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Hampstead School

Science

Contacts:

 
Head of Faculty Ms Tamsin Morrell
Deputy Head of Faculty & Key Stage 5 Coordinator Ms A Arcari
Key Stage 4 Coordinator Mr J Campbell

What we aim to do:

Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Learning science offers students the ability to access a wealth of skills, knowledge and information which will contribute to an overall understanding of how and why things in the world around us work like they do. Science is able to explain the mechanics and reasons behind the daily functioning of complex systems, which range from the human body to sophisticated modern methods of transport.

The Science Faculty at Hampstead School aims to improve confidence, independent thinking and the desire to inquire whilst developing responsible citizens, who care about the world around them. We aim to raise student achievement and passion for science by promoting independent learning and outstanding practice to ensure every student is able to achieve their full potential.  An extensive extra-curricular programme enriches students’ experience in science by providing an outlet for naturally enquiring minds.

There is a focus on how students can use science, especially at Key Stage 3 where all students study science with a specific context. Students are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. This enables students to realise the connections that science has to every other subject taught across the school. 

The Key Stage 3 curriculum allows students to thrive at Key Stage 4 by building a strong foundation in both the concepts students will study and in the skills they will need in order to excel at Key Stage 4. This focus on developing skills throughout the teaching of subject knowledge gives students the tools they need to approach their Key Stage 4 course with confidence

With this approach Key Stage 5 science subjects offered at Hampstead School are highly popular, with students feeling confident they have the knowledge required to succeed.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum and Assessment:

Hampstead science students are taught in a way that develops their passion for learning and an inquiring mind, which is at the very core of what science and education are about. In order to ensure this, students study a bespoke key stage 3 scheme of work that develops their subject knowledge alongside investigative and communication skills and gives them time to explore, make discoveries and solve problems. The scheme of work incorporates all aspects of The National Curriculum for Science.

Students at Key Stage 3 study science for 7 hours per fortnight taught in their forms in Year 7 and grouped by ability in Year 8. Each year students study all three science disciplines: Biology, Chemistry and Physics on a rotation. Students also study some topics and carry out investigations that span all three science disciplines to allow students to begin to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding.

There will be formal tests sat roughly every half term. There are regular in class informal tests that allow the teacher to give detailed feedback on how each individual can improve.

Key Stage 4 Curriculum and Assessment:

Key stage 4 students are taught in ability groups. Students begin their study of the Key Stage 4 curriculum at the start of Year 9 to give students the maximum amount of time possible to cover the course. Students study Edexcel GCSE Science. This course is designed to allow for multiple learning pathways, which suit the learning approaches of every student and the progression route that they wish to follow.

They will either study:

  • Combined science (Two GCSEs)
  • Separate sciences (Three GCSEs

Students studying both combined and separate sciences will sit 6 external exams at the end of year 11. There is no coursework element to the GCSE it is 100% externally assessed. There are two tiers: Higher Tier or Foundation Tier. Students follow the course best suited to their ability and their tier of entry for the exams is made after considering what would be best for each individual student.

For many students at Hampstead, studying the sciences in Key Stage 4 provides the platform for more advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. For others, it will be their last formal study of subjects that provide the foundations for understanding the natural world and will enhance their lives in an increasingly technological society. Students planning to continue studying sciences at A-level will be able to do so with GCSEs in either combined or separate sciences.

Key Stage 5 Curriculum and Assessment:

A number of courses are on offer at Key Stage 5 in the Science Faculty:

  • Physics (OCR A)
  • Biology (AQA)
  • Chemistry (OCR A)
  • BTEC L3 Health and Social Care
  • BTEC L2 Health and Social Care

Enrichment Opportunities:

A variety of enrichment opportunities are offered in science including regular sessions such as:

  • Science Club – Key Stage 3 students working on a number of different projects throughout the year
  • Science competitions – Once a month students are invited to take part in hands on, practical science competitions, from science bake offs, to building a raft that will get their team across the swimming pool in the shortest amount of time!
  • Next steps programme – Once a month talks for 6th formers. These are given by science professionals about their career to prepare students for making more informed choices for higher education

There are also a number of special events put on throughout the year that involve all Key Stages.

Additional Information:  

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/ks3bitesize/science/

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/

www.edexcel.com/quals/gcse/GCSE-science-2011/Pages/default.aspx

www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-physics-a-h158-h558/

www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-a-level-gce-chemistry-a-h034-h434/

www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level