Welcome to the Science Faculty
- Mrs N Jeffries - Head of Faculty
- Dr N McGeady – Deputy Head of Science and KS3 Coordinator
- Miss S Morgan-Smith – Deputy Head of Science and KS3 Coordinator
- Dr T Jackson - Head of Physics
- Mr A Murphy - Head of Biology
- Mrs S Ngochi - Head of Chemistry
- Mrs R Burnam-Richards - Teacher of Science and STEM Coordinator
- Mr B Aitken - Teacher of Science
- Mr M Doran - Teacher of Science
- Ms S Jakku – Teacher of Science
- Mr N Khan - Teacher of Science
- Mrs M Molfeta - Teacher of Science
- Mrs A Vishnoi – Teacher of Science
- Mr M Winn – Teacher of Science
- Mrs D Vyas - Senior Science Technician
- Ms M Bashova - Technician
- Ms K Imiolczyk - Technician
Click here to view the Science Learning Journey
Please click below for detailed Programmes of Study for each year group:
Science Programmes of Study
Aims of our Science curriculum
The Science curriculum is a 7 year journey in which we prepare students to be responsible and competent scientists for a sustainable and moral future. The main aims of the curriculum is to encourage enquiry and develop scientific thinking, rather than simply the process of knowledge acquisition. This allows pupils to look at the world around them and question what they see, carry out investigations and arrive at conclusions.
The curriculum is designed to ensure students have a deep understanding of biology, chemistry and physics and the links between them, with an overarching theme of practical science and links to STEM. Our schemes of work are designed to allow students to develop their scientific knowledge of key ideas, such as cells, health and lifestyle, ecosystems, atoms and the periodic table, chemical reactions, energy, forces and electricity and these themes are developed throughout the 7 year curriculum, from KS3 to KS5.
Our curriculum is engaging and challenging and allows students to develop and apply various skills, including practical skills, mathematical skills, memory retrieval skills, literacy skills and collaborative skills. We have specifically designed our curriculum for the rounded development of our individual students, with clear links to British values (e.g. ethics surrounding stem cells, genetics and vaccinations and participating in debates), the world of work (e.g. career paths in STEM, writing risk assessments, the work of scientists such as Marie Curie, Semmelweis, Pasteur and Newton and industrial process such as the extraction of metals using a blast furnace), links to other subjects (e.g. the idea of continental drift, the structure of the Earth and its resources), the stay safe curriculum (e.g. health and lifestyle, reproduction, drugs and alcohol and E safety) and STEM (e.g. carrying out design and build projects).
Our students are encouraged to develop their independent skills, work together in groups, consider others and investigate real-world situations as well as developing the skills needed to question scientific validity and problem solve. Students are expected to be part of their own learning journey, through continual encouragement and support from staff, taking part in enrichment opportunities such as trips, research opportunities, science clubs and questionnaires and are assessed regularly, giving them opportunities to reflect on their progress and considering ways in which they can improve.
Skill Development throughout the Science Curriculum
Through the Bishop Ramsey Science curriculum our students learn and apply the key skills needed to become competent and responsible scientists. Each year our students are given the opportunity to ask key questions about the world around them, carry out investigations, analyse findings, and evaluate the validity and accuracy of their results, as well as developing their mathematical and literacy skills.
Alongside the skills our Science curriculum has been specifically designed for, we have made it a priority to develop wider skills for all individuals, specifically the transferable skills needed for employment and further education including creativity, collaboration, problem-solving, risk-taking, communication, independent learning and critical thinking.
Our aim is to develop students that look at the world around them and are able to make sense of what they see. We want them to be inquisitive and ask questions, and have the skill set to understand bias in the media, investigate issues in a logical manner to arrive at a reasonable conclusion. These skills will ensure that students are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.
Our Key Stage 3 Curriculum
Our key stage three curriculum is designed to build a foundation of key scientific knowledge and understanding, as well as the development of key practical skills. We introduce science to pupils in a fun and engaging manner, allowing students to learn through doing. We have developed a broad range of SOL, covering a theme each term, to engage students in the three key areas of science: biology, chemistry and physics. This allows our students to consider how things work, the importance of the Earth’s resources for a sustainable future, why things happen, how things change and how to carry out investigations. Students are taught in mixed ability groups in year 7 and 8.
Our students are given opportunities to ask scientific questions, carry out investigations and research, create models and analyse and evaluate their findings. Our year 7 and 8 curriculum is designed to enthuse students and to develop the skills required to make them successful at GCSE, including maths and literacy skills, independent learning, practical skills and collaboration.
There are regular ISA (Investigative Skills Assessments) which allow students to plan their own investigations, carry them out, record and analyse their results and evaluate- key skills required to become successful and competent scientists. Students are assessed regularly, with a focus on the recall of key scientific knowledge, understanding of processes, application of knowledge and understanding and linking scientific phenomena to other areas of the curriculum and the world of work.
