Science

Director of Science: Mr P Wragg

Overview

Science at The Matthew Arnold School is delivered to all students from year 7 to year 11 through inspiring and engaging lessons based on the core scientific value of learning through experiment.  Lessons are constantly being developed to motivate and encourage learners to have a love for the world around us and the way in which it works.  The curriculum covers a broad range of exciting topics, develops enquiry skills and also provides opportunities for students to communicate their own views of national and worldwide scientific issues. There are six fully-equipped, modern science laboratories, which offer students the opportunity to explore science through experiments and demonstrations. All have interactive whiteboards to support learning.

Year 7

Year 7 students start their science experience by gaining core scientific skills that are required in order to engage with a highly practical and experiment-based curriculum.  They will engage with all three sciences: biology, chemistry and physics. Topics covered are:

  • An introduction to lab work
  • Analysing data
  • Cells
  • The particle model of matter
  • The periodic table
  • Variation
  • Forces
  • Reproduction
  • Electricity
  • Interdependence
  • Separating mixtures

Classes are initially mixed ability but may be set based upon topic tests and internal examinations.

Year 8

Students in year 8 continue to practise and develop their scientific skills with an increased focus on mathematical skills to prepare them for their GCSE topics the following year.  Again, all three sciences are studied and include the following topics:

  • Analysing data
  • Waves
  • Diseases
  • Bonding
  • Motion
  • Chemical reactions
  • Respiration
  • Earth’s resources
  • Acids/alkalis
  • Inheritance
  • Radioactivity
  • Evolution

Regular tests and end of year exams will determine the class that the students study in. At the end of year 8, students can opt to do either triple science (GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics) or combined science (a qualification worth two GCSEs covering all three subjects).
 

Years 9, 10 and 11

We start delivery of GCSE Science at the beginning of Year 9.

Students who have opted to follow the separate science route will study for GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics. Those that follow the combined science ‘trilogy’ route will study for a double award GCSE combining aspects of all three sciences.  We follow AQA’s specifications for both the separate and the combined sciences.  All students will complete a set of required practicals within lessons that have been designed to replace the controlled assessment aspect of the previous science GCSE. The scientific skills element of science is now incorporated into the exams taken at the end of year 11.  There is also an increased mathematical element that is tested within all papers of science.  We have developed our lessons so that students are given every opportunity to develop both their enquiry and numeracy skills.

The GCSE curriculum covers a wide range of topics which include:

  • Cell division
  • Communicable diseases
  • Genetics, crude oil
  • Earth’s resources
  • Motion and electricity

Homework

Homework in Science is designed to consolidate and develop students’ understanding in the classroom. The tasks set will be suited to a range of abilities to ensure that all students are challenged. Examples may include individual questions, exam practice and making scientific models.

Extra-Curricular

Students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities including science club, BP young scientist award, visits to Royal Holloway University and trips abroad.

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