Science is about understanding all that is around you, whether it be explanations of the natural environment, how forces and energy interact, or what everything is actually made of. Students develop the skills of observing and recording evidence, finding and analysing patterns of data, and evaluating the reliability of results. Alongside practical skills, students use ICT skills to research important information about materials and the earth (Chemistry), energy and forces (Physics) and all variety of life as well as human health (Biology). Science at Brook Green Centre for Learning ensures that students are actively engaged in learning in the natural environment.
Science promotes and develops social and emotional aspects of learning such as the ability to work together as a team, to ask and answer questions confidently, and to share and see value in different opinions and points of view. Literacy is reinforced in every lesson and numeracy is enhanced within every practical task.
Key Stage 3
In Key Stage 3 the course is written to meet the requirements of The National Curriculum and is divided into units lasting from two to six weeks. The topics covered in year seven include Being a Scientist, Particles, Cells, Electricity, Solutions, Plants, Forces, and Acids & Alkalis. The topics covered in year eight include Elements and Compounds, Chemical Reaction, Space & Solar System, Waves, Reproduction, Respiration, Ecosystems and the Earth’s Energy. Year 9 offers the following topics: How the Body Works, Atoms, Elements & Compounds, Properties & Structure of Matter, Energy Transfers & Energy Resource, and Forces.
Throughout the Year 7, 8 and 9 topics, elements of the KS4 courses are introduced, and much of the work (particularly from Year 9) will contribute towards the KS4 practical coursework portfolios, enabling more flexibility and practical work in Years 10 & 11. Students also take Entry Level exams at the end of each unit.
Key Stage 4
Beginning in Year 9, students work towards an Entry Level Science Certificate (AQA) to enable grounding of scientific principles. This involves exams across topics within Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Practical work is very important for success at all levels, and isdone using the Scientific Method, and practical, numerical and literacy skills are assesses through experimental investigation coursework. Progression from the single award Entry Level Certificate (ELC) can lead to different pathways depending on ability or need. These include:
- Entry into a double award for the ELC, with three additional exams and three additional assessed pieces of practical and written coursework.
- Further work on the single award for the ELC in order to enhance understanding, improve coursework and allow for higher levels to be reached within the single award.
- Entry into GCSE Combined Science: Synergy (AQA)
(Please click on the link below to see more detail of the curriculum on offer)
Practical Skills are the most appropriate way to assess Key Stage 3 work. This tends to guide assessment of Chemistry, Biology and Physics, as well as class discussions and ICT skills. End-of-Unit tests are also given in Key Stage 3 as further preparation to Key Stage 4 requirements. Assessment of skills and conceptual knowledge occurs across Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Assessment incorporates thinking scientifically, reinforces social and emotional aspects of learning such as communication, collaboration and team-building. Practical skill assessment allows for an accurate yet individual assessment. Science assessment at Brook Green Centre for Learning opens up a dialogue between the teacher and learner, which continues through KS4.
As the needs of students are differentiated and the values of qualifications change, so the science department endeavours to evolve. The Science Department at BGCFL actively seeks the most appropriate schemes, programmes and examination boards to enable students to achieve the awards that they deserve most.