Eckington Science Faculty
The science department at Eckington is focused on ensuring every student achieves their full potential in science, giving them the skills needed to excel in the STEM subjects. Furthermore, the faculty hopes to inspire a love of science and its application in our society.
Eckington’s science department is fortunate to have specialist teachers in biology, chemistry and physics with the support of 2 science technicians. In years 7 and 8 students have four lessons a week, increasing to 5 at GCSE and 5 per subject at A-level. BTEC science have 10 lessons per week.
The Science Curriculum
The key stage three curriculum is comprised of biology, chemistry and physics with practical and maths skills integrated throughout. In addition to building the foundation needed for GCSE science students are encouraged to ask questions, make observations, collect data, evaluate evidence, solve problems and make informed decisions.
In Year 7 students will study Biology topics on cells and reproduction in plants and animals, food chains and the environment. The Chemistry topics they cover are relating to atoms and techniques used to identify and separate mixtures. The Physics topics are related to forces, energy, sound, light and electricity. Students will complete a variety of activities including practical work, use of ICT and mathematical skill development, all of which will develop their scientific skill base in preparation for GCSE.
In year 8 topics are revisited to a higher level, with the addition of physiology, respiration, photosynthesis, evolution and Inheritance in biology. In chemistry students meet the periodic table, chemical reactions, climate and resources in chemistry and in physics, pressure, electromagnetism, and waves. The practical and maths skill also see an increase in demand.
Current year 9 students are taught a bridging year which builds on the Year 7 and Year 8 Science curriculum whilst also giving them the fundamental knowledge and skills required for GCSE. AQA physics, chemistry and biology topics are selected to give them the skills and academic ability to meet the demand that is GCSE. Topics are also selected to promote students’ interest in STEM.
At the end of year 9 a decision will be made as to which pathway (Triple Science/Combined Science) students will follow at the start of year 10. From this point in Year 10 Science classes will be re-organised into Triple and Combined classes.
At the start of Year 10 students will be re-organised into Triple and Combined classes. Current Year 10 students will complete the Paper 1 topics from the AQA specifications and begin learning the Paper 2 topics. Year 10 students will be tested on the Paper 1 topics at the end of Year 10. The specifications can be found using the following links:
Year 11 Students will continue their routes in addition to revision which will take place at intervals throughout the year and after school. Once all the GCSE content is complete students will follow a comprehensive revision schedule.
Students on the Combined Science pathway will also sit six papers in total and this will gain them 2 GCSEs. Two 1 hour 15 minute papers each for biology, chemistry and physics these will all be taken at the end of Year 11 in the Summer exams.
For paper 1 students are examined on: Cell biology, Organisation, Infection and response, and Bioenergetics for biology; atomic structure and the periodic table, Bonding, structure & properties of matter, Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes and Energy changes in chemistry; energy, Electricity, Particle model of matter and Atomic structure for physics.
For paper 2 students are examined on: Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, Variation & evolution and Ecology for biology; The rate and extent of chemical change, Organic chemistry, Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere and Using resources for chemistry; Forces, Waves, Magnetism and Electromagnetism for Physics.
Students on the Separate Science pathway will sit six papers in total and this will gain them 3 separate GCSE’s (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). Two 1 hour 45 minute papers each for biology, chemistry and physics these will all be taken at the end of Year 11 in the Summer exams. The topics on paper 1’s and paper 2’s are the same as the Combined Science Pathway, but with the addition of Space Physics in paper 2.
The qualifications available to students are:
OCR A-level physics (Minimum entry grade 6 in GCSE science and maths)
OCR A-level biology (Minimum entry grade 6 in GCSE science)
OCR A-level chemistry (Minimum entry grade 6 in GCSE science)
BTEC level 3 National Diploma in Applied Science (Minimum entry grade 5 in science)
Students are given the opportunity to take part in a range of science relate school trips during flexible learning days, over the past few years these have included visits to The Space Museum, The Science Museum, The Deep, Jaguar Landrover, Science Live! Lecture events, The Mining Museum, The 6th Form have the opportunity to carry out biology field work and last year were able to visit CERN the home of the large hadron collider, a trip we hope to run again/ in 2019. Students help run the Space Rocks evening which is open to the public. There is also a STEM club who participate in the tomorrows engineering EEP robotics challenge and a big bang fair project.