Science at Winchcombe School is based around the founding principles of our school. (ASPIRES)
We believe that science should be relevant to pupils and should not be seen as isolated school study. Science underpins the understanding of the world we live in and the understanding of scientific concepts allows pupils to grow up at the crest of technological developments.
Our programme of study progresses throughout key-stage 3 and 4. Assessments are carefully designed to develop the skills pupils need for GCSE. We build on knowledge and understanding of key concepts as well as thinking skills and hands on practical experience.
Our curriculum is based around The National Curriculum, supported by Pearson’s Exploring Science 7, 8 and 9 and Oxford GCSE Kerboodle. At GCSE we follow the AQA Combined Trilogy and the AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics specifications. Our lessons are created to inspire curiosity and engage pupils in practical, hands on science. In return we expect pupils to learn scientific terms and develop their understanding of scientific concepts whilst applying these to familiar and unfamiliar situations. AQA GCSE curriculum allows us to teach as separate sciences for our more able pupils, combined trilogy to give pupils a breadth of study across all three scientific disciplines and Entry level certificate to support our foundation learners. This is combined with extra time for our most able pupils and our foundation learner’s, helps support pupils in a curriculum that meets their needs.
A core of lessons has been pre prepared to support teaching of the GCSE science curriculums. Teachers have differentiated resources and scaffold learning to enable pupils to achieve the best of their ability.
Key Stage 3 – The lessons show a progression in terms of building knowledge and applying skills to the topic of study. In addition to this, each topic introduces a literacy skill related to the science they are studying and a working scientifically skill that helps pupils apply the science to an everyday example.
Key Stage 4 – Each subject discipline follows a route through the course that is sequenced to help build the best understanding of the subject matter. Usually at GCSE there is an underlying concept that follows through the topic or sequence of topics. Whilst literacy is not directly taught at GCSE, IMPROVE cards are used to support 6 mark questions and exam technique is taught as an integral part of the topic.
At Key Stage 3 work is assessed in a number of ways.
- Tests – modified assessments to meet the needs of our curriculum.
- Tasks – Written assessments based on a prescribed marking criteria to summarise the works covered in the topic.
- Practical Assessments – The development of practical skills based on a prescribed criteria.
At GCSE each topic is concluded with an end of topic test using past exam questions on the area they have just studied.
Following each assessment, pupils complete a PAS sheet to review their understanding and evaluate their learning in that area.
Teachers use marking and pupil performance in assessments to evaluate and inform their teaching. In addition to this, teachers use department time to discuss, evaluate and refine the teaching across all years.
At GCSE, the most recent exam papers are utilised for Mock exams to represent an experience as close to the real thing as possible. In addition we support revision with a number of resources including past GCSE papers taken from the same specification that the pupils are sitting.
At KS3 pupils make good progress.
GCSE combined Science results have been above the national average for Grades 4+. This is evidence to support that out pupils are learning the content required for a grade 4+.
GCSE Biology results are above the national average for grade 4+ (100%).
GCSE Chemistry results are a little below national average for grade 4+ (83%).
GCSE Physics results are in line with the national average for grade 4+ (90%).