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Science

The central vision of the Science department at Hampton Gardens is to create a curriculum that promotes a lifelong love of science that our pupils will take a way with them long after leaving our school. By fostering the natural scientific curiosity of our students, we firmly believe that not only will our pupils fulfil their academic potential in this subject, but will also be fully prepared for an active role in an increasingly scientific and technological world.

We believe the systematic undertaking of experimental work underpins the effective implementation of these aims. The creation of effective links between theoretical concepts and real-world scientific problems by undertaking effective investigative science ensures that our students have the context needed to fully appreciate the natural world around them.

Our curriculum intends to:

  • Develop and foster a high level of student interest and enjoyment in science;
  • Nurture, build and exploit the natural scientific curiosity of our students by undertaking regular and effective practical work;
  • Ensure our students embrace the consistent use of effective scientific vocabulary and language;
  • Instil a natural appreciation of numeracy skills by effectively incorporating mathematical content regularly into student learning experiences;
  • Create an appreciation of the importance of accuracy and precision in our students’ experimental work and the requirement of this for them to draw effective scientific conclusions from raw data;
  • Encouragement of further scientific development by acquisition of the key skills needed for higher level scientific study.

The Curriculum

The Science Department at Hampton Gardens firmly believes that an effective science curriculum is one that enables student engagement and promotes teaching for understanding. We have designed our curriculum to ensure that individual topic areas are repeatedly reviewed, re-enforced and consistently linked to subsequent content that is more complex in nature.

To that end, we have divided our science curriculum into ten "ideas" that gradually build in complexity from year seven to year eleven in a consistent, coherent manner. We believe that this linear approach enables our students to regularly re-enforce prior learning within an idea before moving onto content of higher complexity. It is our view that having this "hook" in place from previous learning ensures an efficient uptake of new, more complex concepts.

We believe that by giving our students multiple interactions within these ten ideas we provide them with the best possible opportunity for the examined content to be "deep learned" and effectively contextualised."

The scheme below offers and overview of this process:

If you have any questions regarding science curriculum provision at Hampton Gardens, please don't hesitate to contact me at jleach@hamptongardens.org.uk

Mr James Leach, Head of Science Faculty

Students begin the GCSE course in Year 9, covering the first topics of each science. At the end of Year 9 the students have a choice of pathways through Years 10 and 11.

These pathways include GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy, which will lead to a double award GCSE qualification. Students with a real desire to delve into the world science may opt to follow the separate science pathway, which leads to three GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

GCSE Biology

Students will cover a wide range of topics including the core principles of Biology. The course consists of seven units, which will be taught over Years 10 and 11. Students will be given ample opportunity to apply their knowledge and understanding gained to analyse real life scientific practices as well as any required practical investigations within the seven units. Please see the list below of the seven units and required practical activities covered across the GCSE Biology course below:

B1 - Cell Biology

B2 - Organisation

B3 - Infection and Response

B4 - Bioenergetics

B5 - Homeostasis

B6 - Inheritance, Evolution and Variation

B7 - Ecology

Required practical activities include:

  1. Microscopy (Use a light microscope to observe, draw and label a selection of plant and animal cells).
  2. Microbiology (Investigate the effect of antiseptics or antibiotics on bacterial growth using agar plates and measuring zones of inhibition - Biology separate science only).
  3. Osmosis (Investigate the effect of a range of concentrations of salt or sugar solutions on the mass of plant tissue).
  4. Enzymes (Use qualitative reagents to test for a range of carbohydrates, lipids and proteins).
  5. Food tests (Investigate the effect of pH on the rate of reaction of amylase enzyme).
  6. Photosynthesis (Investigate the effect of light intensity on the rate of photosynthesis using an aquatic organism such as pondweed).
  7. Reaction time (Plan and carry out an investigation into the effect of a factor on human reaction time).
  8. Plant responses (Investigate the effect of light or gravity on the growth of newly germinated seedlings - Biology separate science only).
  9. Field investigations (Measure the population size of a common species in a habitat. Use sampling techniques to investigate the effect of a factor on the distribution of this species).
  10. Decay Investigate the effect of temperature on the rate of decay of fresh milk by measuring pH change - Biology separate science only).