Science

Our department teaches the Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics of the course separately, using a variety of teaching styles and a well-structured, differentiated curriculum.

We strive to maximise every students' learning potential through flexibility in the delivery method of material and a hands-on approach wherever possible. The use of guest speakers, trips out and our beautiful environment is taken advantage of as often as we can.

Year 9

Complete their Key Stage 3 course by the end of the Autumn Term, through a series of Units, Assessment Tasks and Investigations. Students then begin the Edexcel GCSE course on their return from the Christmas break.

Year 10

Students will take a GCSE in Science or an Entry Level Certificate in Science.

The GCSE course is modular and for year 10, consists of the ‘Core Science’ parts of the course.

Examinations are taken at the end of the two-year course in Year 11, with two papers being sat for each subject area, 2 each for Chemistry, Biology and Physics.

A mock paper for each subject is taken in May and is sent to the Examination Board for marking. The result is used to support the student with their studies in Year 11, but does not go towards their final grade.

Whilst there is no coursework aspect to this course, there is a set of compulsory science practical tasks, set at regular intervals during the year. These help to strengthen the students’ knowledge of the theory, whilst providing them with opportunities to gain value practical skills.

The Entry Level Certificate is perfect for students not requiring a GCSE in Science for any further education and who may benefit from a less pressured, non-exam based course. All examination is internal and the pace will be student led. Consultation with parents would take place if it was felt that this course would be more suitable for a child than GCSE.

Year 11

Commence studying the ‘Additional Science’ part of the course, that builds on knowledge acquired in the first year. The course has the same structure to that taken in Year 10.

The structure of the course means that the students are prepared to leave with two GCSE's in Science and some leave with an Entry Level Certificate.

Our department works closely with each student to help them to achieve and realise their potential. KS4 students are issued a Target Grade that reflects the grade that we feel they COULD achieve.... this can be amended if necessary but aims to motivate! All students are provided with relevant, engaging and suitable course material and the level at which they perform is constantly yet discreetly monitored and shared with each student.

We teach in 3 specialised Labs/Classrooms.

We have 3 full time and 1-part time teaching members of staff in our Department and a Lab Technician.

Students at Shapwick with dyslexia do not find science more difficult than students in mainstream schools; any challenges in literacy and numeracy are usually overcome by using alternative methods to illustrate concepts, models and other kinaesthetic methods to describe scientific processes, whist adjusting teaching methods to better meet their individual needs.

The use of IT to support their learning is actively encouraged, such as text-2-speech, word processing and speech-2-text software. Both our KS3 and KS4 courses include online access to interactive text books that bring the material to life, making learning more interesting, more accessible and fun!

Students are provided with a range of opportunities to practice their scientific skills through small, relaxed classes.

Science GCSE

Exam Board: EDEXCEL

Year 10 Grades 1 - 9

Biology 1

Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
Topic 2 – Cells and control
Topic 3 – Genetics
Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification
Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines

Chemistry 1

Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures
Topic 3 –Chemical changes
Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria

Physics 1

Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
Topic 2 – Motion and forces
Topic 3 – Conservation of energy
Topic 4 – Waves
Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
Topic 6 – Radioactivity

Written, externally assessed paper on each of the above, Paper 1, 3 and 5, 1 hour and 10 minutes each, which account for 16.67% of the final mark – sat at the end of Year 11.

Compulsory Practical Tasks – these do not contribute to the final mark, but confirmation by the Headteacher that they have been completed is required to be awarded this qualification.

Additional Science GCSE

Year 11 Grades 1 - 9

Biology 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions
Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals
Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

Chemistry 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table
Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes
Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science

Physics 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
Topic 8 – Energy - Forces doing work
Topic 9 – Forces and their effects
Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits
Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect
Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction
Topic 14 – Particle model
Topic 15 – Forces and matter

Written externally assessed paper on each of the above, Paper 2, 4 and 6, which account for 16.67% of the final mark – sat at the end of Year 11.

Compulsory Practical Tasks – these do not contribute to the final mark, but confirmation by the Headteacher that they have been completed is required to be awarded this qualification.

Students must take both GCSE’s, and gain two GCSE grades. Unlike previous years, there is no option to take just the ‘core’ part of the course.

All 3 of Biology, Chemistry and Physics are studied throughout the year, consisting 2 hours each a week (Total 6 hours of Science teaching a week). Each Science is taught by one specialist teacher. The subject material is delivered with an emphasis on skills and techniques embedded into our teaching; revision tools, keywords and their use, decoding exam questions, practical skills

The GCSE examination system is now linear. Students sit 6 papers for the units above in the Summer Term of Year 11 and awarded in the August of that year.

Structured revision sessions take place prior to exams and mocks are held in November and at Easter.

Information about all of these can be found on the Edexcel website

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/sciences-2016.html