Science at Yewlands Academy has a dedicated and supportive ethos with an unrivalled sense of team spirit. We are committed to teaching and learning and aim to promote innovative practice, both in terms of our teaching and our use of practical activities to enhance learning.
The Science Department encompasses a highly motivated team of teachers and a technician who work together to provide enriched and memorable learning experiences for our students. We believe that we can only succeed by unlocking the potential of the individual student and are directed by asking “How can we best support our students to achieve their potential?” To this end we aim to always provide good and outstanding teaching and learning. This is reflected in the creativity with our planning allowing pupils to develop transferable skills, cross curricular links, build their learning power and embrace new technologies.
We recognize that some pupils will encounter barriers to their achievement, but when this occurs, our collective responsibility and accurate data will allow us to implement effective intervention, enabling those pupils to still reach their potential.
We always welcome feedback on our efforts and suggestions for improvement and are developing our use of ‘student voice’.
An understanding of our personal and departmental strengths and areas requiring development will enable us to build a supportive ‘open door’ culture where all staff are involved in regular observations and training.
Programme of Study – Key Stage 3
Throughout Y7 an Y8 students at Yewlands have 3 lessons of science each week. These lessons cover a wide variety of topics. Each year students will spend a third of their time on each of the three sciences. Pupils can expect to do both practical and more theoretical work. In year 7 they start by learning how to work safely in a science lab and go on to study topics such as particles, solutions, simple chemical reactions, space, electricity, magnets, cells, reproduction and ecosystems. In year 8 they will build on knowledge from year 7 studying the periodic table, genes & inheritance, speed and pressure among others. In year 9 students have 4 science lessons per week, shared between 2 teachers with the focus being on starting to cover students’ GCSE units. Topics include cells & organisation, atoms & bonding, and energy & electricity.
Programme of Study – Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4 in both Y10 and Y11 we 2 different pathways to suit student needs. It should be noted that students have a subject specialist in front of them for each route or pathway they take.
Students who excelled academically during Y7-Y9 have the option of studying the 3 Sciences separately to attain 3 GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We have an excellent record of our students progressing to study Sciences at A-level or equivalent as a result of high quality outcomes in these courses, often accepting university placements after Key Stage 5. This challenging pathway results in 6 x 1 hr 45min exams being taken by pupils at the end of Y11. The subject content will be changing for students who start their GCSE courses from September 2016, with the recent changes to GCSE assessments nationally.
From September 2016, the new Combined Science GCSEs are being followed by the majority of Y10 pupils at Yewlands, giving them 2 GCSE grades in these subjects. These students follow a programme that is roughly 75% the same as those who take the Science subjects separately, with 6 x 1hr exams at the end of Y11. Whilst the title of the qualification is different, lessons are still matched to subject specialist teachers in each area. Again, progression to A-levels and other post-16 qualifications is strong and pupils have a combined total of 6 exams at the end of Y11. There are now no coursework elements to either Science GCSE course following recent national changes.
Y11 students taking their GCSE exams in Summer 2017 will sit either Separate Science GCSEs (a total of 9 1 hour exams) or Core & Additional Science (a total of 6 1 hour exams). This is the last year where each science GCSE will comprise of 25% coursework.