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Course Leader: Mr S Billington
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Throughout Years 7 to 9, pupils explore all areas of science by studying a sequence of topics, each about three weeks in length. The aim is to develop a deeper understanding of scientific principles and knowledge in as practical a way as possible, while encouraging the enthusiasm and wonder that pupils bring with them from primary school.
Practical work is recorded in a laboratory book, which remains in school. All other work is recorded in an exercise book, which pupils are expected to bring to every lesson.
All pupils have access to a course textbook called Exploring Science, which they can take home if they want to. The course does not follow every page exactly, but it does serve as a useful extra resource during some lessons and while revising for assessments.
Topics are grouped in threes (usually) and come with a themed “personal study menu” (see below) and an assessment.
Where the timetable allows, classes will have a different (specialist) teacher for each of the three topics.
The Science Department have taken a departure from what would be traditionally called “homework”. For each group of topics, above, there is a “takeaway menu” of tasks that pupils can choose from, for completion outside of lessons. Some of the items on the menus are straightforward and will not take long, others are more involved and feel like mini-projects; these will obviously take longer. Pupils have free choice over how much they attempt, as long as they do something. (As a guide, we would expect one short piece each week, or a medium sized piece over two weeks or a longer project piece over three weeks.) This allows pupils to follow their own interests and invest more time in the things they find interesting. To reward the pupils who really engage with the menus, there are ‘points’ (based on effort) available for each task and Bronze/Silver/Gold certificates are awarded when 300/600/1200 points have been reached throughout the year. In addition, pupils scoring 1800 points will receive a trophy! To achieve a trophy is very challenging, but all pupils should aim for at least their Silver certificate. In this way, we hope that pupils will see their ‘personal study’ as a rewarding and fulfilling opportunity over which they have control, rather than a chore that they are forced into. As with many things in life, you get out what you put in!
Please note that this format means that Science homework will rarely be recorded in the weekly planner. However, all pupils always do have a choice of tasks that they are expected to be selecting from – either short tasks weekly or longer tasks spread over two or three weeks, as they choose.
KS3 Science Club!
There is a Science Club for pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9 during the first half of lunchtime every Monday, in C6. Have you been yet?
FAMOUS Science magazine
Fallibroome publishes a quarterly Science magazine, called FAMOUS. Have you read it yet? Have you written an article for it yet?
BBC Bitesize Key Stage 3 Science
Museum of Science and Industry
Horrible Science books
Exploring Science books