explore the world around them. At Vyners we ensure students are able to try a huge range of practical activities so lessons in Science are very much hands-on. Practical work engages learners and develops a range of fine motor skills useful in many other subject areas.
We feel Science opens doors to many disciplines and we emphasise this by describing these links to our students. In particular we highlight the close links between Maths and Science when looking at data from practical work. However we also look at the history of how Science has developed and the key figures that have changed the world around us. The language of Science has its stem in Latin and this provides a link to the languages studied at school.
The aim of the Science department is to develop all students into adults that can make informed decisions based on clear and rational opinions developed using the data or information provided. We hope to instil a love of inquiry and discovery in all our students whatever their ability. We want all of our students to go out into the world and use the skills developed in Science to become successful in all that they do.
Key Stage 3 - 6 hours a fortnight
In year 7 and 8 students follow our own KS3 scheme of work. This leads students through a number of different modules covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We develop the ideas students would have come across at Primary school and extend these to the next level which often includes more abstract concepts. In year 7 we also hone scientific thinking skills using the CASE model one lesson a fortnight. In these lessons students are able to use discussion and practical work to explore ideas about how things work and why.
In year 9 we cover more challenging topics including Drugs and Variation. These topics include the opportunity to discuss moral issues surrounding some modern scientific techniques. Students then sit an end of KS3 exam in the Christmas term for resetting in January ready for the start of their GCSEs.
KS4- Combined Science 9h/ Separate Science 12h a fortnight
All students follow the AQA specification and will either opt for Separate sciences or Combined Science. At the end of the two years Separate Science results in 3 GCSE grades and Combined Science 2 GCSEs. We take the spiral learning approach to teaching therefore students will recover some of the KS3 content and then extend it to the GCSE level. Students will have discrete lessons of either Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
The GCSEs content has changed in recent years to now contain specific required practicals which students will need to have a firm understanding of as they will be part of the GCSE exams. To ensure all students take on board the importance of these practicals we insist all practical work is written up in full and staff will give thorough feedback to aid progress after reflection. The maths content of the papers has increased too and we cover maths skills in lessons to help students access these parts of the exam.
Key Stage 5
Biology and Chemistry courses follow the Edexcel specifications and Physics follows AQA.
Subject Leader: Gemma Holt