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SCIENCE


Teaching Staff

  • Dr A Shepherd, PhD BSc PGCE (Subject Leader)
  • Mrs G McAlonan, BSc PGCE
  • Miss E Shaw, BSc PGCE
  • Mr D McClelland, BEng PGCE
  • Mrs A Dempsey, BSc PGCE
  • Mrs D Gunning, BSc MEd PGCE
  • Mrs J Cruikshank, BSc ATCL PGCE
  • Mrs T Kennedy BSc PGCE
  • Mrs A Cummings, BSc (Science Technician)

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

 

Science is subject that helps satisfy the basic curiosity that we are born with. It helps us explain and understand the world we live in and is an ever evolving subject.

The study of Science is for everyone as we all now face decisions that hinge on science. An understanding of Science and the ability to think scientifically is essential in a society that now requires a scientifically literate population at all levels. At Slemish College we aim to make Science relevant, enjoyable and fun through a skills based and practical approach at all levels.

At Key Stage 3 all students follow the NI Curriculum using teacher prepared booklets or material over 6 periods per fortnight. This is taught by one teacher is classes of 20 to allow maximum support and opportunity for students. Key stage 3 Science develops lifelong skills alternating between Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics throughout the year.

All staff have access to video and computer resources and use many animations and interactive quizzes to increases understanding. Practical work is an essential aspect of the course and we expect most classes to carry out on average one science practical per week.

All KS3 students complete two sets of internal examinations and 3 Core Assessments throughout the year.

 

GCSE

 

We recommend that all students study a GCSE Science based course at GCSE level as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) qualifications are in highly valued. STEM based careers are in demand with 58% of new jobs being STEM related and 72% of businesses relying on people with STEM skills.*

               * http://www.wherestemcantakeyou.co.uk/docs/Why_STEM_Careers.pdf

The following Science based courses are currently offered at GCSE level, with the majority of students choosing GCSE Core and Additional Science.

  • GCSE Core & Additional Science (2 GCSEs through AQA)
  • GCSE Core Science (1 GCSE through AQA)
  • GCSE Space Science (1 vocational GCSE through CCEA)

All students wishing to continue to further education are advised to study 2 GCSEs in Science as part of a varied GCSE foundation. At GCSE we aim to teach the course through subject specialists in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

GCSE Core & Additional Science is 25% coursework based. The coursework element consists of a research element, two school based exams (provided by AQA) and a practical element. This normally takes place during a coursework day and incorporates a number of Science lessons both before and after the coursework day.

GCSE Space Science is 100% coursework based with students producing a portfolio. This is currently offered through our Technology Department.

 

A Level

 

All students wishing to enter a STEM career are advised to study at least one Science A level. Science A levels are essential for careers in Chemical Sciences, Medical Sciences, Material Sciences, Engineering, Environmental Sciences, Agricultural Studies and Geological Sciences. A level Science is also useful in many other careers such as Accountancy, Business, Architecture or Law.

The following Science A levels are offered:

  • A level Biology (AQA)
  • A level Chemistry (AQA)
  • A level Physics (AQA)

A levels are taught by subject specialists, with the course usually being split between 2 teachers.

Each A level has a coursework element known as an ISA (Investigative Skills Assessment) worth approximately 10%. This is a school based exam, provided by AQA, based on both course material and a practical carried out in class. ISA's take place in March each year. 

 

Extra Curricular

  • Weekly after School revision classes for GCSE classes are offered from February.
  • Teachers often organise revision sessions or days for A level and GCSE classes.
  • We offer further support through our twitter feed and have arranged dedicated videos on our YouTube playlist.
  • We are holding a 'building towers' inter house competition for KS3.
  • We offer trips to events and welcome science speakers into school throughout the year.

Homework & Core Assessments

At Key Stage 3 students are expected to spend 20-30 minutes on each homework. Teachers will set differentiated homework tasks 2-3 times per week. At the end of each unit studied students will complete a unit test (7-8 per year).

Throughout the year all Key Stage 3 students will complete 3 Core Assessments. In Year 9 one of these will be a 'Using Maths' task which will be used to assess their mathematical skills across the curriculum.

At GCSE students will be given homework after every lesson and are expected to spend 30-45 minutes on this. At the end of each unit students will complete a unit test based on past paper GCSE questions.

At A level students will be given homework after every lesson and are expected to spend 45-60 minutes on this. In addition students must continue with their independent study to ensure their understanding of the course is thorough. Students will complete tests regularly throughout the year, as well as 'spot tests, using past paper exam questions.

 

Links

Slemish Science Twitter
www.twitter.com/SlemishScience
YouTube - SlemishScience Playlist for Y8-Y14
Subscribe to the SlemishScience channel
www.youtube.com/channel/UCcyY2cSeuAwTddelreS50WA/playlists
Quizlet - Quizzes for Y12-Y14
www.quizlet.com
Sign up and search for SlemishScience
BBC Bitesize - Revision
www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z7nygk7
delicious - useful weblinks for Y13-14
www.delcious.com. @SlemishScience