Students are all expected to be a key part of their learning journey and are given time to reflect on their progress after each assessment to reflect on where they did well and what they need to do to make improvements.
At the start of Year 9, students carry out a ‘transition topic’, divided into 3 distinct units: revision & independence, maths & literacy skills and key ideas in Science. This allows students to consolidate their knowledge and understanding of key scientific concepts from Years 7 and 8 and to help in the transition to the GCSE course. This transition topic also provides students with links to scientific careers, opportunities to investigate bias in the media and understand the role they can play improving the quality of human life.
Key Stage 3 Extra-Curricular Activities
Students are given the opportunity to attend a weekly science club to carry out engaging science experiments beyond the classroom curriculum. Students have also recently attended Salters Festival of Chemistry workshops and take part in extra-curricular activities each year to celebrate science week, such as the “Look Who’s Talking Science” competition. There is also a fortnightly STEM club that students can attend.
Our Key Stage 4 Curriculum
At key stage four, students can choose to study combined or triple science. In both the combined and triple courses, the curriculum covers a broad range of topics in biology, chemistry and physics, with an overarching theme of developing practical skills.
Students are required to complete a number of ‘required practicals’ which are assessed through the terminal exams. The required practicals (as well as other practicals carried out throughout GCSE), give students the opportunity to plan, investigate, analyse, problem solve, evaluate, build independence, take risks and make links to the knowledge and understanding learnt previously at key stage three and taught at KS4.
The emphasis naturally changes at KS4 with the goal of students achieving or exceeding their potential in the GCSE exams. Therefore our focus moves towards how we develop the skills required to be successful, as well as building confidence in students to ensure they are comfortable on this journey. This is done through regular assessments, practical opportunities and supporting students to set their own realistic goals for their future.
Students are encouraged to take ownership of their learning journey, through the use of revision folders and reflection on their progress throughout the course. Teachers ensure that there are many opportunities to make links with the A level Science curriculum that many go onto study and help them to manage their time and develop their independent and organisational skills, which are essential for future employment.
Through the delivery of the AQA Combined Science or Triple Science GCSE our students are supported to develop the key skills needed for the exams as well as preparing them to be responsible and competent scientists for a sustainable and moral future.
Our Key Stage 5 Curriculum
A summary of the exam boards for each KS5 Science course:-
- Biology Edexcel (SNAB)
- Chemistry OCR
- Physics AQA
Details of specifications and a description of each course can be located on the individual department page.
Our KS5 Science curriculum is designed around students’ specific interests for future pathways. A level qualifications in Science open up opportunities to study related subjects in higher education, e.g. Medicine, physiotherapy, veterinary sciences, chemical engineering, pharmacy, analytical services, research and law.
Depending on the specialist area our students are interested in, our biology, chemistry and physics SOL allow students to build upon the knowledge, skills and understanding they have developed through KS3 and 4 to help them make informed choices about their futures.
The level of scientific knowledge and understanding increases and students are required to link information in logical manner, developing an appreciation for the interaction of different disciplines in Science. More focus is placed on the scientific process and in each of the 3 subjects, students carry out a number of required practicals which allow students to develop their investigative skills, such as planning, risk assessing, independent research, modelling, analysing and evaluating.
An increased emphasis is placed on independent study, which mimics post-18 expectations, and students are encouraged to understand that they are ultimately responsible for their success or failure.
Assessments take place on a regular basis, which provide an opportunity for students and teachers to determine progress made, but also allow increase exam experience. The topics follow an ever increasing level of complexity and allow scaffolding of information to take place, with the earlier topics leading on from GCSE to the A2 content increasing in complexity and demand and preparing students for their future pathways.
Students are supported throughout the course for their unique futures, including guidance in writing their UCAS personal statements, visits from BR alumni to discuss university study and working in scientific careers and extracurricular visits e.g. to CERN, conservation centres and university lectures.
- Mr A Murphy - Head of Department
- Mrs S Morgan-Smith – Deputy Head of Science and KS3 Coordinator
- Mr B Aitken - Teacher (Year 12 Director)
- Mrs N Jeffries - Head of Science Faculty
- Mrs R Burnham-Richards – Science teacher (Biology specialist)
- Mrs Krystyna Imiolczyk - Biology Technician
Biology is a fascinating subject giving an insight into the living world around us. The Biology A (Salters-Nuffield) course offers students an opportunity to experience the interrelated nature of Biology, linking a variety of topics and showing how genetics and the environment can work together to influence organisms.
Overview of the Biology Course
The biology course consists of eight topics studied over two years. The content covered include the Circulatory System, Genes, Ecology, Forensics and Respiration. Students will be expected to demonstrate and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills they develop during the course. In addition, they will be expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific information, ideas and evidence using their knowledge, understanding and skill.
