Focus on: Science
Our Science Department is always a busy hub in the school, and this week we have been looking behind the scenes to see what students have been learning this week.
In Years 7 and 8 the students are working through a range of topics including Sound, Doctors and Diseases, Forces, and Bubbles, Bangs and Burning. The students are also developing their enquiry and interpretation skills through a number of ‘Big Writes’ that involves them planning, analysing and evaluating scientific investigations to prove or disprove their own hypotheses.
In Years 9 and 10 the students are working hard on their GCSE work, with Year 9 focusing on the Earth and Atmosphere in Chemistry, Diseases in Biology and Waves in Physics. The Year 10 students are looking at Metals in Chemistry, Genetic Inheritance including sex-linked disorders in Biology, and Particles and Matter in Physics. The Year 10 students are also preparing for their upcoming PPEs, this will be their first experience of full GCSE exam papers and will be a really valuable opportunity for them to work out which revision methods work best for them.
In Science this week the Year 11 students are receiving feedback on their recent PPEs. The students are identifying their strengths and weaknesses so that they can prepare their revision plans ahead of the real GCSEs. Chemistry revision for Year 11’s runs every Wednesday lunchtime where we look at harder aspects of GCSE Chemistry topics and how to approach exam questions. So far this term we have been looking at topics that come up in Paper 2 to help with revision for mock exams, but with these out of the way we will now be spending each week focussing on a topic that students found tricky in their PPEs and developing exam technique in preparation for the summer.
At A level the students go into more detail about the topics that they have covered at GCSE as well as learning lots of new topics, with all three of the sciences being popular choices for our Sixth Formers. A large number of our current Year 13 students have chosen to go on to study science related subjects at university and as a result are very focused at the moment on preparing for both their PPEs and their actual A level exams. We are very excited about the university offers that the students have received so far and are sure that their hard work will pay off this summer.
Science beyond lessons:
Each Wednesday a number of Year 7 and 8 students attend Science Club with Mr Irwin, where they get to carry out fun practicals including Screaming Jelly Babies, Elephants Toothpaste and making their own Bath Bombs. This week in Science Club we were identifying metals based on the colour they burned when placed over a bunsen burner. We had several different solutions containing separate types of metal elements. We allowed wooden splints to absorb some of the solutions and then placed them in a pale blue flame of a bunsen burner. Each of these different metals generated a different colour, ranging from red and lilac to green and bright orange. Throughout the year in Science Club we partake in different experiments relevant to each of the three sciences. This week was chemistry while last week we held drag races with balloon powered lego buggies all in the name of physics.
GCSE revision sessions:
Miss Upton runs Chemistry revision for Year 11 runs every Wednesday lunchtime where we look at harder aspects of GCSE Chemistry topics and how to approach exam questions. So far this term we have been looking at topics that come up in Paper 2 to help with revision for mock exams, but with these out of the way we will now be spending each week focusing on a topic that students found tricky in their PPEs and developing exam technique in preparation for the summer.
- Monday lunchtime – exam technique focus with triple biologists
- Tuesday after school – exam technique
- Wednesday after school – exam technique
KS5 Biology interventions:
Mr and Mrs Moore: Our A level Biologists complete interventions every Tuesday and Wednesday after school, typically over 30 attend each week. This week we have been exploring how to approach extended writing exam style questions and the correct application of the ‘How Science Works’ (HSW) key terms. We have been really impressed with their progression every week.