Students study 6 units each year which incorporate a mix of biology, chemistry and physics. For more information see the documents KS3 Modules SUMMARY. Students in year 7 are taught within their tutor groups and those in year 8 and 9 are taught in set groups based on both ability and learning style. Students stay with one teacher throughout the year.
Assessments cover two aspects, content knowledge and scientific skills and are assessed in different ways.
Content knowledge is assessed by an end of unit test.
Scientific skills are assessed throughout the units on relevant classwork and the required practical (RP). The RP runs over 3 lessons and involves writing a plan, which is given a mark out of 9, doing the experiment and then analysing the data. Students also complete an analysis sheet based on alternative data which is marked against the Science Skills Criteria.
In year 7 the Scientific Skills Criteria used are taken from the new Bailiwick of Guernsey Curriculum and are known as the Areas of Learning.
For the Scientific skills criteria used in years 8 and 9 see Science Skills Criteria – y 8&9.
The sheets for these Science Skills Criteria are stuck in the back of students books and teacher tick them as necessary when work is assessed. Students are usually then given the chance to improve their work (known as DIRT) or encouraged to look back at previous examples to see how they can do better this time.
The end of topic test level, the plan mark and the average Science Skills Criteria level (currently in year 8 and 9 only) are recorded on a database and averaged to inform the REG each half term.
The slight differences between assessment in year 7 and years 8&9 are due to the introduction of the New Curriculum with effect from September 2017 and will work their way through over the next 2 years until all key stage 3 are following the New Curriculum.
All students now study the new AQA Science Specifications that were launched in September 2016. Students have the option of studying Double Science which included biology, chemistry and physics and counts as 2 GCSE grades or they can opt to study a single science only, either biology, chemistry or physics, which is 1 GCSE. Both options will be graded under the new 9-1 system.
These qualifications are awarded based solely on the students’ performance in the 2 final 1hour 45 minute examinations at the end of year 11. There is no coursework element. However, students do complete a number of Required Practicals throughout the course which will be assessed during their examinations.
Any student considering taking a Science qualification at A level must choose the Double award.