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Science

'Don't let anyone rob you of your imagination, your creativity, or your curiosity.  It's your place in the world: it's your life.'

Mae Jemison, Engineer, Physician and Former NASA Astronaut

At Park School for Girls, Science is taught with the aim of preparing our pupils for the future because Science is everywhere in today’s world. It is part of our daily lives.

Science is not all about learning lots of facts and information essential for a future career in Science, it is also about the development of many valuable life skills which are applicable across many careers.

For example:

Analysis: Scientists are not the only professionals who need to be able to analyse a large amount of information in a concise way.

Problem solving / creative thinking: Scientists, like many other professionals, often need to find solutions to complicated problems. Logical thinking skills are enhanced because at the basis of science is a system of thought and experiment called the scientific method. Pupils start with an idea, create a concrete way to prove or disprove their idea, and objectively show what they learned. Seeing the relationship between evidence and theory helps pupils think critically.

Practical skills, incorporating an awareness of health and safety: Risk management is an integral part of the working life of all professions

Science creates a desire to learn because children are inquisitive and science offers lots to explore. Nothing makes a child take notice like the “WOW!” of a great scientific fact.

Science naturally links to many aspects of other subjects. Science cannot be studied for very long without applying principles of mathematics! An interest in science is an interest in how things were once understood compared to how they are understood now so studying science lends itself easily to studying history. Writing becomes a crucial part of science as ideas, evidence and theories need to be explained.

It is important that as we prepare our pupils as the next generation of consumers, voters, creators, and policy makers. It is important to ensure they are not afraid of science and they appreciate how it impacts daily life. Within our Science lessons, aspects of Science in the news form integral parts of conversations to enable pupils to link what they are learning to the ‘real- world’.

Finally, it must be added that the Science department enjoy taking many trips to extend pupil’s knowledge beyond the classroom e.g. Epping forest, Centre of the Cell, GCSE Science live, Paradise Wildlife Park, and New Scientist Live.

Active engagement in Science events and competitions is also encouraged e.g. British Science Week, In school science inter house competition, Shell Science, Physics and Biology challenge.

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Years 7 to 9

In Years 7 to 9 we want pupils to foster an enjoyment of learning whilst learning key principle that form the foundation for detailed academic studies of GCSE Science in Years 10 and 11.

Pupils in Years 7 and 8 have 4 science lessons a week, two with one science teacher and the other two with another science teacher. In these lessons they are taught key principles in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Active learning through practicals, demonstrations and project work is encouraged.

The senior Science department is well resourced and fortunate to have three specialist teachers with their own labs. From Year 9, pupils are taught in subject specific Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons by the relevant specialist Science teacher.

In Year 9, pupils have 5 Science lessons a week. The focus is to consolidate learnings from Years 7 and 8 and then expand upon them by introducing aspects of the Science GCSE syllabus. This enable pupils to gain an understanding of how GCSE demands differ from KS3 demands so they can be better informed when taking their GCSE options towards the end of Year 9 As GCSE Combined Science is a core subject, and GCSE Separate Science is optional.

Years 10 and 11 

In Years 10 and 11, pupils are taught in classes of either GCSE Combined Science or GCSE Separate Science. They are again taught by the individual specialist Science teachers. GCSE Combined Science pupils have 6 Science lessons a week, two per topic. GCSE Separate Science pupils have nine lessons a week, three per topic. The pupils are well supported by the provision of revision resources and teacher support and this is reflected in the Science department’s consistent achievement of excellent GCSE results.