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Science

Introduction

Science at Wey Valley starts in Year 7 and follows students through to Year 11. Science Teaching and Learning at Wey Valley consists of: scientific enquiry, practical based tasks, researching, discussion, questioning, group and individual learning. Science lessons are conducted by a strong team of qualified Science teachers with a variety of specialisms who are supported by laboratory technicians and teaching assistants. Teaching and Learning at Wey Valley in Science is assessed regularly by the class teacher and this informs future interventions in order for students to make maximum progress.  The science curriculum is split into two halves, Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.

Key Stage 3

When students join us in Year 7, it is often their first real experience of scientific study. With this in mind, their initial introduction consists of a baseline test in order to ascertain their current understanding, and a small unit of work designed to specifically educate the students about working safely in the laboratory. Students will begin to follow the Activate programme of study, with Year 7 students studying Activate 1,  then moving on to Activate 2 in Year 8. The Activate programme is designed as an all-round science experience, which provides the foundation of scientific understanding and the key skills that the students need to embark on their GCSE journey later in the time with us. The units are taught as Biology, Chemistry and Physics and students study each discipline equally during lessons, which are split between two science teachers.

At Key Stage 3, students will sit formal examinations each term based on the topics within that time period. The end of the year assessments are based upon all of the content learnt within that academic year. Each individual topic of study will be assessed with a computerised quiz-based test and a practical activity, for which a level will be awarded. This enables us to track the progress of each student as they move through the Key Stage, ensuring that each student is well equipped with the skills and knowledge they need to be successful and confident as they start their GCSE studies.

Key Stage 4

Students in years 9, 10 and 11 have three Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons a fortnight with each of these subjects taught by a Science specialist. All students at Wey Valley will leave with either two or three Science GCSEs depending upon their previous achievements throughout their GCSE work. This makes their Science education of high importance due to the number of qualifications available to them and the opportunities that excellent examination results in a Science based subject can bring them in life after Wey Valley.

Students due to be examined in 2017 are following the current AQA specifications: Science A, Additional Science and high ability students will also do Further Additional Science. Each Science course is made up from 75% examination and 25% controlled assessment. Students will sit a Biology, Chemistry and Physics examination paper for each GCSE Science qualification they are entered for. The controlled assessment section of the qualification is an Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA) that is completed in school and is marked by the class teacher. The ISA is centred on a practical investigation where students have to: plan a method, collect and assess results.

Students who are due to be examined from 2018 onwards are following the new and recently accredited AQA specifications. Most students will follow the Trilogy specification that is equivalent to two GCSEs and high achievers will complete three GCSEs consisting of: Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All of these courses are externally assessed by examination only. The examinations will contain some questions about a number of required practical tasks that students complete during their Science lessons.

At KS4, all students will sit formal examinations each term, on the section of the syllabus covered in that time period. The end of year assessments will require the students to have revised previously studied topics also.

Specific course content for our Science GCSEs can be found in the revision guides available through the school’s Finance Office or your child’s Science teacher.