The cosmologist and science populariser, Carl Sagan, said that: “We live in a society that is exquisitely dependent on science and technology in which hardly anybody knows anything about science and technology.” The Science Faculty is committed to producing scientifically literate members of society and as many future scientists, engineers and technologists as possible.
There is an excellent balance of scientific disciplines, interests and specialisms across teaching and support staff within the faculty and this has contributed to the recruitment of unusually large numbers of students onto Science A level courses for a number of years.
Results in Science have been consistently good for a number of years and the faculty was placed in the top quintile of similar schools and schools nationally last year. Part of the success of the faculty is due its philosophy of placing students on the right courses of study for their abilities, aptitudes and interests. We offer Separate Science GCSE (i.e. separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics) at Higher level, Core and Additional Science GCSE (a combination of the three sciences) at Higher and Foundation level, and BTEC science (a course that teaches science in work-related contexts).
Student performance in Science is closely monitored throughout the year against targets generated using both previous results and teachers’ knowledge of ability and aptitude. Students are not allowed to consistently produce work at a standard below their target level – they are required to re-complete sub-standard work at lunchtime with support from their class teacher. Additional support is given to all students during exam preparation periods and this is enhanced for students who are re-sitting examinations – in addition to the teacher-led after-school revision sessions offered to all students, support is also provided by Sixth Form students during tutor time. Students are provided with the opportunity to buy revision guides written specifically for our chosen courses at a low cost available only to schools.
The faculty has developed a written feedback and marking policy adopting the SWANS approach (Strengths, Weaknesses, Attainment, Next Steps) that enables students to reflect on their learning and address issues identified by teachers at regular assessment points. This year will see slight changes to the ‘writing-for-purpose’ approach preferred by the faculty (where writing is only undertaken to demonstrate and consolidate learning) and a stronger focus on the key area of literacy.
The school has invested heavily in the refurbishment of science labs and teaching rooms in recent years – we have five ‘wet’ science labs, two large teaching rooms (one equipped with internet-connected computers) and a smaller Sixth-Form teaching and tutorial room. All labs and rooms are fully ICT equipped with multi-media projectors.
The faculty is committed to providing curriculum enhancement opportunities for students. Examples from last academic year include guest speakers and lecturers, including Dr Jonathan Hare of TV’s ‘Rough Science’, and three ex-Wolgarston students now studying Microbiology, Dentistry and Veterinary Science.
Educational visits last year included:
For further information, please contact the Faculty Leader, Mr Swinnerton, via school reception, or email firstname.lastname@example.org