Studying Science is crucial to help our pupils understand the world around them. It enables pupils to develop into critical, imaginative thinkers who are equipped with the tools to navigate the world around them and look to find solutions for the array of issues that we face in the twenty-first century.
At Stoke Newington School, we place an emphasis on the enjoyment of science, where its “wow factor” is enhanced rather than diminished, and where practical and scientific skills lie at the heart of the curriculum.
Science at Key Stage 3
Pupils study seven substantive topics in Year 7 relating to some big ideas in Science. They are diet and digestion, cells, particles, mixtures, energy, forces, and sound and light. Pupils at the end of Year 7 carry out a research project into the Solar System.
In Year 8, pupils advance to study the following topics – reproduction, ecology, the Periodic Table, chemical reactions, acids and alkalis, electricity and magnetism, and motion and pressure.
After most of these topics, pupils in years 7 and 8 then carry out a “Working Scientifically investigation” over a series of lessons which helps develop their practical skills and their understanding of scientific enquiry.
The KS3 Science curriculum at Stoke Newington is designed to challenge and excite our pupils, while providing a solid platform for starting the GCSE Science curriculum at the beginning of Year 9.
In addition, there are also many opportunities for extra-curricular activities in years 7 and 8, including the extremely popular Stoke Newington Science Club. In this club pupils engage in hands-on activities such as making slime, volcanoes, aliens’ blood and fruit batteries. Pupils have also visited the South of England Big Bang fair where they were able to meet a variety of Science related professionals in industry and research. Some of our pupils are involved in an app building competition sponsored by Amazon.
- Suggested KS3 Science revision resource: www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zng4d2p
- Recommended KS3 Science reading: www.bbc.co.uk/news/science_and_environment
Science at Key Stage 4
At the beginning of Year 9, pupils either follow the AQA Combined Science course (worth 2 GCSEs) or AQA Separate Science course - Biology, Chemistry and Physics (worth 3 GCSEs). Pupils may sit each qualification at either Higher or Foundation level. Within each course there are a number of required practicals which pupils must carry out and write up. These are assessed in the exams at the end of Year 11, along with all the other scientific knowledge and skills pupils have acquired over the course.
We also encourage pupils to learn about scientific discoveries through the GCSE curriculum, and put the science they are learning into an historical context. We aim to focus on pupils’ independent thought and research skills at GCSE, to best prepare them for their studies beyond Year 11.
There is a great deal of overlap across Combined and Separate Sciences and we think they provide an excellent level of challenge for our pupils! Both Combined Science and Separate Sciences prepare pupils well for studying sciences at A level.
- Suggested GCSE Science revision resource: https://stokenewingtonschool.sharepoint.com/sites/KS4Science
- Recommended GCSE Science reading: Bad Science by Ben Goldacre