The teaching of Science places great emphasis on preparing and developing our learners for their Science careers ahead. We believe it is important to develop their scientific skills, their curiosity in our fantastic subject as well as the theoretical content. We centre lessons on experimentation, observation and deduction, as it is generally accepted that learning by experience, provides experimental results which, in turn, leads to first-hand knowledge.
Although Science is taught in primary schools, few of the students have laboratory experience when commencing at Hilbre. Students are introduced to experimental methods, which form the basis of their work in Years 7 and 8; we build on each student’s earlier school experiences to extend the breadth and depth of their knowledge, develop their understanding and improve their skills.
The teaching groups in Years 7 and 8 are setted based on ability. However they are dynamic and a learner can change groups that are more suited to them. Students have 6, 1 hour long lessons of science per fortnight, and where possible, all of these lessons are taught by one teacher, as we believe continuity is essential in this early stage of secondary school life. The Key Stage 3 programme is condensed to two years to allow an early start to Key Stage 4 in Year 9.
In Year 9, all students start the Key Stage 4 Programme of Study. We currently follow the AQA Trilogy Course in Year 9. Each learner covers two components of each Biology, Chemistry and Physics subject throughout the academic year. There is, again, a focus on How Science Works. Year 9 students are set into ability groups and additional groups have allowed the student to teacher ratio to be reduced. They have 6 lessons of Science per fortnight.
In Year 10 our most able students are encouraged and offered the opportunity to study towards Separate Sciences. In recent years we have accommodated either two or three groups where this is a viable option. This means class sizes are relatively small. An increase in lessons allows us to teach lessons now, as the respective subjects, rather than 'Science'. Our Year 10s will continue the programme of study from Year 9, and this continues on into Year 11. Year 10s and 11s opting for Separate Science will have 15 science lessons a fortnight. All other students will have 10 lessons a fortnight.
In Years 12 and 13 we offer A Level Biology, Chemistry and Physics. We also run Level 3 BTEC courses which have, over recent years, been very successful. However, the bar has been raised in terms of difficulty from September 2016. The courses on offer are Level 3 BTEC Applied Science and Level 3 BTEC Animal Management.
We run many trips, visits, and other Science related enrichment activities and will be building on these further in the future. We also run a weekly Science Club for Key Stage 3 students and have a CREST Award/STEM Club for Key Stage 4 students.