Ysgol Abersychan School

Find more about Weather in Abertillery, UK
Abersychan School
Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School Life at Ysgol Abersychan School

Science: Gwyddoniaeth

The Science Department

Dr C O’Connell                Subject Leader, ITT subject mentor (staff3009@abersychan.schoolsedu.org.uk)

Mr G Williams                 Science Teacher, 2nd in Department, ITT Subject Mentor

Mrs C Leaves                   Science Teacher, Assistant Headteacher

Mrs R Timothy                Science Teacher

Mr D Selway                    Science Teacher, ITT Subject Mentor

Mr J Roles                        Science Teacher, ITT Subject Mentor, Digital Coordinator

Mr D Baker                      Science Teacher

Mr R Price                        SNRB and AEN Science Teacher

Mrs T Petterson                Science Technician

Miss H Hoblyn                 Science Teacher (P/T)

The science department consists of six laboratories which are all well-resourced with scientific equipment and ICT facilities including an interactive whiteboard and Learnpads that all pupils can access and use to enhance their learning and develop their ICT skills.

We aim to provide personalised science education of the highest quality for all pupils at Abersychan School, promoting independent thinking, nurturing curiosity and enquiry, and providing pupils with a toolkit of essential skills required for successful lifelong learning.   We aim to ensure pupils are equipped to leave Abersychan School as confident and well-rounded individuals with high aspirations and a wealth of positive learning experiences. They will develop a level of science literacy to help them become informed citizens of our ever-changing technological society. We promote an ethos of high expectations and challenge, an enthusiasm for science and a passion for improving the quality of education for everyone, nurturing and showcasing individual talents.

Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3, pupils develop enquiry and problem solving skills in the context of a range of themes:

Year 7

  • Practical Licence – Pupils learn how to use key equipment such as Bunsen burners, thermometers and measuring cylinders before completing a practical test to earn their licence!
  • Harry Potter – During the first term, pupils study ‘Potions’, ‘Muggle Studies’ and ‘Defence against the Dark Arts’ which covers a range of Chemistry, Biology and Physics topics that form the grounding for understanding some of the fundamental concepts or big ideas in Science.
  • After Christmas, they study ‘War’ which includes biological weapons, rockets and explosions, and then move on to the topic of ‘Life’.
  • During the Summer term, pupils learn how to survive on a desert island though the theme ‘Lost’ and finally how to investigate a crime scene through ‘CSI’.

Year 8

  • Practical Licence refresher course – Pupils recap how to work safely in a science laboratory and use scientific apparatus before re-taking their practical licence test. They then move on to studying a range of scientific topics within overarching ‘themes’.
  • Dead or Alive – During the first term, pupils complete investigations based on topics such as respiration and using acids.
  • During the Spring term, pupils learn about surviving in space through the ‘The Martian’ and about scientific concepts using characters of the ‘Jurassic Park’ films.
  • In the summer term, pupils study scientific aspects of the Olympics such as running, drugs and archery. They complete the year by looking at the science behind ‘Superheroes’. 

Year 9

  • Practical Licence refresher course – Pupils recap how to work safely in a science laboratory and use scientific apparatus before re-taking their practical licence test.
  • Pupils are assessed throughout the year through investigations based on topics of Pressure, Photosynthesis, Reactivity Series, Speed, Respiration and Circulation.
  • During the final term, pupils begin their KS4 studies.

Homework and Assessment

Homework is set regularly to reinforce and extend learning. Tasks are varied and can include written tasks, making models, reading or research-based tasks. Details, deadlines and resources are displayed on the Show My Homework website for pupils and parents to access.  It is expected that every pupil should complete homework on time and to the best of their ability. Access to laptops or Learnpads can be arranged if needed.

KS3 Assessment is through the completion of scientific investigations throughout the topics to measure progress through the scientific enquiry skills (Planning, Developing and Reflection).

Key Stage 4

During the later part of Year 9, pupils will begin to study for their KS4 courses. The set they are placed in and course they follow is tailored to the pupil based on KS3 Science results.

Pupils are required to complete TWO Science qualifications throughout years 10 and 11.

Resources and past papers are regularly added throughout the year to Show My Homework for all pupils to access. Pupils are expected to use these to complete homework and to support learning, revision and examination preparation.

Year 10

From September 2016, pupils study one of the new WJEC Science courses. For most pupils, this will be a double GCSE.  The Science Double Award GCSE covers a broad range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics which provides the grounding to go on to study AS and A-level Sciences.  The Science Applied Double Award GCSE covers many of the same topics but has a slightly higher proportion of controlled assessment tasks and slightly less assessment through examinations.  However, both courses are assessed mainly through examinations.  Throughout the year, most pupils will be taught Physics, Chemistry and  Biology by 3 different teachers and the first real GCSE examinations will take place in June.  Pupils will complete practice papers and mock papers throughout the year to develop their examination technique and revision strategies.  During Year 11, pupils will complete the practical assessment part of the course (10%) and the assessed lab-based tasks (Applied course only).

Examination Dates for Year 10

No exams in January (except mocks)

14th June – Biology Unit (Double Award), Unit 1 (Applied Double) and Unit 1 (Single Award)

16th June – Chemistry Unit (Double Award) and Unit 2 (Applied Double)

19th June – Physics Unit (Double Award)

Year 11

Every pupil is currently studying for 2 qualifications in Science. Three classes are following GCSE courses and four classes are following BTEC courses.

