Subject Intent

Science is the study of the natural world and the foundation for British innovation; it strives to improve our way of life through technology, medicine and infrastructure.

Making sure that everyone has a thorough foundation in Science is essential to allow students access to higher learning; to open career pathways in both practical and scientific roles; and to underpin our role as British Citizens. In order to do this we have to equip our students with the skills and knowledge to be able to investigate scientific principles and make decisions around scientific issues. We are proud of our city and the industrial innovation that exists in Derby - using this connection to not only demonstrate the importance of science but to enable our students to see the exciting opportunities that exist locally.

At the Derby Cathedral School, Science is built to follow a spiral curriculum, this means that students will return to the same topics throughout KS3 and 4, with each encounter increasing in complexity and reinforcing previous learning. This allows students to embed their knowledge but also gain a deeper understanding of the subject content. Our curriculum is based around a guided 5-year plan that ensures that students can clearly see the learning journey from the first lesson in Year 7 all the way until they reach their GCSE exams and beyond.

We believe that science does not exist as a standalone subject. Our curriculum makes clear links between the three sciences of biology, physics and chemistry and - as a STEM subject - we work closely with design and technology so that students can see the real life application of science in a practical setting. Mathematics plays a crucial role in scientific learning, and as such we have worked hard to forge close links with the mathematics curriculum to ensure students can see the connection between these two subjects throughout their learning journey at Derby Cathedral School.

Science is uniquely placed as a subject, with the perfect blend between theory and practice. On a practical level, we create opportunities for students to demonstrate the fellowship and teamwork that we want to see in our students every day. On a theoretical level, we encourage integrity and humility, that we as scientists cannot always know the answer and that we must have acceptance and understanding of other people’s beliefs.

Science is a subject for all students, regardless of background or ability. Our lessons are carefully planned to ensure all students can access their learning in an exciting and interesting environment. As a department, we seek to build strong relationships with our students, treating them with respect and challenging them to be the best that they can be – when we know our students well we can make sure we prepare then to be successful.

The main goal of the department is the preparation our students to achieve their potential and be successful in life. We strive to maintain the excitement that students arrive with in year 7 throughout their studies and our ultimate aim is for our students to use the skills and knowledge gained in science to help develop their vision of the world as they become young adults. We aim to produce lifelong learners who show tenacity in their search for knowledge about the world around them.

Staffing

Michael Simpson Head of Science
James Marshall Teacher of Science
Beth Goldsmith Teacher of Science
Karen Smith Technician

 

Homework

Homework in Science uses knowledge organisers to reinforce the learning from the lessons.

Each week students will be directed to the knowledge organiser to use. Students will often use previous knowledge organisers so it is important that they keep old books safe, these resources should be used throughout their school career. They will then self quiz using the proscribed method within the department. As we move through the school the knowledge organisers are supplemented with past paper exam questions.

Assessment

Science utilises regular low level testing to assess students understanding and how to best address misconceptions and diagnose gaps in knowledge. Formative assessments take place a spaced points throughout the year. We use a combination of the current topic that the students are on and previous topics in order to address the forgetting curve.

Students should regularly return to previous knowledge organisers to reinforce learning. Revision guides are available for purchase within the department. At KS4 and KS5 the primrose kitten YouTube channel is an excellent resource for help home learning.

When revising at home it is really important that students concentrate on what they do not know rather than reinforce what they do.
The Seneca learning website can be used as a diagnostic tool to identify gaps in knowledge and then using other resources those gaps can be addressed.

Resources

A scientific calculator

A 30cm clear ruler

A 360o protractor