Science

Teaching Staff - Helen Brewer and Julie Kirk

General Information

Science at Holgate Meadows covers a wide range of subject areas from the 3 main sciences: biology, chemistry and physics. Teaching methods include group work, teacher lead discussions, practical investigations, experiments and independent research. At Holgate Meadows we have a purpose built science laboratory where pupils can carry out practical experiments using Bunsen burners and other scientific equipment. A qualified laboratory assistant supports 2 experienced Science teachers by setting up practical activities and resources.

Science education at Holgate Meadows does not just take place in the classroom. Pupils are able to take part in a wide range of related cross-curricular activities including gardening, growing fruit and vegetables, environmental science and caring for animals. Pupils are able to see the practical examples of science in action in the school and wider environment. Pupils also build their confidence and interpersonal skills by working together in new environments are sharing in the excitement of scientific discoveries. Pupils are encouraged to work collaboratively and make their own discoveries under the supervision of staff.

Key Stage 3 Science

Year 8

At the start of Key Stage 3, pupils complete an introduction to science topic. This is where pupils are introduced to the safety rules of the lab and how to use specialist equipment safely, they then complete simple practical activities to apply their knowledge and show that they have understood and know how to apply them. This enables pupils to complete more practical activities as they can be trusted to use the equipment safely.

During key stage 3, pupils follow the curriculum for science which includes topics from biology, chemistry and physics. The topics in biology include food and digestion, respiration, microbes and diseases and ecological relationships. Chemistry topics include atoms and elements, compounds and mixtures, rocks and weathering and the rock cycle. The physics topics include heating and cooling, magnets and electromagnets, sound and hearing and light.

Assessment

At the end of each topic, pupils are assessed on their understanding. We use Assertive Mentoring for Science and pupils are levelled according to their stage and are graded as emerging, developing, securing or ready. 

Year 9

Building on the knowledge and understanding gained during year 8, pupils continue to study topics in the 3 main areas of science, but they are also able to begin working towards an AQA Entry Level in science.

The topics in biology are 'keeping healthy' and 'inheritance, evolution and the environment'. In chemistry they are 'materials from the earth' and 'oils, earth and atmosphere'. In physics they are 'energy transfer and efficiency' and 'electricity and waves'.  At the end of each topic they complete a 'Teacher Devised Assessment' where pupils complete a practical investigation and write up their plan and results, and an 'Externally Set Assessment' where they complete a short exam paper covering the content they have studied.

Assessment

The end of topic assessments are graded according to the learning outcomes set by AQA Entry Level Science. Pupils are also assessed using the Assertive Mentoring for Science and will have a stage which is graded as emerging, developing, securing or ready.  

Key Stage 4

Pupils begin to study for their GCSE's in Science in Year 10 and complete this in Year 11. Currently, pupils study one of the 2 science options outlined below and if they are members of Holgate Meadows for the full Year 10 and Year 11, they will leave with 2 Science GCSE's. When the new Science Specifications come out in 2017, pupils will follow these.

AQA GCSE Human Health and Physiology

This specification enables students to learn about how the human body works, the structures that make it work and keep it healthy. GCSE Human Health and Physiology integrates the principles of 'How Science Works' throughout the two units in the areas of data, theories and explanations, practical and enquiry skills and communication skills. The course has been updated to give it a more applied approach: students learn about some of the science used by health professionals working in health and medical care.

Pupils will complete an 'Investigative Skills Assignment' (ISA) which is a coursework unit completed half way through the course. This is 25% of the final GCSE grade. The other 75% is made up of the final exam in the July when the course is complete.

Find out more about the course and the Specification at this website: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/human-health-and-physiology-4415

Assessment

Pupils will be assessed at the end of each topic of teaching using past exam papers to explore their knowledge and understanding and to help pupils to familiarise themselves with the structure of the exam.

AQA GCSE Environmental Science

GCSE Environmental Science gives students the chance to study a hands-on science subject. The course raises students' environmental awareness by looking at important global environmental issues.

The specification integrates the principles of 'How Science Works' throughout the units and in the controlled assessment. The course helps students see environmental issues in the context of their own lives with topics ranging from how energy resources are used to how wild food can be exploited sustainably.

Pupils will complete an 'Investigative Skills Assignment' (ISA) which is a coursework unit completed half way through the course. This is 25% of the final GCSE grade. The other 75% is made up of the final exam in the July when the course is complete.

Find out more about the course and the Specification at this website: http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/environmental-science-4440

Assessment

Pupils will be assessed at the end of each topic using past exam papers to explore their knowledge and understanding and to help pupils to familiarise themselves with the structure of the exam.

Useful Links

The assessment structure used at Holgate Meadows is Assertive Mentoring; find out more about it here: http://www.assertivementoring.com/

Support your child with key stage 3 science by checking out the following websites:

http://rigb.org/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/z7nygk7

http://www.sciencemuseum.org.uk/

Support your child studying GCSE Human Health and Physiology by checking out these websites:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/biology/

http://www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse/biology

http://www.educationquizzes.com/gcse/biology/

Support your child studying GCSE Environmental Science by checking out these websites:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/aqa_pre_2011/evolution/

http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/topics/zq8wxnb

http://www.passmyexams.co.uk/GCSE/physics/electricity-generation.html

Call: 0114 279 6850 Email: enquiries@heritagepark.sheffield.sch.uk
Call: 0114 245 6305 Email: enquiries@holgatemcs.sheffield.sch.uk