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Falinge Park High School

Opening Doors; Unlocking Potential

Science

Ms J Richmond – Head of Science

“Advancement in science has occurred due to imagination and curiosity. By promoting independent, inquisitive young scientists with a natural curiosity of the world around them, we hope to inspire the next generation of inventors and explorers.”

Compelling Learning in Science

Our aim is to ensure all pupils achieve or exceed their academic potential and are provided with the opportunity to gain qualifications in Science, for their own ambitions of future study or careers.

This is achieved through providing an enjoyable, absorbing and compelling learning experience for all pupils. Independent of need or ability, through the curriculum and/or extracurricular activities.

The Science faculty engages pupils at an early age in the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Focusing on a combination of practical study, working scientifically, applications in Science, scientific literacy and numeracy development. Ensuring a pupil’s core knowledge and understanding in preparation for their KS4 study and beyond is secure.

Curriculum

Our Key Stage 3 Science course enables us to create compelling and engaging lessons that promote learning for understanding through the ten big ideas in Science.

This approach enables pupils to develop their knowledge, from understanding (‘knowing’ facts, key words and scientific terms) to application (being able to use their understanding to explain and describe) and finally mastery in which a pupil demonstrates a secure understanding of both content and working scientifically skills in unfamiliar contexts.

Science

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This is achieved through our spiral designed curriculum which allows pupils to develop an understanding of the big ideas within a number of different contexts throughout Key Stage 3.

Each big idea contains four threads that build in difficulty and promote understanding of smaller ideas to ones which are more complex and abstract in preparation for GCSE (KS4).

Throughout a pupil’s secondary Science experience, working scientifically plays a key part alongside other key mindsets.

Working scientifically gets pupils working in the ways of a professional scientist. Allowing pupils to explicitly focus on a particular skill at any one time and through clearly related science content. The key scientific skills that we promote are: Communication (constructing explanations, communicating ideas, critiquing claims and justifying opinions) Solving, (estimating risks, examining consequences, interrogating sources and understanding how scientific ideas change over time), Analysis, (presenting data, analysing patterns, drawing conclusions and discussing limitations) and finally Enquiry, (devising questions, testing hypotheses, planning to control variables and collecting data).

Alongside the working scientifically skills are a number of other mindsets that are also advocated such as creativity, integrity, objectivity, open-mindedness and curiosity.

Creativity is the mindset of seeking relevant and innovative ways to solve a problem; integrity is the mindset of communicating data and information with honesty; objectivity relies on using data and or information to validate observations and explanations fairly; open-mindedness requires the mindset of understanding that all evidence is speculative and that views may need to change if other evidence comes to light and finally curiosity the mindset of wanting to explore the world and question what is found.

The KS4 curriculum is studied over two years in Years 10 and 11 and is linked to the pathway that the pupil studies.

Year 10 (2016-2018)
All exams are taken in Year 11 and will be awarded from the new grading system of 9 -1.
Route 1:   AQA Combined Science Trilogy (8464).
Pupils will be awarded two GCSEs after completing six exams. Further information can be found at:
http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464

Route 2: AQA Separate Science:
Biology (8461), Chemistry (8462) and Physics (8643). pupils will take six exams and be awarded three individual GCSEs.
Further information can be found at:
www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461
www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462
www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463

Year 11 (2016-2017)
Having already completed Core Science pupils will continue their studies with AQA Additional Science (4408). In which they will be awarded a grade from A*- G in summer 2017 after completing one piece of coursework and three exams. http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/additional-science-4408

Enrichment

Falinge Park High School has become the first school in the country to be awarded the Excellence in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) accolade in June 2016 by the Museum of Science & Industry. This award is for several enrichment projects which brought together Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in order to inspire students to look more closely at career prospects in these industries. We aim to create a Compelling Learning Experience at Falinge and STEM embraces this.
Alongside our curriculum, our enrichment opportunities develop students as inquisitive thinkers, researchers, team players and leaders, challenging their natural curiosity of the world around them.
Activities may vary to reflect advancements in Science and technology reported in the media. However, opportunities that students have taken part in include:

  • Meet the scientist. Different scientists working across a range of scientific industries are invited in to talk about their route into their particular field.
  • Visits/Road shows by the STEM Ambassadors – MOSI
  • Science Stars trip to Manchester University, gives year 9 students a taste of university life, taking part in hands on science such as having the opportunity to carry out ‘blood’ tests to diagnose diabetes, search for alien life, build a model brain and find out more about the organisms that live in our gut. They also attend a lecture. This year’s lecture was on sports physiology, learning how athletes can use science to help them win Olympic gold medals.
  • The Tim Peake Rocket Science challenge, part of a national space biology experiment to grow rocket plants from seeds that have been into space
  • Professional Laboratory experience at the University of Manchester.
    Women of Wonder event – highlighted and celebrated women who are making a difference in the fields of science and engineering at The University of Manchester.
  • STEM club – We provide pupils with a range of fun activities and competitions for all year groups which allow them to develop practical skills, to explore scientific ideas and to enjoy Science. The activities completed in STEM club would not normally be done in lessons and sometimes uses specialist equipment not found at home. For example we have made hexx bugs, magnetic slime, non-Newtonian fluid, candy chromatography and much much more! The club has been running successfully every week for three years.
  • Young Scientist – students are identified in year 7 and given the opportunity to develop their Scientific enquiry skills, as well as confidence and communication. They undertake a number of practicals which relate to the real world and finish off the programme by presenting their newly acquired skills to family, friends and staff members during a small presentation evening.
  • Bronze Crest Award – students are given the opportunity to explore real-world science, technology, engineering and maths projects such as fun at the fair, space exploration and fraud detection. students are encouraged to take ownership of their projects; which they choose in an area they find relevant and enjoyable. This allows students to build essential skills and demonstrate personal achievement, as well as gaining an award that is recognised by UCAS and the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
  • Wind Turbine Project that involves research, design and construction of a fully functioning wind turbine to produce electricity.
  • Royal Society of Chemistry’s Global Experiment to find out the best conditions for growing crystals.
    Revision clubs are offered after school and are designed to support students in developing their knowledge and understanding as well as preparing them for their examinations.

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