About the Science Department
The Science Department is the biggest department in the school with 7 full time staff, 2 part time staff and 2 members of SLT who teach reduced timetables. The department is also supported by two full time technicians. The Science Department has made considerable progress in recent years and results are outstanding at all key stages.
Lessons in the department are aimed at engaging all types of learner and the department are very keen to support the learning of students of all abilities. Our lessons have a variety of activities; practical’s are included where possible and co-operative learning strategies and activities are used by all members of staff to ensure that lessons are both informative and fun.
The department has a reputation with students as being a fun and safe place to learn and the vast majority of students enjoy their Science lessons and would describe Science as being their favourite subject. The department also has a long and successful history of training future teachers and are involved with both MMU and Keele Universities in this process.
The department is well resourced at all levels and benefits from having 8 laboratories and 4 preparation areas. All laboratories are in a good state of repair as well as being modern and bright. Each laboratory is equipped with an interactive whiteboard and the department has its own trolley of laptops which are regularly used to enhance the learning of students.
Curriculum aims of the department
It is the aim of the department to deliver Science at all key stages in a safe and engaging way. All key stages are valuable to the staff with key concepts and ideas being developed at KS3 using the Collins Science Course. Practical skills, team work and enjoyment are also very important at these very early stages. At KS4 both Triple and Double award Science are delivered and the AQA Science A route has been chosen as our core structure. It is extremely important to the department that students are moulded into excellent scientists in these early key stages as this aids in the production of the outstanding results that we achieve at KS5. We offer all traditional sciences at KS5 as well as Applied Science which engages the more independent learner.
About year 7 curriculum
From the very beginning of year 7 students are made aware of aspects of safety and the need for high levels of co-operation and teamwork, they are given opportunities to develop both practical and social skills. The year 7 curriculum focuses on the basic key concepts and principles of Science which includes Cells, Tissues and Organs, Reproduction, Working in a Laboratory, Particles and Reactions, Energy Transfers, Forces and Speed, Classification and Food Webs and Rocks and Fossils. The KS3 Collins Course is followed and teachers really use this year to get all students to a similar level of knowledge and understanding. Some year 8 topics may also get covered in this year with higher achieving sets of pupils.
About year 8 curriculum
Year 8 builds on key concepts and ideas that weren’t examined in year 7, students continue to develop their knowledge and understanding of Science as well as their practical skills. The year 8 curriculum focuses on Keeping Healthy, Studying Disease, Separating Mixtures, Atoms, Elements and Compounds, Magnetism, Sound and Heat, Life and Death and Space. Higher achieving sets will also complete year 9 topics and will be fully prepared to begin their GCSE course at the end of this year.
About year 9 curriculum
Year 9 consolidates key scientific ideas and understanding and is a crucial stepping stone to our GCSE course for many students. The curriculum focuses on Drugs and Behaviour, Variation, Chemical Patterns, Chemical reactions, Pressure, Forces and Moments, Energy Transfers, Humans and the Environment and Geology. The top 70%of the year have already completed these topics in year 7 and 8 and therefore begin AQA GCSE Science as part of their Triple Science programme.
About year 10 curriculum
Year 10 begins GCSE for 30% of our students, they follow the AQA Science A route. Some students complete all 4 parts of the course during this time (Chemistry, Physics, Biology, ISA) others complete 50% and will complete the remaining 50 % in year 11. The year 10 course focuses on Metals, Limestone, Organic Chemistry, Earth and Atmosphere, Drugs and Alcohol, The Nervous and Hormonal Systems, Adaptation/Variation and Evolution, Thermal Energy Transfers, Efficiency, Properties of Waves, Sound, Red Shift and Big Bang Theory. The remaining 70% complete AQA Additional Science and gain their second GCSE in Science.
