“Science is great because you can get involved with cool experiments.”
“The best part of Science is that the teachers are really encouraging and if you don’t understand something you can go and ask them about it and they will help you.”
“The screaming jelly baby experiment was really good fun!”
As a compulsory subject it is important that Science learning is contextualised, so it is relevant to students whether or not they intend to pursue their studies of Science to A-level and beyond. We believe that the Science our students learn at Key Stage 3 and 4 will provide them with the scientific literacy they will need to be able to engage with scientific issues. Throughout our lives we are confronted with dilemmas involving Science and need to be able to make informed decisions.
So what do students need to be “scientifically literate”? We believe that firstly, they need to understand key scientific explanations for the world around us e.g. the particulate theory of matter, the solar system and its place in the universe, the germ theory of infectious disease. Secondly, students need an appreciation of how Science works, the nature of scientific data and how scientists arrive at explanations, and to be aware that data have limitations and how and why scientific explanations change. Most importantly, students should then be able to use their understanding of scientific concepts to make decisions about controversial issues that involve science such as the building of nuclear power stations or wind farms, whether or not to have a child vaccinated or whether to take part in drugs trial.
Key Stage 3
We teach a two year Key Stage 3 course based on the Oxford University Press Science Works Scheme. We believe this provides a relevant and engaging Key Stage 3 Science course which will provide students with:
- knowledge and understanding of scientific models
- working scientifically practical investigatory skills
- understanding of the importance and limitations of scientific data
- understanding of how scientific explanations are developed and tested by the scientific community
- understanding of how society makes decisions about risk
- scientific knowledge basis for Key Stage 4 Science courses
(Photograph by Ryan Maudsley, Settle College Student)
Key Stage 4
We offer Key Stage 4 Science courses from the OCR Specification A, Twenty First Century Suite of GCSEs. Students can follow two pathways:
Triple award: Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs or Double Award: Science GCSE and Additional Science GCSE (Combined Science for first examination in June 2018)
At the heart of each 21st Century Science option is the concept of Science for Citizens. This aims to build on the Science studied at Key Stage 3 in a way that will help students to engage with an increasingly scientific world. Students need a clear understanding of scientific concepts and of how scientific data is obtained, how reliable it is and therefore how far they can rely upon it. Students will explore these aspects of Science preparing them to deal with decisions such as what it means to ‘go green’, GM food scares and mobile telephone safety as well as new science-based issues as they arise.
Triple award or the Science and Additional Science route provide students with the detailed scientific theory, models and ideas necessary to access A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This part of the course contains a considerable amount of practical work.
Currently each GCSE has a Controlled Assessment component. For Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Science and Additional Science the Controlled Assessment contributes 25% towards the final marks.
Key Stage 5
Enrichment activities e.g. trips/visits/clubs
In the academic year 2016-17 our Year 9 students will have the opportunity to visit the Thackray Medical Museum, Leeds. The students will choose one of a range of characters who live on a typical Victorian street, discover what is making them ill and help them find a cure. The trip has strong cross curricular links to history and their focus on how medicine has changed over time. This year, trips will also be available to other Year groups.
Staff Names and Roles
Miss J Nutter – Co-Subject Leader Science; Teacher of Chemistry
Ms R Ronchetti – Co-Subject Leader Science; Teacher of Chemistry
Ms F Morphet – Teacher of Biology
Mr C Shepherd – Teacher of Physics
Dr H Williets – Teacher of Biology
Ms S Cox – Senior Technician
Mr P Worthington – Technician
Primary students enjoying some Forensic investigations