Tarporley High School

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Tarporley High School
& Sixth Form College

Science

The important thing is to not stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existence. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvellous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of this mystery each day.  Albert Einstein

Vision

An exciting and stimulating programme of study where students aspire to understand the physics, chemical and biological processes that shape the world around us.

A broad and challenging curriculum where teachers use the latest scientific research and development to encourage curiosity and inspire great learning

A balanced but flexible curriculum where students are motivated to achieve, by questioning the world around them and by understanding how to apply what they have learnt in new and unfamiliar contexts.

What you can expect studying Science at Tarporley High School and Sixth Form College

In Science, you will study Biology, Chemistry and Physics and be taught by specialist teachers who love to observe how the world works, and then try to explain it. You will learn about the fundamental processes that govern the laws of the universe, and develop scientific enquiry skills that allow you to collect evidence and then question how effective it is.

You will study a wide range of topics in each subject, from the microscopic to the unfathomably vast. Whether extracting your own DNA from saliva, or observing the live feed from the International Space Station, learning will be placed in the context of real –life situations, and will allow you to see how and why things happen.

Key Stage 3 Curriculum – what to expect

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is taught in themes, such as ‘Masterchef’ and ‘Mission to Mars’, allowing students to make links to the real world and develop an understanding of the skills required to be successful in each of the three Science disciplines.  

Our themes are all based around investigation and enquiry, and mirroring the processes that happen in the wider world which enable new scientific discovery, students work collaboratively to develop ideas and ‘peer review’ their work.

Our aim is for alll students to finish Key Stage 3 in Year 8, and be scientifically literate pupils who can work collectively, but are also able to independently question everything they observe. Our skills based curriculum means that practical work is never far away, and very lesson is an opportunity to find something out!

How we assess at KS3

Students are assessed rigorously on both their understanding of the core concepts, and their level of scientific skills. In each theme, lasting approximately half a term, students can expect to be assessed on a particular aspect of scientific enquiry, using success criteria to enable them to improve their work each time they meet that skill. Students will also have progress tests at the end of each theme.

Key Stage 4 – GCSE Curriculum

At GCSE, we follow the AQA GCSE combined science or separate sciences courses. Content will be learned through a variety of approaches, including the use of ‘tablets’, group work and independent research. Practical skills are gleaned through experiments, including a number of ‘required practicals’ which will test student’s ability to understand the whole range of enquiry skills, from planning and risk assessment, through to analysis and evaluation.

To ensure that students are fully prepared for linear assessment under the new GCSE model we have  developed a curriculum which puts exam technique and application of knowledge at the heart of every lesson, with a strong focus on the increased mathematical requirements in each subject, developed by working collaboratively with the Mathematics faculty.

How we assess at KS4

Students are assessed via four or six external examinations at the end of Year 11, depending on whether they follow the combined or separate science courses. The decision on this is currently taken at the end of Year 9, after careful consideration of how well students have progressed in their first year of GCSE studies. Within each course, the external examinations will assess a mixture of content understanding as well as knowledge of the required practical elements of each subject.

At Key Stage 4, students will be issued with ‘progress folders’, where all exam practice and reflection following assessments is stored. This provides a comprehensive overview of a students’ journey through the GCSE course, and the important skills and exam techniques that are being acquired along the way.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

We always encourage students to take an active involvement in Science outside of the classroom and in the real world. In the last few years we have had a regular visit to Chester Zoo, to explore the adaptations of organisms within their habitats, as well as visits to such events as ‘GCSE Science live’, where students were able to experience lectures and demonstrations from some of the world’s most prominent scientists. 

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