The Science Department at Beauchamps High School aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills they need to go on to the next stage in their journey.
A broad spectrum of topics is covered that will prepare our students for life after school. We cover a range of health-related topics so that our students can make informed choices about their lifestyles. We consider our place in the universe and help students develop fundamental ideas about who they are and where they came from. We reflect on our impact on the environment and what we can do in our lives to lessen that impact.
Through investigations students learn to be critical of their ideas and their findings while also being given the opportunity to solve problems. Students have ample opportunity to analyse data and interpret information, critical for future careers and the myriad sources of information they will encounter in their daily lives.
Through careful and precise measurement, we support our students to better understand numbers and quantity, helping our future construction workers and designers deal with a variety of units and materials. Science provides our students with the best opportunities to fully appreciate the application of mathematics in a concrete and tangible way.
A key component of any comprehensive education is literacy. In Science we want to improve scientific literacy as well as general literacy. We therefore have a focus in our lessons on words and their meanings and the skills needed to write at length. Through the school’s Drop Everything And Read programme we provide articles for students to read from leading scientific publishers that are relevant to the curriculum, with content that goes beyond.
We are committed to helping students become independent learners. We actively encourage our students to try new and challenging work and during periods of revision we provide numerous resources to help our students to help themselves.
Finally, for those students who have a natural passion for science we aim to inspire them to become the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Our aims are to:
• Prepare our students for life beyond Beauchamps High School
• Help our students understand how to lead healthy lives
• Give students the chance to understand their place in the universe
• Allow students to reflect on our impact on the environment
• Encourage our students to become analysts and problem solvers
• Develop our students’ understanding of number and quantity
• Improve the literacy of all our students both scientifically and generally
• Produce independent, resilient, reflective learners
• Inspire the next generation of scientists
Years 7 and 8
We begin Year 7 with foundational concepts that are largely concrete in nature. Students are able to find out about the functioning of the human body and begin to explore the complexity of our anatomy that would otherwise be unavailable to us. They begin to learn about the scientific process through experiments in chemistry and start to become familiar with atoms and the periodic table. Experimentation is continued in physics where students work with circuits and start to learn about formulae and how to rearrange them.
In Year 8 we continue the process started in Year 7. However, there is a larger emphasis on numeracy, familiarity with equations and extended writing.
Year 9 is a blended year where we teach the remaining Key Stage 3 content and then move onto a selection of topics from our GCSE curriculum that give our students a good introduction to Key Stage 4 science. The lessons we teach in Year 9 have been carefully selected to enable a gentle transition into Year 10.
We further refine key skills in science such as balancing chemical equations, recalling and using equations and describing systems.
Year 10 and 11 - Key Stage 4
We follow the Edexcel GCSE in Combined Science and separate sciences specifications.
Our lessons involve a lot of self and peer assessment so our students can leave lessons knowing what successes they have had and which areas need to be improved. We ensure content is regularly revised so students don’t have a heavy burden of revision weighted towards the end of the course.
All students in Year 11 are given workbooks that they complete across the year providing them with a focus for revision.
We have two form groups in Year 11 where science is taught every morning. These students cover a spectrum of abilities. Here they are given the support they need to reach and exceed their targets.
The Science Department also provides each form group in Year 11 with short activities to complete to help students sustain their revision and rehearsal of the material.
Sixth Form – Key Stage 5
We want our students to be university ready when they leave Beauchamps so at Key Stage 5 we gently and progressively move responsibility for learning over to our students.
We start the courses with foundational skills that will be essential throughout Key Stage 5, particularly in terms of practical work and numeracy.
Our department focus is to move away from encouraging our students to write lengthy notes, copied from books or slides, to a more problem-based approach to learning. Students are being given short lecture style presentations and are then being asked to complete activities that enable them to apply their learning. This has the benefit of also generating resources that can be used for revision that have content as well as exemplary application.
We think our students will have the independence and resilience needed to move onto the next phase in their education after studying science with us
Homework and extra-curricular
We use our VLE to provide resources for our students to revise from. We also subscribe to an online textbook to ensure all of our students are able to access the full curriculum at home. This is across Years 7-11. Textbooks are made available to our students at Key Stage 5.
We use a system for homework called educake. We use this in order to give the students ample opportunity to become familiar with exam questions and to regularly recall the information they have learnt in lessons. We are trying to improve the recall speed of our students and to help them have the information they need readily available when they are asked to apply it to new situations. A lot of our students soon realise that science becomes enjoyable when you can make connections between disparate areas. Regular rehearsal of content enables students to do this.
Educake enables us to track student performance and allows us to identify precisely the areas students need most support with. It is used by teachers to respond to issues and misconceptions from homework, within lessons.
We have received lots of positive feedback from students and we have seen a significant increase in the amount of homework being completed since we introduced educake to our students. We have two clubs within the Science Department. STEM Club has undertaken various projects over the years. This year we are looking at creating a drone using CAD and 3D printing. We also run a Chess Club which is held every lunch time. We have a teacher and a curriculum in place so students can learn various techniques, strategies and tactics.
We have been working towards creating stimulating and supportive learning environments across our labs.
We are currently introducing skills mats to all desks in the department and we are decorating our rooms with key words and useful diagrams. We are hoping this will help our students to become more confident and resilient when approaching novel tasks.
We have a good number of students choose to study the sciences at A-Level, both with us and elsewhere, showing we prepare our students well for further study. We also have a large number of our A-Level student go on to study sciences at university, many with unconditional offers.
Our extracurricular STEM activities have also been successful with many of our teams being awarded for their efforts in projects such as the Ford Car Challenge.
Our Year 11 results for 2019 show how successful we can be. 70% of our students achieved a 4 or above in 2 sciences. Out students achieved 21 grade 9s across all the sciences, 49 grades at 8-9 and 82 grades 7-9. In our separate sciences, more than 50% of grades were at grades 7-9.