Welcome to the Science Department at SGS
Click here to log onto our interactive learning environment for GCSE and A-level – Kerboodle
Years 7 & 8 pupils follow a course designed to give a traditional foundation to the Sciences and build the necessary basic knowledge and understanding for GCSE. We cover a wide range of topics from all three Sciences. Usually one or two members of the Science teaching staff take each group for a total of 5 periods spaced over two weeks.
In Year 9 pupils begin the OCR Gateway GCSE Triple Science course. They are placed into sets based on their Year 8 attainment, with group sizes becoming progressively smaller down the sets. Classes are taught the three separate Sciences by subject specialists, across 6 periods in the two week timetable: 2 each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All sets are taught the same material meaning that a range of options exist in Year 11 to tailor the examination level to the individual.
Sets are reviewed regularly;
Year 9 – November tests are used to review the sets after the Christmas break and another review occurs after the summer examinations for entry into Year 10. Students (and parents) are informed individually before any re-setting.
Year 10 – Sets are reviewed again after the January mock examinations, and summer examinations are used for a final review before Year 11.
Year 11 – Changes to sets in Year 11 are only made in exceptional circumstances.
Unless data is available to assist in the setting process then it is our policy for a new student to enter a middle set, giving the option to move either way at any of the setting points. ‘Catch-up’ help is provided where necessary.
The OCR Gateway GCSE Triple Science course is traditional in content. There are two tiers of entry (Foundation and Higher) and there is no coursework element. Pupils take a total of three hours of examinations in each of the three GCSEs.
Each Science subject is a separate GCSE that is independent of the other two.
We have a virtual learning environment that is accessible by students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We encourage independent learning wherever possible.
Kerboodle – click here to log onto our interactive learning environment
Sixth Form pupils can study all three separate Sciences to AS or A level and Sciences are a popular choice with a long history of examination success. All groups receive 8 periods in a two week block.
All three Sciences have no formally assessed coursework at either AS or A level, but practical skills are continually assessed throughout the course. A student must demonstrate competence in a number of skills to receive a teacher awarded Pass grade in addition to their A level grade.
1. My child finds Science difficult. Can they choose to study just one or two of the Sciences to GCSE?
No, all pupils must study all three Sciences. Science subjects are NOT in the option blocks, so all pupils are block timetabled for nine periods of Science every two weeks. By block timetabling we are always able to teach pupils according to their broad ability in Science and to tailor group size accordingly. For similar reasons it is not possible for a pupil to be in different sets for different Science subjects.
However, we constantly review what is best for each individual, and in some circumstances we may recommend a different pathway to GCSE, which we will always discuss with parents.
2. My child wants to study the Sciences at A level, but has not been placed in the top set. Will they be able to follow their chosen career?
Firstly: sets are not cast in stone and the block timetable means that pupils can, and do, move between sets right up to the end of Year 10.
Secondly: the work covered is the same in all sets and the tier of entry will be decided as late as possible to give all pupils the best chance of achieving the highest grades they can. Pupils who achieve a good grade at GCSE, whatever set they are in, will be perfectly capable of following the Advanced Level courses.
3. What grade requirements would you have at GCSE to take the sciences at AS level?
IGCSE/GCSE Triple award: B grade / Grade 6
IGCSE Double award: BB grade*
* This is the absolute minimum requirement; individual component scores will be taken into account.
The department has a very active Astronomy club which can lead to pupils taking GCSE qualifications in Astronomy. More information can be find on the Astronomy page.