Subject Leader: Ms Russell
The Science Department has been graded as Good overall. This judgement is based on the department review which took place in 2015/16.
In September 2015 the Science Leadership Team consisted of Mr Eamer as the Director of Science, Ms Russell as second in Science, with responsibility for KS4 and Ms Klopper as second in Science with responsibility for KS5 Chemistry. Miss Billet oversees KS3 Science and Mr East oversees KS5 A Level Science courses. Ms Suthakaran oversees the KS5 BTEC courses. There are a number of other TLR holders in the department to support the work in KS3, KS4 and KS5. There are 15 full-time and 3 part-time Science teachers, each teaching their specialism. The department also has a Science support team of 7 members of staff.
The department has its own block. Four new classrooms were added two years ago, which means that all teachers have their own classroom/laboratory. The large number of laboratories are used for regular practicals; there are also two computer suites, a dedicated KS5 BTEC classroom, and a number of prep rooms which are well organised and used by the technicians.
The department built upon the exam success of 2013/14, achieving another year of excellent exam results in 2014/15. GCSE results include:
Core Science A*- C 79%, with 51% B+
Additional Science A*- C 89%, with 66% B+
Further Science A*- C 98%, with 93% B+ and 75% A+
This is the first time students have taken a combination of GCSE qualifications with no BTEC courses being run so these results are particularly pleasing.
Equally excellent outcomes were achieved on Level 3 BTEC courses. All courses (Biology, Chemistry, and the combined Diploma) achieved excellent value added (ie excellent progress from students’ starting points) - Biology BTEC +0.7VA and Chemistry BTEC +0.9VA.
A2 results were also very pleasing, with all three courses showing very good progress.
The Science Leadership Team had a major impact on results, and worked very hard to support students’ progress. The curriculum offered in 2015/16 meant that students could study a qualification recognised by schools and sixth form colleges as robust and relevant to the next step up. At KS4, courses offered included Single (Core) Science, Double Science (Additional and Core) or Triple Science (Core, Additional and Further). At Post-16 students can study Biology, Chemistry and Physics A level or BTEC Science in Chemistry and/or Biology.
The Ofsted Inspector (February 2015) was impressed with the quality of teaching and learning in the Science lessons she visited; she was also complimentary of the marking and feedback provided in student work and the positive relationships between students and staff. Teaching and learning in the department is very strong. Lesson observations and learning walks confirm this.
The department have high quality central tracking systems, meaning that student progress is closely monitored with detailed intervention plans put in place. This is particularly true in KS4 and KS5 with forensic analysis of student data. This analysis supports the excellent outcomes that many students achieve.
Lessons are well supported by the Science support team, who efficiently provide materials and equipment for the many practical experiments and coursework activities.
Students’ Views and Attitudes
Behaviour in Science lessons is very good; in many lessons across all key stages there are excellent relationships between students and teachers.
Students speak positively of their Science lessons, and enjoy doing practical work.
Students attend Science Surgeries/Intervention sessions in their own time, particularly in KS4 and KS5.
In September 2016, 20 students progressed to university to study a science degree; this included 10 girls, a national priority for Science university study. A further 2 students started engineering degrees, and 5 began a social science degree.
Science Surgery was run after school for all three science A level courses, and was well attended by students.
Revision classes and targeted intervention sessions were run for KS4 and KS5 students.
The Science Department ran a very successful Science Week, and events for 2015/16, including STEM events and a residential trip to CERN. The department has also set up an annual 'Women in Science' event for Year 9 students as an opportunity to investigate Science careers.
Year 7 students visited the Science museum and there was also a weekly Science Club for KS3 students.
Preparing for the new GCSE in Combined Science as well as the new Level 3 BTEC and A level specifications. These courses have started this year but development work continues to be needed.
Reviewing and improving the KS3 curriculum so that it effectively supports the KS4 curriculum.
Continuing to build the expertise of the Science Leadership Team.