Why study Science?
We study science in order to gain an in-depth understanding of the world around us and beyond. Understanding the “how” and “why” of things has helped humans develop cures for diseases, protect wildlife and plant life, predict and prepare for climate extremes, send men to the moon and so much more.
Science provides you with the knowledge to change lives, hopefully for the better.
In your science lessons you will learn practical, analytical and technological skills which are transferable to all aspects of our modern life.
KS3: A Foundation Course in Science
The KS3 curriculum is covered in two years. During this time students study topics which give an introduction to Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Lessons are taught with an emphasis on students discovering for themselves, so practical work is a key part of the course.
Students start the KS3 course learning basic laboratory skills, these are taught through a variety of investigations. Many of these are include group work.
Assessment is an integral part of the course and teachers use the information to help pupils progress towards their targets.
KS4: GCSE Science – Core, Additional, Physics, Chemistry and Biology
In year 9 all students cover the material needed for the core science course. This is taught in mixed ability groups. At the end of the year students are assessed for their suitability to study Triple Science.
Students not taking Triple Science consolidate the knowledge for Core and also study the material needed for Additional Science during years 10 and 11.
Other students have separate lessons in Biology, Chemistry and Physics which are taught by specialist staff.
All courses are assessed through a mixture of examination and coursework and the skills needed to be successful in these areas are taught throughout the years.
KS5: A Level Biology (Edexcel), A Level Chemistry (OCR), A Level Physics (AQA)
Biology A Level
This two year course covers all areas of biology including genetics and immunology. There is a particular emphasis on applying knowledge to a specific context, for example students look at the biology associated with the genetic disease cystic fibrosis.
Practical work is a key part of the A Level course; some experiments are required by the exam board and assessed on the written papers while others just aid learning or teach biological skills. At AS Level students write a scientific report on an issue of their choice and during the second year students complete a full investigation, again of their choice. Assessment is through modules in both the January and June of each year.
Chemistry A Level
Students follow the OCR B Salter’s Chemistry Course. The course is designed to link the teaching and learning of classical Chemical principles and techniques to contemporary applications and contexts with a heavy emphasis on practical work.
At AS Level, students develop their knowledge and understanding of key concepts at Key Stage 4 and are introduced to the specialist fields within chemistry, including pharmacology, biochemistry, analysis methods, fuels and chemical engineering. In the second year, there is further development of understanding of these fields, giving students a real insight of Further Education in these areas and a very secure base from which to begin FE courses.
In both years of the course there is an emphasis on developing independent learning skills, with students completing individual projects as part of their assessed coursework.
The course is assessed as two written papers and a coursework investigation at AS Level and two further papers and an individual project in the final year.
Physics A Level
The Physics course has been written to incorporate the AQA approach to teaching and learning, it is developed to help students to understand nature from the smallest possible scale deep inside the atom to the largest conceivable distance, stretching across the entire Universe.
At AS Level, students study particles, electricity, mechanics, optics and waves. In the second year topics include momentum, radioactivity, fields, special relativity and astrophysics.
Practical work is assessed through ISAs similar to those undertaken on the GCSE course. Modules are offered in both January and June.
KS5: IB Biology
This course integrates practical work and the theory of knowledge with a range of biological topics. All assessment is terminal and includes, multiple choice, data interpretation questions as well as essays. All students submit their two best investigations for the final assessment.
Students also take part in a two day group 4 project with is a science challenge to be completed in groups. This assess, group work, leadership and initiative.
Enrichment activities at DGSB
As a department we believe that enhancement activities are an important way to add to the content taught in lessons. These include trips for all year groups many of which are often to local universities or to Schools events in London. Throughout the year we welcome visitors including UKC who work with students to launch rockets, make ice cream and often bring in their astrodome.
Each year the department runs a science club. This year sessions will include dissection and electronics. As well as this staff run a variety of sessions to aid students with coursework and revision.
Science leads to many careers as well as the more obvious medical and teaching Jobs. So many of the skills learnt in science lessons are transferrable and A levels in science are recognized by Universities as being difficult. Graduates with science degrees tend to get some of the most well paid jobs.
Some possible careers include – meteorologist, food scientist, engineer, park manager, conservationist, geologist, journalist, biotechnologist and computer scientist.