About year 11 curriculum
Year 11 is about consolidating many courses for our students. Some students either complete Core Science to gain 1 GCSE, some complete their Additional Science to gain 2 GCSE’s and some students complete additional modules to gain the Triple Science qualification. The Additional Science curriculum covers topics such as Cells, Photosynthesis, Energy Flows, Enzymes, Homeostasis, Inheritance, Structures and Bonding, Moles, Rates of Reaction, Energetics, Electrolysis, Acids, Alkalis and Salts, Motion, Speed, Work, Energy and Momentum, Statics, Electricity and Nuclear Physics. It is hoped that many of our students will progress from these firm foundations that have now been built and gain places on our AS and A2 courses.
About year 12 curriculum
The Science Department offers a wide and varied range of programmes at AS. All courses follow the AQA specification as this easily follows our GCSE courses. AS courses are offered in all 3 core sciences and also Applied Science which involves a more independent way of studying. Chemistry examines Fundamentals of the Atom, Energetics, Organic and Environmental Chemistry, Struture and Bonding just to mention a few. Biology considers Cells, Biochemistry, Enzymes and Digestion, The Heart and Lungs, DNA and other related topics. Physics looks at Electricity, Waves, Materials, Particles and Quantum Physics and Mechanics in great detail. Applied Science is a practical and research based course which examines Science and its many uses in our Society today. Students are expected to produce portfolios of evidence and good communication and organisation skills are key to this course.
About year 13 curriculum
A2 builds on the knowledge and understanding of AS and also prepares students for life at university. Students are expected to work more independently at this level and this is their final chance to consolidate 7 years of learning in the Science Department. Chemistry is unique at this level as it simply builds on previously learnt AS topics whereas other subjects consider completely new concepts and ideas. Biology considers topics such as ATP, Energy and Ecosystems, Nutrient Cycles, Inheritance and other related topics. Physics looks at Heat and Gases, Magnetism and Capacitors, Relativity, Momentum and Simple Harmonic Motion just to mention a few.
Extra Curricular Activities and Clubs
The Science Department works in conjunction with the Design and Technology Department to deliver a Science /Stem club. Students enjoy the challenges offered during these sessions and find that it aids their learning in both subject areas. Regular coursework clinics and drop in sessions are offered to students who are preparing for examinations or who are underperforming. The Science Department offers the opportunity for students to participate in out of school trips and competitions. Salters Science and Ecton Hill just to mention a few.
Miss J Matthias: Subject Leader (BSc (Hons) Biology/Chemistry,MSc Computing for Business, PGCE)
Enjoys teaching all Sciences but Chemistry is her real passion. Has interest in all sports and supports Stoke City.
Mrs M O Callaghan: Assistant Subject Leader (BSc (Hons) Physical Chemistry, PGCE)
Enjoys teaching Physics the most. Has an interest in shopping and especially for shoes.
Mrs L Campbell: Key stage 3 co-ordinator (BSc (Hons) Biology, PGCE)
Enjoys teaching Biology and especially A Level which she does very successfully. Has an interest in fitness and health.
Mrs M Sherlock: Teacher of Science, co-ordinator of co-operative learning (BSc (Hons) Health Sciences, PGCE)
Enjoys teaching Biology but is extremely interested in teaching and learning and how students learn best.
Miss L Rigby: Part-Time Teacher of Science
Mr S Rushton: Teacher of Science (BSc (Hons) Chemistry, PGCE)
Enjoys teaching Chemistry and is particularly interested in the learning of Able and Talented students. Mr Rushton is very involved in his local community and church.
Miss S Rigby: part time Teacher of Science
Mr A Wootton: Deputy Headteacher (BSc (Hons) Maths & Physics, PGCE, CPhys,MInstP)
Enjoys teaching Physics and has a real flare for A level teaching achieving consistently outstanding results. He loves sport and especially Stoke City Football Club.
Mr F Waugh: Assistant Principal (BSc (Hons) Biology with Mathematics PGCE, Diploma of Dsubject Leadership, Catholic Leadership Diploma, Leadership Pathways)
Enjoys teaching Biology and particularly his work with the A level classes is a real asset to the department. Has previously been involved in scientific research at Keele University and had a paper published on malaria.
All these staff are supported by our 2 technicians Mrs A Bushell (Chemistry) and Mrs E Goodhead (Biology/Physics).