Science

‘Fake news’ is all around us, how can young people decide what to accept and what information to question?

Secondary science

Science is a core subject which means that it is studied by all students in years 7 to 11. In St Anne’s Senior School it is taught in a recently completely refitted modern laboratory which is well equipped for all practical work. Even if a young person has no wish to study further or have a career in science, it is becoming increasingly important for them to have a good basic knowledge of the subject. Many decisions and choices they will have to make are heavily influenced by science and technology. Big questions such as, ‘Is this vaccination safe?’, ‘How will climate change affect me?’ Who should I vote for? ‘Should we have renewable energy?’, ‘What can we do with all our rubbish’, and importantly, ‘what shall I eat tonight?’ are all best answered with an understanding of current science. 
Science encourages students to be sceptical, to ask questions and to evaluate claims. It also reassures us that it is ok to change your view if new evidence is discovered. All children are natural ‘scientists’, in that they are always asking questions and trying to understand the world around and inside them. A good background in science enables young people to maintain that curiosity and also less likely to be fooled by false claims.  

Students at St Anne’s school study an equal balance of biology, chemistry and physics. They also cover the skills needed to investigate and experiment. Key Stage 3 lessons in year 7 and 8 cover the following broad areas:
 

Forces

Electro-magnets

Energy

Waves

Matter

Reactions

Earth

Organisms

Ecosystems

Genes

 


Assessment is made at the end of each topic with low-stakes classroom based tests where pupils can demonstrate what they understand as well as gradually learning exam technique.
        

In Key Stage 4, all students are aiming towards taking GCSE Combined Science which is worth two GCSEs but covers all three areas of science.

Topics covered during the course are:
 

 

Biology
Chemistry
Physics

Assessments

 

At the end of Year 11, for GCSE there are six papers: two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas along with enquiry skills. Students are entered either for foundation or higher tiers of exam papers.

Going Further
 

A Science qualification demonstrates the transferable skills of adaptability, creative problem solving, working collaboratively, critical thinking and communication skills. After year 11, students may use their two science GCSEs to go on to a college course or apprenticeship. Some students, achieving the higher grades may use their combined science qualifications to progress onto Level 3 BTECs or science A-Level subjects and then on to University if they wish.