Ofsted Outstanding
Full Version

Science

Science at Our Lady’s is taught to all pupils.

Staffing

We have 10 members of staff and who deliver the Science curriculum to pupils at Key Stage 3 and Key stage 4 (* denotes part time teaching in Science):

  • Mrs Roberts(Principal Teacher)
  • Mrs C Simcoe (Assistant Principal Teacher)
  • Miss Saunders (Assistant Principal Teacher)
  • Mrs McArdle* (Teacher of Science and Learning Manager)
  • Mr Taylor (Teacher of Science)
  • Mr Robinson (Teacher of Science)
  • Miss Holmes (Teacher of Science)
  • Miss McEnnerny-Whittle* (Teacher of Science, Teacher of Mathematics, and Assistant Learning Manager)
  • Mr Ranson* (Teacher of Science and Headteacher)
  • Mr Gallagher*(Teacher of Science and Teacher of Computing)

Facilities

The Science Department has only six purpose built rooms, each fully equipped with specialist scientific apparatus and containing an interactive whiteboard. Occasionally Science lessons have to be taught in classrooms in other curriculum areas.

Curriculum

Key Stage 3Key Stage 4

All pupils follow a structured curriculum at Key Stage 3 in six periods per fortnight during Year 7, Year 8 and Year 9. Pupils have the opportunity to work individually, in pairs and in groups during the following topics.

In Year 7, units studied are:

  • Working Scientifically
  • Particles and their behaviour
  • Elements, atoms and compounds
  • Chemical reactions
  • Acids and Alkalis
  • Forces
  • Sound
  • Light

In Year 8, units studied are:

  • Space
  • Cells
  • Structure and function of body systems
  • Reproduction
  • The Periodic Table
  • Separation techniques
  • Metals and Acids
  • The Earth

In Year 9, units studied are:

  • Electricity and Magnetism
  • Energy
  • Motion and Pressure
  • Health and Lifestyle
  • Ecosystem processes
  • Adaptation and Inheritance
  • In the summer term pupils begin the first Chemistry unit of their GCSE course in Science.

All KS4 pupils study Science, either GCSE or BTec.

GCSE pupils study either Combined Science (Trilogy) taught through 10 lessons per fortnight or Separate Sciences taught through 15 lessons per fortnight. Separate Science is an optional subject.

All GCSE science pupils will study:

Biology topics:

  • Cell biology – incorporating bioenergetics
  • Organisation
  • Plant biology
  • Infection and Response
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology

Chemistry topics:

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative Chemistry
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Physics topics:

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism

For students following the Separate Science course these topics have more content, studied in greater depth.
Students following Separate Sciences also have an extra physics module, Space Physics.

Both courses offer entry at Higher and Foundation level, but our expectation is that the majority of pupils will be entered for Higher tier papers.

At the end of Year 11, all pupils will sit 6 exams (2x Biology, 2 x Chemistry and 2 x Physics)

Papers for Separate sciences are all 1 hour, 45 minutes; those for Combined Science are 1hour 15 minutes.
Successful completion of the Separate Science course will result in pupils gaining 3 GCSEs. Each paper is worth 50% of each award.
Successful completion of the Combined Science (Trilogy) course will result in pupils gaining 2 GCSEs. Each paper is worth 16.7% of the marks for this award.

Qualifications awarded by the examining body will be graded on a 17-point scale: 1–1 to 9–9 – where 9–9 is the best grade. Students taking Higher Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 4–4 to 9–9. A student taking Foundation Tier assessments will be awarded a grade within the range of 1–1 to 5–5.

BTEC Applied Science

This course consists of four units in total, each with an equal rating towards a NQF BTEC First Level 2 Award in Principles of Applied Science. All four units are mandatory. Unit 1 is assessed by a public examination and the other three units comprise of several internally assessed and externally moderated, assignments. In summary, 25% of the course is examined and 75% is coursework.

Unit 1. Pupils sit an external examination duration one hour, to complete this unit. Re-sit opportunities are available and the highest level of attainment contributes to the overall qualification. Pupils study some topics in each of the three science disciplines; Biology; Chemistry and Physics.

Unit 1

Biology:

  • Explore cell, organs and genes
  • Explore the roles of the nervous and endocrine systems in homeostasis

Chemistry:

  • Explore atomic structure and the Periodic Table
  • Explore substances and chemical reactions

Physics:

  • Explore the importance of energy stores, transfers and transformations
  • Explore the properties and applications of waves in the electromagnetic spectrum

Unit 2. Chemistry and Our Earth.

Unit 3. Energy and Our Universe

Unit 4. Biology and Our Environment

The course offers the opportunity to pass with a Merit or Distinction. We also cover the Level 1 material.

Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Pupils in Years 7 – 9 can participate in Science club activities, held weekly.
  • As part of the Preston partnership of Ogden Trust schools, we have opportunities to participate in enrichment activities as they arise.

If you require further information about this curriculum area please contact the Principal Teacher Mrs Roberts– aro@olchs.lancs.sch.uk