Curriculum Leader (and subject lead for Biology): Mrs C Vincent
Subject lead for Physics: Mr M Woods
Subject lead for Chemistry: Miss J L Smith
Pupils at St Gabriel’s Roman Catholic High School achieve well in and enjoy Science. High standards of teaching enthuse students, encourage a positive attitude to learning and develop independent thought. With hardworking and dedicated staff we aim to develop pupils’ enthusiasm for learning, encourage a positive attitude towards Science and new technology, and foster a critical appreciation of the contribution that Science makes to society. We encourage all studnets to achieve the most they can with their God-given talents. Well equipped laboratories, ably supported by two technicians, ensure that the practical side of the subject flourishes. Pupils are given opportunities to learn outside of the classroom, participate in STEM clubs and activities, learn through exciting demonstrations and day trips whilst developing their application and critical thinking skills.
Key Stage 3
Pupils study science for three lessons every week. Aiming to deliver high quality education to every pupil through challenging and stimulating teaching and learning pupils follow a bespoke scheme of work that encompasses all aspects of the KS3 national programme of study. Creativity and rigour are the norm within lessons and students are encouraged not only to establish knowledge and skill but also to develop informed opinions supported by reasoned argument. Pupils are encouraged to develop their enquiry processes whilst working scientifically, such as testing a hypothesis and reviewing theories. The key stage 3 scheme is designed to complement the AQA GCSE to ensure skills required at Key stage 4 are developed from an early stage.
Year 7: Basic Chemical Reactions, Current Ideas, Energy Changes, Journey into Space, Life on Earth, Looking to the Next generation, Particle Ideas, Problem solving solution, Safe to use, Super Cells, Tackling forces.
Year 8: Adaptations and sampling, Periodic table and reactivity, Plants and photosynthesis, Waves and Sounds, Rocks, Atoms, Elements, Compounds, Diet and Enzymes, Food chains and Webs, Forces and Motion, Heating and Cooling, Light, Magnets, Microbes and the Respiratory system.
Year 9: Health, Variation, Chemical Reactions, Environmental Chemistry, Gravity and Space, Pressure and Moments
Key Stage 4
Pupils are taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics by specialists. The department takes a creative and flexible approach to personalising provision for all students. There are 2 possible routes at key stage 4. Triple Science, where pupils are taught 7 hours per week and achieve 3 GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. This is offered as an option, however due to the complexity of the course, pupils must achieve well in their Year 9 Science tests to ensure they can choose this option. Most pupils in Key stage 4 follow the combined Science route and are taught 4 hours of Science per week. Pupils still study Biology, Chemistry and Physics by specialist teachers, but the results are combined together to 2 GCSE grades. Those students pursuing two GCSEs performed above the local and national averages in 2019. The content of the courses at KS4 is best explored through our awarding body, AQA.
In key stage three pupils are encouraged to take more and more ownership for their learning. They are supported through this by being set regular online questions through ‘educake’ that relate directly to their lessons. Pupils are given feedback on their strengths and weaknesses, and given opportunity to evaluate their work and improve it.
In key stage four home learning activities also receive a great deal of support. Again ‘educake’ facilitate the bulk of home learning tasks set. We encourage the pupils to take responsibility for their home learning and review work regularly. Pupils are also actively encouraged to utilise the Century Tech package to aid their learning and revision. In Year 11 all pupils have been provided with a homework booklet in all 3 Science specialisms. This provides excellent weekly revision with links to Educake, GCSE Pod, Century Tech and Exam-style questions to enable all styles of learners to access the curriculum. In Science, study support runs on a Monday evening 3:05-4:05pm. This is always popular with Year 11 pupils and all are encouraged to attend.
To promote enrichment opportunities for all, activities such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) clubs operate after school hours. Open to all Year 7 students this over-subscribed club runs every Monday 3:05-4:05pm providing pupils with further practical skills outside of the National Curriculum. The subject also has links with Holy Cross Sixth Form College: the school regularly sends students to compete in their events and science challenges; the college provides enrichment opportunities for triple scientists in year 10 with sixth-form taster lessons.