About the Department
The Science Department consists of 15 full-time and 1 part-time specialist science teachers. Each member of the department is an experienced teacher with a proven track-record of outstanding academic results.
A large number of students elect to study science at A Level and the department produces a steady stream of pupils who choose to study a Science-related degree courses at university; including many who study Medicine, Veterinary Science and Dentistry as well as the Physical Sciences. Over the last 2 years the faculty has produced around 25 medics, 5 vets and 8 Oxford and Cambridge entrants.
We have an outstanding academic record at GCSE and A Level:
2017 A Level Biology 21% A*/A and 73% A* - B
Chemistry 41% A*/A and 66% A* - B
Physics 58% A*/A and 75% A* - B
GCSE Biology 43% A*/A
Chemistry 50% A*/A
Physics 36% A*/A
Subject Content & Syllabus
In Years 7 and 8 students follow a general science course developed by the school. This focuses on developing King’s Learning Habits alongside a broad-based science education. Practical content is high and there is a firm emphasis on student-based learning. Students also follow the CASE (Cognitive Accelera- tion through Science Education) programme. This is a course developed by King’s College London to improve students’ thinking and analysing skills and involves practical work, problem-solving and analysing tasks. Students have either 7 or 8 lessons per fortnight with one member of staff. Classes are taught in form groups, with class sizes typically around 18 - 24.
In Year 9 the students are still taught in forms, but follow courses in the individual Sciences with specialist subject teachers. After an introductory course students will start their GCSE studies in all three Sciences. Again, there is a high emphasis on practical work and developing essential learning skills. Students receive 4 lessons per fortnight in each of the Sciences.
At GCSE we offer Separate Science and Dual Award Science. The majority of students follow the Separate Science programme and students are placed in sets across the whole year group. This course leads to three Science GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). A small set of students follow the Dual Award Science programme and receive the same teaching time allocation as the Separate Scientists. This leads to two Science GCSEs and allows students more time to gain confidence in each of the Science subjects. We follow the AQA specifications and the three departments work closely together in developing novel and innovative teaching methods. Students are assessed and monitored regularly and each department provides weekly support clinics and revision classes to help students achieve their potential.
At A Level all three Sciences follow the AQA course. Class sizes in Years 12 and 13 are typically between 5 and 15. Practical work makes excellent use of the school’s wide variety of university level equipment and students are entered for a range of national competitions. There are systematic programmes in place to help prepare students for Veterinary/Medicine/Dentistry courses as well as for Oxbridge entry. For the Sixth Form, we recommended a minimum of grade A at GCSE level to embark on any of the Science courses, ideally alongside an A grade in Mathematics. Dual award students will need to achieve A grades in the additional paper of the subjects that they wish to study at A Level.
Monitoring & Assessment
At Key Stage 3, all pupils are assessed each half-term. Pupils are tracked against National Criteria for KS3 and regular feedback is given to parents. At Key Stage 4, pupils are monitored and assessed at the end of each half-term.
End of year examinations are taken in the summer term of Years 7 -10. Public exams (GCSE and A2 examinations) are taken in Years 11 and 13.
Studying Sciences can open the door to a wide range of professions, including medicine, forensic sci- ence, pharmaceutical research, engineering, architecture, finance and many more. Science A Levels are among the most highly regarded academic A Levels and form the basis of more degree courses than any other subjects.