What Is Science?
Science is the pursuit of understanding the natural world in which we live. It has three key disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics with a united goal to enhance the lives of people all around the world. The understanding of scientific concepts leads to the acquisition of new technology which has a profound effect on the health and wellbeing of those who can access it. Finally, Science has a huge role in the future of all people as scientists strive to find solutions to the big challenges facing the planet; challenges such as global warming and sustainable energy. We endeavour to promote this awareness of the significance of Science in our students. As well as gaining scientific understanding, students also learn investigative skills such as planning, collecting data and analysing and reflecting, to enable them to test out their own ideas and question the validity of their findings.
At Key Stage 3:
During Year 7, students are introduced to the Science laboratory and taught important skills that will enable them to carry out practical work safely at Cynffig. They study and investigate a range of topics such as Cells, Elements, Solids, Liquids and Gases, Acids and Alkalis, Simple Circuits, Energy and Photosynthesis. The emphasis is on Practical Science in Year 7.
In Year 8, students are taught a range of topics that include Classification and Biodiversity, Sound and Light, Speed and Force, Microbes and Health, Simple Chemical Reactions, Separating Techniques and The Rock Cycle. They include many elements of science from different areas, to engage pupils by placing Science in context. Again, the emphasis is on safe investigative work.
In Year 9, students complete the KS3 Programme of Study and begin work for Double Award GCSE Science. Elements of the Science GCSE’s are taught to allow for a smooth transition from KS3 to KS4. Students are taught a range of topics from the Biology, Physics and Chemistry parts of the GCSE Double Award Science Specification. These topics may be re-visited in Years 10 and 11.
KS3 is assessed through investigative skills (such as planning, collecting data, analysing and reflecting) where they focus on bias and reliability. Topic Tests are also used to test the scientific knowledge that students have acquired throughout the Programme of Study. Students will be encouraged to put more detail and depth into their investigations as they progress through KS3 and, to acquire a deeper knowledge and understanding of the principles and ideas of science.
At Key Stage 4:
All students follow Double Award GCSE Science (2 GCSE’s) when they have specialist teachers for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This course builds upon the knowledge and skills acquired at KS3. It will provide a route to studying Science at AS/A2 level.
The Double Award GCSE Science course is assessed through separate examinations in the 3 disciplines (each worth 30%) with a Controlled Assessment investigation worth 10%. Exams are taken at the end of year 10 for the first GCSE and in Year 11 for the second GCSE. Each of the question papers, in all subject disciplines, have a mixture of short- and long-answer questions. Examples of these questions will be provided in Topic Tests taken throughout the Year 9, 10 and 11 courses.
The Department runs a Science Revision Club prior to examinations to support students in their learning at KS4. The Department runs a ‘Science’ Club’ for KS3 students. Here they can meet to discuss specific interests and share their enthusiasm for the subject.