Head of Department: Dr P Taylor
If you have ever wondered why the sky is blue, or what the universe is expanding into, or why don’t penguin’s feet freeze, then you will understand why teaching and learning about this subject is so amazing.
The Priestlands’ Science department aims to nurture the enquiring minds of our students in a challenging and fun manner. This enables all students to operate as scientists, because once they leave Priestlands School, science will infiltrate their lives in so many ways on a daily basis.
Our Key Stage 3 Science curriculum has been designed to fully support students’ deeper understanding of Science and, ultimately, to drive their confidence and success at GCSE. In this vein, we have adopted a high-challenge, knowledge-rich curriculum, which contains a mix of typical KS3 units with introductory KS4 units.
Forces Particles Energy Cells Separating Mixtures Periodic Table Heat Energy Transfer Chemical Reactions Physics of Speed Electricity Interdependence Transport in Cells
Acid & Alkalis Photosynthesis Metals & Non-metals Organ Systems Waves Health Structure & Bonding Reproduction Quantitative Chemistry Evolution Earth’s Resources Using Resources
Furthermore, over the last 5 years, we have strategically embedded Retrieval Practice & Spaced Practice, both into lessons and our homework timetable, to ensure that quality learning in lessons is not simply forgotten.
Following KS3, students will either follow AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) or AQA Separate Science; and we work closely with both students and parents to ensure they are placed on the most appropriate Science pathway at KS4.
Following KS3, students will either follow AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) or AQA Separate Science. Although we primarily use students’ performance in their Year 8 and Year 9 exam to make provisional course decisions, we also work closely with both students and parents to ensure that students are placed on the curriculum pathway that will best meet their Further Education needs.
The units studied and examination protocol for AQA Combined Science are summarised here:
The units studied and examination protocol for AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics are summarised here:
Over the past 5 years we have rapidly adopted educational research to ensure that we maximise the learning of students in every lesson. In particular, lessons are planned and delivered using an adapted version of both Barak Rosenshine’s Principles of Instruction and John Sweller’s Cognitive Load Theory. Furthermore, we have strategically embedded Retrieval Practice & Spaced Practice, both into lessons and our homework timetable, to ensure that quality learning in lessons is not simply forgotten.
Our ultimate aim is to ensure that students feel the confidence that comes with learning; that they are highly successful at GCSE; and they leave us with both enquiring minds and a rich understanding of the scientific world.