Science

  Overview  

A high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all learners are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

 Learning at Key Stage 3 

Key Stage 3

In year 7 and 8 our learners have 7 and 6 one hour lessons of Science per fortnight respectively and follow the AQA Key Stage 3 specification. All learners are taught in sets, according to ability.

In year 9 our learners begin the AQA GCSE Science course as described below for KS4

Science Course Overviews 2019-20

 Learning at Key Stage 4 

At Birchwood we offer two different routes to Key Stage 4 Science qualifications:

AQA GCSE syllabus for Separate Sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

This is for those learners who both really enjoy Science and have achieved excellent levels throughout year 7 and 8. In this option, learners take 3 GCSEs, one in each of the three sciences at the end of Year 11. For year 10 and 11 this is delivered over 14 lessons a fortnight and 12 lessons a fortnight for year 9.  The lessons are split between specialist teachers.

Key Stage 4

Triple Science Course

Overviews 2019-20

AQA Combined Science Trilogy

Learners work towards two GCSEs that cover all three sciences. For year 10 and 11 this course is delivered over 9 lessons per fortnight and 10 lessons a fortnight for year 9.  The lessons are split between specialist teachers.

Key Stage 4

Science Trilogy Overviews 2019-20

AQA Entry Level Certificate

A small number of learners will complete the Entry Level Certificate in Science during year 9.  This course is aimed to prepare learners for the GCSE course in year 10 and 11.  It is delivered over 10 lessons a fortnight, split between specialist teachers.

ELC course Overview 2019-20

 Learning at Key Stage 5 

There are a number of Science courses available at Birchwood College

Extra-Curricular Activities  

In Science, we want to motivate our learners and augment the curriculum so throughout the year we offer learners in Years 8 and 9 the opportunity to take part in various STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) activities, based around problem solving and creative thinking.

The Go4SET annual event involves team of 6 year 8 or 9 learners working together over a period of 10 weeks to design an item. They then have to present their ideas, a model and a full written report including a business plan to a group of specialists from local industry.

We also enter a team each year to the Sellafield sponsored “Big Bang” event. This again involves a small team of excellent Scientists working together to design and manufacture a specific item, followed by a day at the Industrial sponsor, competing with other schools in various tasks.

For year 7 learners we run a regular lunch time STEM club, giving keen young Scientists the opportunity to partake in more complicated or higher level practical work and to have fun whilst doing it.

The science department also runs a variety of KS4 revision clubs before school, during lunchtimes and after school.  Key stage 5 students are supported by weekly subject drop ins and a homework club open to all years offers learners a place to complete their science homework during lunchtimes.