Science

At Maplesden Noakes School we see science as relevant and exciting in the modern world. We aim to give all students the best possible preparation for a rapidly changing technological society by encouraging students to explore how science works within the universe and to have fun whilst learning.

The science department has a team of committed teachers who have a passion for their subject and work hard to inspire the next generation of scientists. We are well equipped with 6 laboratories. All rooms are well designed to allow for interactive, practical, engaging and inspiring science teaching. In lessons we combine scientific knowledge and understanding with hands-on practical experience and problem solving.

Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to equip students with an understanding and appreciation of science and scientific thinking, emphasising the links between science and society. We work to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the study of biology, chemistry and physics.

Students study topics to introduce them to key scientific ideas that form the basis of their studies through to GCSE. Topics are studied in modules, work is assessed and students are encouraged to clearly identify how to improve their level of work for the next module.

We ensure that there is an emphasis on encouraging students to develop skills in research, handling information and problem solving, using skills gained in other subjects, especially mathematics and English. Students learn how to draw and interpret tables and graphs and write clearly using scientific terminology, which helps them with their future science studies.

A science Club for year 7 students operates to enable the investigation of science in a fun environment.

Students are encouraged to take responsibility for their own learning and the setting of homework is used to promote student based learning. Pupils are regularly assessed and the data is used to inform parents of progress.

In April/May students sit a formal exam to establish their progress in science during key stage 3. This data is used to decide the appropriate course to study at key stage 4.

All level 7 students are automatically chosen to study triple science.

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 students follow one of 3 GCSE science options each based on the 3 strands of science – biology, chemistry and physics as well as practical skills assessments that are carried out in school.

Single Science. Core science is one GCSE made up of 4 units, 1 controlled assessment, 1 biology, 1 chemistry and 1 physics. This is studied over years 9, 10 and 11

Double Science. Leading to 2 GCSE’s (Core science and additional science) made of 8 units, 2 controlled assessments, 2 biology, 2 chemistry and 2 physics. These are taken as a core science qualification at the end of year 10 and an additional science qualification taken at the end of year 11.

Triple Science. Leading to a GCSE in each of the separate sciences, biology, chemistry and physics. This consists of 12 units, 3 controlled assessments, 3 biology, 3 chemistry and 3 physics. These are studied over the three years 9, 10 and 11.

All key stage 4 students can take advantage of regular revision classes held where students can refresh their knowledge of the modules studied.

The link below takes you to the Edexcel site for the all of the science GCSE courses. Using this link it is possible to navigate to the specifications as well as past papers, these form an essential part of exam preparation:

http://www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/GCSE-science-2011/Pages/The-exams.aspx

Key Stage 5

We currently run two A-level courses, our most popular is biology at key stage 5, the take up for the course is excellent, we follow the OCR advanced biology course, this covers cells, transport, food, molecules, biodiversity at AS, followed by genetics, homeostasis and ecological management at A2.

We currently run the NQF and QCF level 3 applied science and medical science BTECs, these qualifications allow students to access a range of different opportunities for their future.
Students have been on trips to the Pfizer labs for unit 2 and had talks from scientists about health and safety . Students experience a range of scientific experiments from working with microscopes to working on thin layer chromatography and electrophoresis.

The QCF qualification is all assessed through internal assessment.
The NQF qualification is assessed through a mixture on internal and external assessment.