Welcome to the Science Department – Meet the team
Miss K Longstaff
Miss N Sultana
Mrs N Miah
‘We are committed to providing a stimulating, engaging and intellectually challenging curriculum to enable all of our students to develop their fundamental understanding of the world around them. Our curriculum will explore the generalisations, principles and models which connect concepts, enabling students to see the world analytically, to explain phenomena and make predictions.’
- To instil and develop a love of Science for students of all abilities
- To provide a safe environment for students to learn essential practical skills
- To provide a suitable foundation for further scientific learning in Year 7 and beyond
- To teach students how to become independent learners
Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Using the big ideas principle, the generalisations, principles and models which connect concepts are at the heart of our syllabus. We believe this is how students learn to see the world analytically, to explain phenomena and make predictions – all skills they need for their next stage of scientific learning. Our syllabus complements the programme of study by exploring links between the ideas at KS3.
Content is under 10 big idea headings: Forces, Electromagnetism, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes. Each idea contains four smaller topics: the building blocks for the big ideas.
Investigative science is taught within the context of each topic.
Key Stage 4 Curriculum
Science encourages us to ask questions about the world around us. The study of science improves our ability to conduct enquiry processes, to problem solve effectively and even to debate confidently, as well as helping to develop numeracy and literacy. GCSE Science has a significant practical element and students will complete a number of required practical activities throughout the course.
There are two pathways for this subject, and students may be encouraged to pursue a particular option dependent on their KS3 assessment data, teacher recommendation and personal preference. All students will be taught the same content initially, with a final decision being made at the end of year ten. The options are outlined below:
GCSE Combined Science (two GCSE qualifications)
This course is divided equally between Biology, Chemistry and Physics. It teaches students how scientific information is obtained, how they can determine its reliability, what its limitations are, and how this information is used by society to make important decisions. It also teaches how human behaviors can impact the planet, and the importance of using resources responsibly.
GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics – also referred to as GSCE Separate Sciences (three GCSE qualifications)
A strong work ethic and a real interest in the subject are essential for this course, as a wider range of content must be delivered in comparison to the GCSE Combined Science option. This option will provide a good foundation for further scientific study beyond GCSE level, or for those who have demonstrated high ability in the subject throughout KS3 and 4.
Students have followed an AQA endorsed scheme of work throughout KS3, and the AQA examination board will be used at GCSE level. Both qualifications are linear, which means that all examinations are sat at the end of the course in year eleven. There is no coursework element.
Students who follow the GCSE Combined Science course will sit six papers: two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics. Each of the papers will be worth 70 marks and will be completed during a 1 hour 15-minute examination. Marks will be available for answering a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response questions.
Students who study the GCSE Separate Sciences will also sit six papers as detailed above, equivalent to two per GCSE. However, each of the papers will be worth 100 marks (or 50% of each GCSE) and will be completed as a 1 hour 45 minute examination.
Co-curricular, Enrichment, Extension and Support
Science lessons at Wixams Academy follow the whole school policy of ‘teaching to the top’. We currently follow the Activate for AQA scheme of work, which provides a solid introduction to the concepts taught typically at GCSE level. Assessment is designed to provide challenge at an appropriate level for all, with the inclusion of GCSE-style questions which use command words that students may be otherwise familiar with at KS3.
Students are provided with a challenge activity for most tasks, which encourages them to use numerical thinking and problem-solving skills as well as their acquired knowledge. An example of a typical challenge activity might be to criticise an experimental method used in class, or to make connections between experimental data and scientific theory.
At KS4 students will be exposed to higher level past exam questions in most lessons. This enables students to apply their knowledge to the style of question they will examined on at the end of year 11. As we progress through the GCSE curriculum, there may be opportunities for our most able students to extend their knowledge and skills and be introduced to A level Science concepts.
Weekly Science Revision Club – Year 11 students are invited to attend an after school revision club every Wednesday from 3.30pm to 5pm in the Super Lab.
In the spring and summer terms there will be an educational visit for each year group, both designed with our most able students in mind. Students will be encouraged to make links between what they study in class and real-life concepts.
Our book club encourages reading of non-fiction science texts, such as New Scientist, and a rocket club will run in the summer term which will allow students to design, build and test out various rocket designs.
The Brilliant club will provide a number of opportunities for students to participate in STEM related projects and competitions. Each year a small group of our most able year 9 students are enrolled in the Brilliant Clubs Scholar’s programme. Students will be required to complete a STEM related project with the support of a PhD student who will deliver University style tutorials.