Science

The teaching programmes in Science are designed to develop a broad range of practical skills and processes, an understanding of scientific concepts and an awareness of the importance of Science in today’s society. 

Facilities

Science lessons are taught in twelve modern laboratories, fully equipped for all school practical activities.

A level Biology

Course details

The AQA course content is split into 8 modules. The modules can be summarised as:

Module 1- Biological molecules

Module 2 - Cells

Module 3- Organisms exchange substances with their environment

Module 4- Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

Module 5- Energy transfers in and between organisms

Module 6 - Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments

Module 7- Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems

Module 8- The control of gene expression

The practical endorsement does not form part of the A level grade, but is reported separately. It is awarded based on completion of a minimum of 12 assessed practical activities carried out over the two years of the course.
Link to course specification

Assessment

The full A level is examined in 3 papers  (weighted 35%, 35% and 30% respectively)

Enrichment opportunities

This year Year 13 students will take part in a field trip to Wales, where they will carry out identification of organisms and measuring biodiversity and distributions. This is a 3 day residential trip where revision for the exams will also take place.

We also ask A level students to take part in GCSE Biology lessons which provides excellent experience of explaining biological concepts to KS4 students. This helps tremendously in your own consolidation and knowledge. 

Student quotes

“It is a great course as you get to understand the main processes of life”

“I love the course because you learn about so many different topics, it is very varied and interesting”

“The world finally starts to make sense!”

 “There are so many resources and the teachers give a lot of their time so it makes this hard A level seem much easier”

Progression

A level Biology is regarded as a rigorous and broad subject. It can used as a springboard for many careers. Studying A level Biology gives you all sorts of exciting career options, including biological research, ecological and environmental careers, marine conservation, medicine, pharmacy, dentistry, pharmacology and teaching. The list is endless!

 

A level Chemistry

Course Details

The OCR A Chemistry course teaches not only the essential chemical concepts, but also a range of analytical and practical skills, which prepare students for more advanced scientific study.  The course also studies some of the important applications of Chemistry such as the development of antibiotics, designer materials, pesticides, and chemical dyes.

During Year 12, students complete four modules of study:

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry

Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry

Module 3 – Periodic table and energy

Module 4 – Core organic chemistry

This is followed by a further two modules in Year 13:

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements

Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis

Over the two years of the course, students also complete a practical endorsement (this is reported separately from the overall A level grade) by undertaking a minimum of 12 assessed practical assignments.

 
Link to course specification  

Assessment

A level Chemistry is assessed through three exam papers:

Paper 1 (2¼ hours) assesses modules 1, 2, 3 and 5 and is worth 37% of the marks.

Paper 2 (2¼ hours) assesses modules 1, 2, 4 and 6 and is worth 37% of the marks.

Paper 3 (1½ hours) assesses all six modules and is worth 26% of the marks.

 

Enrichment opportunities

In addition to various visits and visitors, students studying A level Chemistry have opportunities to complete placements in a number of scientific, engineering, medical and educational fields.

A level students also have opportunities to collaborate with and support younger students, both in class and in other activities.  These may include Science Club, Crest Awards, Science Festival and other events or competitions.

 

Progression

A level Chemistry is essential for entry into medicine and many medical related careers.  It can also provide a pathway into engineering, the food and drink industries, energy research, materials sciences, environmental sciences, manufacturing and many other careers.

The broad range of investigative and analytical skills that are developed in the study of Chemistry also make it a qualification that is valued and respected for many non-scientific career pathways.

 

 

A level Physics

Course details

We teach the OCR Physics A specification which has a concept-led approach designed to inspire students, developing your interest in and enthusiasm for Physics and aiming to develop an interest in further study and careers associated with Physics.

The modules can be summarised as:

· Module 1 – Development of practical skills

· Module 2 – Foundations of physics

· Module 3 – Forces and motion

· Module 4 – Electrons, waves and photons

· Module 5 – Newtonian world and astrophysics

· Module 6 – Particles and medical physics

The Practical Endorsement does not form part of the A level grade, but is reported separately. It is awarded based on completion of a minimum of 12 assessed practical activities carried out over the two years of the course.

Link to course specification

Assessment

The full A level is examined in 3 papers (two 2½ hour papers each worth 37% of the marks and one 1½ hour worth 26%).

Enrichment opportunities

We aim to organise a Physics related trip in both Year 12 and Year 13.  In 2016 we visited the Rutherford Appleton laboratories in Didcot to take part in a Particle Physics Masterclass and in 2015 we took a group to UCL in London for a packed day of physics lectures with a range of speakers (which included Mark Miodownick who often appears on BBC Science programmes).

We also ask students to assist in GCSE Physics classes which provides excellent experience of explaining physics concepts to KS4 students and can also help consolidate your knowledge and understanding.

Student quotes

“The best thing about Physics is the practical lessons and learning how the world around us works.”

 “You have to work hard outside of class, but there are lots of resources and help available from the teachers.”

Progression

A level Physics is a highly regarded qualification because of its rigour and demanding nature.  It can lead you on to a wide range of careers and university courses.  From Physics degrees or degrees in a particular area of Physics (e.g. astrophysics, electronics, medical physics, lasers, quantum physics), to other related subjects such as engineering, meteorology, space, telecommunications, energy, finance or business management.

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