Meet the Department
Welcome to the Science Department. Science is a core subject both nationally and at St Richard’s with every pupil completing at least 2 GCSEs at KS4.
We aim to enable all pupils to think scientifically both through theoretical and practical activities. A good knowledge and understanding of science is not only essential for a wide range of careers, but also to make informed choices in wider society including diet, energy use and materials used to make a wide range of products.
Science is a subject that prepares pupils for a number of careers including research, forensics, the environment, health, engineering and sport.
To access our science website go to the below (NB pupils have to log into their school STROODLE account first)
The science department has enabled the pupils at St Richard’s to achieve fantastic attainment and progress including for 2019:
77% achieving at least two 5 grades
63% achieving at least two 5 grades
25% achieving at least three 5 grades (by following triple science)
60% of the triple group achieved at least three 7 grades
In Key Stage 3 science, we follow our own in-house scheme that is based on the guidelines for the ks3 Science National Curriculum.
The revision materials can be found on our Science website (need to be logged onto the school VLE to access)
The following KS3 related materials can be found there:
To prepare for unit tests it is very worthwhile to use the intervention sheets (above) as a checklist and to read through the lesson summaries (above).
BBC bitesize can also be an aid to revision
The oak academy has some very good revision materials
KS3 revision books from CGP are recommended for KS3 revision. Parents can purchase their own copy directly from the CGP website. Towards the end of term 1 we do make a bulk purchase of these so that we can offer them to parents at a reduced price.
In Key Stage 4 we follow our own in-house scheme that has been developed by our teachers for the specifications of GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy from the exam board, AQA.
Double Award/Triple Award
In KS4 pupils are taught in mixed ability groups and entered for foundation or higher tier for their GCSE Science exams with the exception of one select group of pupils that are entered for the triple award (3 GCSEs based on the single Sciences). The content for their GCSEs are divided up into a number of units which last approximately nine or ten double lessons. At the end of every unit there is a test which assesses the pupils’ understanding and skills. The units are as follows:
B1 – Cell Biology
B2 – Organisation and photosynthesis
B3 – Infection and response and respiration
B4 – Homeostasis and response
B5 – Inheritance, variation and evolution
B6 – Ecology
C1 – Atomic structure and the periodic table
C2 – Quantitative Chemistry and energy changes
C3 – Chemical changes
C4 – Environmental chemistry
C5 – Organic chemistry
C6 – Chemical analysis and reaction rate
P1 – Atomic structure
P2 – Energy and particle model
P3 – Electricity
P4 – Waves
P5 – Forces and motion
P6 – Electromagnetism and Space (Space is triple Science only)
At the end of Year 11 all pupils will be entered for their GCSE examinations.
The double groups (Higher and Foundation) will sit 6 exams:
Biology paper 1 (16.7%)
Biology paper 2 (16.7%)
Chemistry paper 1 (16.7%)
Chemistry paper 2 (16.7%)
Physics paper 1 (16.7%)
Physics paper 2 (16.7%)
All 6 exams are 1 hour and 15 minutes and equally contribute to their Science double award. Each exam will assess their knowledge and understanding, mathematical skills and knowledge of required practicals, using multiple choice questions, structured questions, closed style questions and open style questions.
Pupils with a particular aptitude for Science and are expected to achieve a minimum of grade 7 in Year 11 are given the opportunity to study triple Science during KS4. The course is recommended for pupils who wish to study A level Science(s) after Year 11. In each of the above units there is extra content/lessons in which those studying for triple award will be assessed on. The triple groups will also sit 6 exams in the same format as the double group. However, each exam will be 1 hour and 45 minutes long (contributing 50% of each subject specific GCSE). The pupils in the triple group will then receive three separate GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
The scheme of work for KS4 Science can be found on our Science Website:
(You need to be logged onto the school VLE to access the material)
The following KS4 materials can be found here:
Lesson summaries – These provide a summary of each KS4 lesson. These are very useful for pupils that have been absent.
An array of revision videos from Youtube, intervention sheets, a required practical booklet for pupils, the AQA specifications and various past exam papers can all be found on the St Richard’s Science website.
We order Collins revision guides with exam practise questions (receiving a discounted price) in which pupils will have opportunities in the year to purchase (pupils will receive letters during the course of the year).
Assessment in Science
In KS3, all pupils are set an aspirational target score that is based on their KS2 average point score and other relevant data. At KS4, pupils are set an aspirational target grade based on Fischer Family Trust and our own internal assessment data. Pupils are expected to achieve this grade and will be supported to do so. Work is marked using scores at KS3 and GCSE grades at KS4. Past paper questions are marked according to exam board mark schemes.
Pupils will be assessed regularly within the topic area using a range of tasks assessing both knowledge and scientific skills including research, risk assessment, data, processing, analysis, concluding and evaluating. All pupils have a formal assessment at the end of each unit and an end of year exam.
All pupils have access to a wide range of extra-curricular opportunities, including Young Investigators Club, Electronics Club, GCSE Geology and a range of trips, lectures and other enrichment activities.
Young Investigators club, coordinated by Mrs. Fox, is a lunchtime club open to Year 7 where pupils undertake short projects and experiments which cover any and all areas of Science.
Electronics club, coordinated by Mr. Curtis, is an afterschool club open to KS3 pupils. Pupils develop soldering skills which are then applied to a variety of projects, some pupils also develop programming skills utilised by Raspberry Pi’s which can then be used to control electronic devices.
The GCSE Geology course, coordinated by Mr. Filsell, is an afterschool club open to Year 9 pupils. Pupils progress through a 2 year GCSE Geology course and sit a formal examination at the end of Year 10 to gain a GCSE qualification in Geology.
Pupils will have the opportunity to take part in several competitions in KS3 which involve completing Science projects at home for a cash prize!