Science

Plymstock School Science Department

The Science department provides excellent teaching of a subject which encompasses everyday life.  The study of Science fires students’ curiosity about phenomena in the world around them and beyond.  It offers opportunities to find explanations, engaging learners at all levels, linking direct practical experience with scientific ideas.  Experimentation and modelling are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thought.

Science Department intent

The Science department is committed to providing a Science curriculum that conveys to our students that Science underpins everything in the world around them.  We match our curriculum to the abilities and aspirations of our students, to give every child the opportunity to strive for personal excellence in Science whilst staff ensure that they have the highest expectations for each student.  Our curriculum will allow all students to be stretched and challenged through appropriate extension and extra-curricular opportunities, whilst also supporting those who may be struggling by giving targeted support to embed skills and knowledge.  Our curriculum is delivered using methods proven by evidence based research to improve the outcomes for students.

By the end of their Science journey students will have developed a scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and are able to carry out practicals purposefully, skilfully and safely whilst being able to apply their scientific knowledge to the practical.  Students will use mathematical skills to carry out calculations and draw graphs, analysing data and looking for patterns and trends.  The Science curriculum encourages independent learners who can plan, monitor and evaluate their learning whilst also teaching the skills needed to be cooperative, thus building relationships with both peers and adults to promote learning communities within the Science department.

Who teaches Science?

There are 14 Science teachers specialising in Biology, Chemistry or Physics and 12 well-equipped Science laboratories and a Computer Room.  The department is able to attract well qualified specialist teaching and support staff.  Lessons are taught by an outstanding team of experienced and newly qualified teachers who are passionate about their subjects.

We are a well-resourced department and have two fantastic technicians.

What do students study?

Students follow a five to seven year journey based on the National Curriculum with an emphasis on scientific skills such as planning experiments, making observations, representing data graphically and drawing conclusions.  They learn how knowledge and understanding in Science is rooted in evidence and how and why these ideas change over time.

Our students discover how scientific ideas contribute to technological change – affecting industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life.  They trace the development of Science worldwide and recognise its cultural significance.  They learn to question and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of societies and the future of the world.

All students will achieve at least 2 GCSEs in Combined Science by the time they complete Year 11; those for whom it is suitable are given the opportunity to take separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs.  At post-16 we offer A-Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

How will our students‘ progress be assessed?

Students will be awarded a Plymstock pathway at the end of every end-of-topic assessment.  Students are provided with knowledge organisers for each topic in order to make home learning as stress-free as possible.  Students regularly assess themselves and their peers which enables learning and focuses on how to improve and reach their potential.  Detailed feedback will be given to students each term based on their topic test or a specific skill.  If students are not making expected progress, then teachers will work closely with students and parents to offer support.

In Years 10 and 11 students will be focused on their GCSEs, in Years 12 and 13 on their A levels, and they will be given an estimated grade at regular points throughout the year.

What enrichment activities are available to students?

We offer an after-school Science Club with Dr Burdett which links Science to the “real world” in an exciting and practical way, extending students’ understanding and enjoyment of the subject.

The Science Department works to ensure that all students get as many opportunities as possible in and out of the classroom to develop their interest and understanding in the world around them and to give them the skills to help them succeed in everything they choose to do.

During National Science Week guest speakers entertain, inspire and inform students and STEM ambassadors run workshops to further enrich students’ scientific experiences.  The Science Department hopes that all students are inspired to be curious and ask questions about their world because of the many opportunities they will receive in and out of the classroom and develop a self-belief that they can succeed, because of the skills and knowledge they have gained, in an unknown but exciting future.