GCSE Pupils

The GCSE courses are:

GCSE Science A and GCSE Additional Science

For each GCSE there are 3 examinations in Biology, Chemistry and Physics units (each worth 25% of the course). There is also a controlled assessment, which is also worth 25%.

For all written examinations, there are two possible tiers:

Higher Tier:                           Grades A* - E

Foundation Tier:                   Grades C – G

Your child will be entered for the most appropriate tier for their ability to give them the best chance to achieve their full potential.

Each paper (and the controlled assessment) is given a score out of 80.

A*

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

U

72

64

56

48

40

32

24

16

<16

 

These scores are then added up to determine the final GCSE grade.

A*

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

U

288

256

224

192

160

128

96

64

<64

GCSE pupils have completed the Science A examinations in Year 10 and recently collected final GCSE results in August. If a re-sit is required, pupils must re-sit at least TWO of the examinations.  This is usually the two units in which they achieved the lowest scores.

GCSE Science A re-sit examination dates:

Biology B1 – 5th January 2017 (AM)

Chemistry C1 – 10th January 2017 (AM)

Physics P1 – 12th January 2017 (AM)

GCSE pupils are currently completing controlled assessment investigations for GCSE Additional Science, worth 25% of the GCSE. They will then begin studying Chemistry C2 and Physics P2 for examinations in January.  The final unit, Biology B2, will be examined in May.

GCSE Additional Science examination dates:

Chemistry C2 – 10th January 2017 (AM)

Physics P2 – 12th January 2017 (AM)

Biology B2 – 16th May 2017 (PM)

 

There are opportunities during the summer examinations to re-sit any previous units (for both GCSEs) if required:

GCSE re-sit opportunities:

Chemistry C2 – 18th May 2017 (AM)

Physics P2 – 24th May (PM)

Biology B1 – 14th June 2017 (AM)

Chemistry C1 – 16th June 2017 (AM)

Physics P1 – 19th June 2017 (AM)

In preparation for examinations, there will be revision sessions after school every other Wednesday. Texts will be sent home to inform you if your child needs to attend these and we would be very grateful for your support in ensuring they attend.

Every pupil will also be provided with:

A New Revision Guide for GCSE Additional Science

Past Papers for each of the examinations

Past papers will also be available through the Show My Homework website, along with other resources to support revision.

The department also uses twitter to help pupils with any difficulties outside of school hours. You can follow us @AberScience.

You are welcome to email Dr. C O’Connell (Subject Leader) for any further information or more specific details at

staff3009@abersychan.schoolsedu.org.uk

BTEC Pupils

The BTEC courses are:

Level 1/2 BTEC Principles of Applied Science and

Level 1/2 BTEC Applications of Science

For each BTEC there are 3 units in Biology, Chemistry and Physics, which are assessed through the completion of assignments to form a portfolio. There is also one unit assessed by an external examination.

Each unit is then awarded a grade and a corresponding number of points:

Level 2 Distinction

Level 2 Merit

Level 2 Pass

Level 1 Pass

U

24

18

12

6

0

A Distinction is equivalent to an A grade

A Merit is equivalent to a B grade

A Level 2 Pass is equivalent to a C grade

A Level 1 Pass is equivalent to a D grade

The points achieved for each unit are then added up to determine the final BTEC grade:

Level 2 Distinction*

Level 2 Distinction

Level 2 Merit

Level 2 Pass

Level 1 Pass

U

90

84

66

48

24

0

 

BTEC pupils have completed the Principles of Applied Science examination (Unit 1) in Year 10 and recently collected results in August.

They are currently studying for the Applications of Science Unit 8 (Scientific Skills) examination, which will take place immediately after October half term:

BTEC examination date:

Scientific Skills Unit 8 – 3rd November 2016 (AM)

BTEC pupils can re-sit either of the two BTEC exams during March and May. All resit opportunities are as follows:

BTEC re-sit examination dates:

Principles of Science (Unit 1) – March 1st (AM)

Scientific Skills (Unit 8) – March 3rd (AM)

Principles of Science (Unit 1) – May 16th (AM)

Scientific Skills (Unit 8) – May 19th (AM)

In preparation for examinations and to offer support for catching up with assignments, there will be revision sessions after school every other Wednesday. Texts will be sent home to inform you if your child needs to attend and we would be very grateful for your support in ensuring attendance.

Every pupil has been provided with:

A New Revision Guide for BTEC Applications of Science

Past Papers for the examinations

Past papers will also be available through the Show My Homework website, along with other resources to support revision.

The department also uses twitter to help pupils with any difficulties outside of school hours. You can follow us @AberScience

Extracurricular Opportunities

STEM

Pupils are given the opportunity to attend various STEM-based workshops and visits throughout the year to enrich the Science curriculum. This year, this has included Year 9 pupils completing workshops and a residential course in partnership with the Smallpeice Trust.

Wildlife Club

Every Thursday KS3 pupils can attend wildlife club to get to know and help look after the many animals in the department, including snakes, a tarantula, fish, chinchillas, gerbils. The club also help out with the gardening and maintenance of our outdoors area including the greenhouse.