Science is an incredibly exciting subject to be a part of. Exploring and explaining the phenomena in the world around us, at a time of fast-paced change and advancement. Through the media, we are constantly being exposed to a multitude of exciting developments in medicine, genetics, engineering, pharmaceuticals, forensics, space exploration and so many more fields, that depend on scientific understanding. At Carleton High School, we recognise the important role of equipping our students with the skills and competence that they need to be the scientists of tomorrow.
We encourage students to become actively involved in the practical aspect of the subject by offering a captivating array of investigations and demonstrations in lessons. But we also want to equip students with the fundamental skills necessary to answer their curiosities and the BIG question: “why?”.
In Years 7 and 8, we offer an equal provision of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics which largely draws on aspects of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 3. Students are encouraged to gain a firm mastery of key concepts such as Cells, Genetics, Chemical Reactions, Acids & Alkali, Forces and Energy. These offer a secure underpinning for further study at Key Stage 4. We also build confidence in the use of scientific equipment in the lab and start to think critically about how to plan, carry out and analyse experiments. Students are regularly assessed via small end-of-unit tests, as well as larger scale assessments at the start and end of the academic year.
Year 9 students begin their GCSE course in Year 9 and all students study Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We draw on the topics covered at Key Stage 3 and add increasing detail to their understanding, allowing students to apply their knowledge to unfamiliar contexts. Our focus on exam technique begins in Year 9 so that students develop the necessary problem-solving abilities needed to navigate GCSE level questions. We also draw on students’ mathematical skills and work hard to enhance these to allow students to manipulate equations and data from graphs, and to allow them to engage with calculations across the whole of the Science course.
In Year 10 and Year 11 students will study either the Combined Science course or the Separate Science courses. Assessment is ongoing during lessons and by end-of topic tests and mock exams. The GCSE examinations can be taken at two tiers of entry: Foundation tier which allows access to grade 5 – 1 and Higher tier which allows access to grades 9 - 4.