The Science Department is a strong and enthusiastic department, a forward-looking department characterised by the significant levels of extra help given to students throughout each year in order to maximise their chances of success at all levels.
We take pride in our close working relationships with Senior Leadership and other departments as this helps us not only give the best for your child in Science but also helps with their success throughout Harris Academy as a whole.
The department consists of 7 teaching staff with a wide range of UK and International experience, supported by 2 experienced and able technicians. We have a significant number of newly or recently re-furbished teaching laboratories and also refurbished prep rooms..
The department offers a wide ranging programme of study built around the central belief that science is a relevant and necessary part of life. We aim to develop both practical and critical thinking skills, ensuring that students become fully scientifically literate, hopefully inspiring the students we teach to remain so throughout their adult lives and even to aspire to careers in any of the many Science-based occupations so necessary to our everyday existence.
The KS3 curriculum is a broad-based Science course which gives students a thorough grounding in a wide range of Scientific ideas and knowledge. Students develop practical skills alongside their theory and subject knowledge, giving them a skill-set ideally suited to making an absolute success of their move into KS4 in Year 9. The KS3 curriculum has recently been re-vamped, in order to ensure we are fully up to date and in line with government directive.
Some of the topics studied in Years 7 and 8 include heat, materials, recycling, chemical reactions, diseases, electricity, ecology, forces, classification, space and many others.
In KS3 students remain with the same teacher throughout each year in order to help us build up a detailed picture of each student, enabling us to help make their transition from Key Stage 3 into Key Stage 4 and GCSE as smooth as possible.
The KS4 curriculum begins in Year 9. This early start is designed to maximise the chances of success at KS4 for each student at Harris Academy and is complemented by each class remaining with the same teacher throughout the year.
In KS4 students will either complete the AQA GCSE combined Science: Trilogy award, or they will complete separate Science; Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The GCSE your child takes will depend on their abilities and aspirations in Science. The new AQA GCSE Science qualifications are 100% examinations with the removal of coursework.
Each examination that your child takes at the end of year 11 will consist of the following assessment objectives:
Assessment objective 1: (40% of exam)
Students can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, scientific techniques and procedures.
Assessment objective 2: (40% of exam)
Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, scientific techniques and procedures.
Assessment 3: (20% of exam)
Analyse information and ideas to interpret, evaluate, make conclusions and develop experimental ideas.
Some of the topics studied in KS4 include: Energy, Particle model of manner, Cell organisation, Bioenergetics, Quantative Chemistry and Energy changes.
SMSC IN SCIENCE
SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCIENCE
Sometimes science and spiritual ideas cause conflict but in a modern society it is important to understand why these conflicts arise so we can respect the views of others, rather than allow misunderstanding to cause antagonism and conflict.
Science deals with issues such as Evolution and the Origin of the Universe from an entirely neutral standpoint, utilising only the hard evidence for such theories. Theories are evaluated and criticised from a Scientific perspective rather than a Spiritual one in order that students can gain an understanding of such theories without giving conflict to their own personal belief systems – always the aim is to ensure pupils gain an understanding of the theories involved. From this approach it is often seen that Science is able to stand alongside the spiritual beliefs of many. This is looked at often from a neutral stand point within science lessons.
Some of the areas in which spiritual development is enhanced through Science include :
Experiencing awe and wonder
- The use of particle accelerators in Physics
- The impact of waves (Tsunamis and Earthquakes) in Physics
- Evolution in Biology
- The Big Bang Theory in Physics
- The development of the periodic table in Chemistry
- The miracle of birth in human biology
Exploring the values and beliefs of others
- The use of stem cells in reproductive research and the cure for inherited diseases
- The moral it of blood transfusions for some religious groups
- Genetically modified crops
- The impact of pollution on our planet
- The anti-evolution movement (creationism)
Understanding Human feelings and emotions
- The impact of drug misuse
- The impact of alcohol on individuals, families and society
- Human behaviour and psychology
Using imagination and creativity in learning.
- Students develop speaking skills
- Presentation skills
- Creative learning tasks school as designing science based board games and Joule Island.
- Using descriptive writing to elicit emotion and feelings.
MORAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCIENCE
Progress often brings with it moral dilemma. As we become better able to influence or change things through our understanding of Science, with create moral the potential for moral conflict with the views of those who prefer not to see such change enacted. Society as a whole decides if to what extent the ability of Science to make change is accepted. By giving students a thorough grounding n some of the developments and issues relating to such, we hope to enable students to form their own, valid, conclusions regarding the morality of the use of Scientific advances. Moral development is a vital part of any student’s development. Students will need to develop a good understanding of moral and ethical dilemma not only to pass their exams but also to further their development as a person.
Investigating moral values and ethical issues
- Human impact upon our planet and environment
- Should we colonise Mars?
- The ethics of human organ transplantation
- The debate on the use of alternative energy forms (impact of wind farms or the use of bio fuels)
- The safety of nuclear fuels and reactors.
Recognising right from wrong and applying it:
- The use of biotechnology
- Farming – are we dependent on monocultures
- Animal rights
Understanding the consequences of their actions
- The legal aspects of drug abuse
- The growing impact of rising obesity levels in Western Society
- The use of chemical based fertilisers on land – eutrophication.
SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCIENCE
Science is changing our society and an ever-increasing population is greatly exacerbating this. Longer life-expectancy and uncontrolled population growth are putting ever increasing demands on resources. The advances within Science that have both led to this problems and helped to alleviate them are studied and students, through their understanding of such, will be able to further their own development and views, taking into account Scientific fact and being able to judge what is correct and what is hyperbole or simply wrong, as well as developing the ability to check things out for themselves, in order to further their own social development.
Developing personal qualities and social skills
- The use of mobile phones and smart technology
- Limestone quarrying
- Listening to the viewpoints of different scientific groups and politicians
- Developing the ability to take a full and active part in lessons
Participating cooperatively and resolving conflict
- The nuclear debate pro and cons
- Fossil fuels v biofuels
- Should we colonise Mars?
Understanding how communities and societies function
- Limestone quarrying
- Laws relating to drink driving
CULTURAL DEVELOPMENT IN SCIENCE
Scientific development comes from all across the world, from people of all backgrounds and cultures. Science is a subject that transcends boundaries and borders and has done so throughout history. Students are given a cultural awareness of the contributions of different nations to Science as the history of some major developments eg the Periodic Table, Radioactivity, are studied.