At Notre Dame the intention of the science department is to impart a joy of science and of learning about the world around us.
We strive to inspire students to continue science education at 6th form and beyond. The sciences are poorly represented by girls in general and at Notre Dame we aim to break down any barriers and inspire our students to go forward and seek employment within the STEM industries.
Lessons are sequenced to develop a stronger understanding of science and to make links throughout the 3 disciplines as they journey through their 5 years of science education.
At Notre Dame, science is taught through theory work, practical work, role play, individual work and group work. Through our lessons we promote an enjoyment of the subject. Teachers are enthusiastic about their subject and this relays to the pupils. Pupils are taught by mainly female scientists to whom they can aspire.
Students will be knowledgeable about the world around them. They will know about important science facts that they will need in their futures to help keep themselves and their families safe and healthy in their lives. Many students will go on to study science at a higher level.
Welcome to the Notre Dame Science department where pupils are inspired to ask questions about the world around them and to investigate how science works.
We are a very successful department within the school and a large number of our students take triple science as an option in year 10 and then proceed to study science related subjects at sixth form and university. Many of our past students have gone on to Russell group universities such as Kings College London and Imperial College to study for degrees in Medicine, Biochemistry, Psychology, Physics and Engineering to name but a few.
At KS3 and KS4 Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught together by specialist teaching staff in purpose built laboratories.
At KS3, pupils have 2 single lessons and 1 double lesson per week providing ample time for experiments, group work etc. Pupils are routinely assessed in a variety of ways including content based tests, role-plays and practical situations.
At GCSE, pupils will either have 6 periods of science per week (combined science) or 9 periods of science per week (separate science). Pupils have the option of choosing which route they want to follow at the end of year 9. For both combined and separate science, we follow the AQA specification.
The Science department believes that extra -curricular activities are an integral part of the learning process. We offer a variety of after-school clubs as well as organising trips to places such as the science museum, natural science museum and the garden museum.
At KS3 all pupils follow the AQA specification which has been designed specifically to give pupils the best platform from which to start their KS4 science education.
In year 7 science lessons, we cover topics that incorporate all 3 sciences. In biology lessons pupils learn about organisms with particular emphasis on the study of cells, cell structure, cell division, stem cells and respiration. In chemistry they study the periodic table, the atom, elements and compounds, metals and non-metals and reactions. In physics pupils study energy, energy transfers, work done, power, energy efficiency and pay specific attention to learning how to use physics equations including how to solve algebraic equations.
In year 8 pupils build on their knowledge from year 7 and go on to study plant science and photosynthesis, the states of matter and chemical bonding including ionic, covalent and metallic bonding and they continue their study of energy, this year concentrating on heating and cooling, internal energy, and specific heat capacity.
In year 9 pupils learn about health matters and diseases, the cause of disease and how the body defends itself against disease. They also study the various systems in our bodies including the circulatory, the respiratory and the digestive system. In chemistry lessons they build on previous knowledge to now be able to carry out chemical calculations and they study endothermic and exothermic reaction. In physics they study the structure of the atom and nuclear physics.
In year 10 pupils can either decide to follow the AQA combined science trilogy pathway which will lead to 2 GCSE’s or they decide to follow the 3 separate sciences pathway which leads to a GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics separately.
If they choose the combined science route they study:
Triple Award Science
If they choose the separate sciences route they study:
Useful Science websites:http://www.educake.co.uk (study guides and quizzes available for all students - each student has an individual username and password to access the resource)
www.aqa.org.uk (past exam papers)
www.freesciencelessons.co.uk (short concise videos)