Science at Wilsthorpe aims to enable students to acquire and develop the key concepts of scientific knowledge and skills. We want our students to be curious and ask questions about the world around them, to develop their scientific thinking to enable them to understand the uses and implications of science. We want to inspire students to take a lifelong interest in science and to have an appreciation of how Science impacts our daily lives.
Our curriculum is designed around the central concepts of knowledge and skills that are developed at all key stages of the students’ education. This helps us build resilience in the students as it allows them to build a firm foundation of knowledge and revisit challenging concepts to deepen and expand knowledge and skills. The department develops the understanding of concepts through establishing prior knowledge, developing knowledge through high quality explanations, allowing time for practice and embedding knowledge and feedback.
KS3 has been designed as a foundation for GCSE, without streamlining it to just cover GCSE pre-requisites, but to develop students’ curiosity and inspire students within Science. The KS3 curriculum enables all students to continue to pursue their passions in Science and raise aspirations to work towards the option of separate sciences at Year 10.
Year 7 starts with the fundamentals of the key concepts that run through the curriculum, building on concepts from Key Stage 2. These include an understanding of the building blocks of life and the world around us and how forces can explain how spaceships take off.
Year 8 continues the key concepts by expanding the knowledge of cells to how these are specialised within organ systems such as digestion or understanding how atomic structure can help explain metal reactions.
The Science Faculty offers two courses at KS4 so that students are able to follow a course best suited to their abilities and enable them to succeed.
AQA Combined (Trilogy) Science:
Students follow the AQA GCSE Combined (Trilogy) Specification leading to a Double Award in Science, the equivalent of two GCSE grades. Students continue on a spiralled curriculum that allows students to develop the key concepts from Key Stage 3 and further expand these to have a detailed understanding. By ensuring the concepts are revisited it allows us the develop effective retrieval techniques and secure knowledge and understanding in the concepts.
AQA Separate GCSE Science:
Able students who may wish to study Science further follow separate Physics, Chemistry and Biology courses examined at the end of Year 11 leading to three separate GCSE grades. The curriculum follows a similar pattern to those studying Combined Science Award, but in some cases, there is additional material within topics or completely separate topics.
At KS5 pupils can opt for either a traditional A-level route or one of two Vocational Applied Science routes.
Biology, Chemistry or Physics AS and A-Level:
Students follow the AQA GCE courses for A-Level Sciences. Assessment is 100% exam. AS-Level Sciences last one year, with exams at the end. A-level Sciences last two years, with exams at the end of the second year. There is no coursework on this course, however performance during practical work will be assessed. There are three exams at the end of the two years for A-Level, all of which are two hours long. At least 15% of the marks for A-Level Sciences are based on what has been learned in practical lessons. The AS has two exams at the end of the year. Both are 1 hour 30 minutes long.
Biology Chemistry Physics
Foundation Diploma in Applied Science (Forensic Science):
The course is based around some core units in Applied Science. Here, study includes some of the fundamental scientific ideas and developing the skills necessary to work in a Laboratory and the Science based industry. The course is assessed through a combination of coursework and externally set assessments.
National Extended Certificate in Applied Human Biology:
This course gives students a broad understanding of biological principles including cells, tissues and practical microbiology. It is ideal for students who thrive in an engaging and hands-on style of learning. The course is assessed through a combination of coursework and externally set assessments.