We study the Edexcel Biology A (Salters-Nuffield). This is a two year course culminating in three written exams.
Summary of Assessment
Paper 1 - The Natural Environment and Species Survival
100 marks 33.3% weighting 2 hours
Paper 2 - Energy Exercise and
100 marks 33.3% weighting 2 hours
Paper 3 - General & Practical Applications in Biology
100 marks 33.3% weighting 2 hours
In addition to the grade awarded as a result of the written papers there is a practical endorsement that can be added to the final certificate. This is assessed during the course and depends on work carried out in class and documented in two Biology lab books which need to be purchased at the start of year 12.
Subject entry requirements
Students may had studied either combined or triple science at GCSE.
GCSE Biology 6 (students must have been entered for higher tier papers) or Combined Science 6-6 along with English and Maths (grade 5).
In addition to these requirements there is an entrance test sat in the summer term.
This is based on the combined science biology topics and requires a minimum pass mark of 40%.
Linear A Level Biology can open up a range of careers and higher education courses in medicine, veterinary science and dentistry, optometry, physiotherapy, pharmaceutical sciences, forensic science, biomedical and biological sciences, environmental health and food sciences.
A Level biology can also help gain direct entry into employment, especially into the scientific and related sectors.
Enrichment and Wider Support
- London Zoo Visit: this is an annual event and includes a lecture given by the Zoological Society of London on Conservation and the Role of Zoos. Allows the students to see the valuable work of various organisations in the preservation and conservation of the natural world.
- Biology Intermediate Olympiad: Students are entered into this prestigious competition, with many securing certificates and recommendations.
- Lectures given by past students: many of our alumni are continuing their studies or profession within the sciences. We regularly get visits from these ex-students to both inform the present students about the wonderful opportunities that are ahead of them and to give them some insight into life at university. We have previously had lectures on forensic science, the Human Genome project, Virology and Genetics.
- After/Before school tutorials and revision classes.
For further information, please contact Mr A Murphy.
- Mrs S Ngochi - Head of Chemistry
- Dr N McGeady – Deputy Head of Science and KS3 Coordinator (Chemistry)
- Mr M Doran - Teacher of Chemistry
Key Stage 5
Chemistry A in A Level Chemistry (H432) – is a content-led approach. The A Level in Chemistry A specification content is divided into six teaching modules and each module is further divided into key topics A flexible approach where the specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of chemistry. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they are assessed both through written papers and, for A level only, the Practical Endorsement. The first four modules comprise the AS Level in Chemistry A course and learners studying the A Level continue with the content of modules 5 and 6. The internally assessed Practical Endorsement skills also form part of the full A level.
The specification is divided into chemical topics, each containing different key concepts of chemistry.
We study the OCR Chemistry A Specification. This is a two year course culminating in three written exams.
Students will sit three external exam papers at the end of A2, which will assess their knowledge and understanding of all topics covered in Years 12 and 13.
Year 12 –Year 13 Progression Exams
In the summer of Year 1, Chemistry students usually sit two Y12 to Y13 Progression Exams covering all Year 1/AS course content. The internal assessments and the ‘Progression to Year 13’ end of year test are based on OCR exam questions and are therefore a very good indicator of progress and predictor of grades.
Subject Entry Requirements
GCSE Triple Chemistry Grade 7 or Combined Science (7-7). Students must also have achieved a Grade 5 in GCSE English and Mathematics.
Enrichment and Wider Support
Students are given the opportunity to attend lecture days and workshops throughout the year run by some of the local universities and other organisations. Students have recently attended cosmetic science workshops, lectures and workshops at UCL and in house lectures delivered by visiting speakers.
A Level Chemistry A is an excellent base for a university degree in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry as well as the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, pharmacology and analytical chemistry. Chemistry is also taken by many law applicants as it shows you can cope with difficult concepts. Chemistry can also complement a number of arts subjects. A range of career opportunities including chemical, manufacturing and pharmaceutical industries and in areas such as forensics, environmental protection and healthcare. The problem solving skills are useful for many other areas, too, such as general management and finance.
- Dr T Jackson - Head of Department
- Miss M Molfeta - Teacher of Physics
Key Stage 5
At Key Stage 5 we deliver the AQA’ Physics A’ syllabus leading to GCE Physics A Level at the end of Year 13. Please visit www.aqa.org.uk/7408 for more information. A Level Physics has a significant amount of mathematics embedded in it, and so we require students to study A Level Mathematics for the duration of their A Level Physics studies. Students are also required to achieve a grade 7 in Physics GCSE or a grade 7-7 in Combined Science. Students also need to have achieved a grade 5 in English.
During Year 12 students study the AS (Advanced Subsidiary) elements of the course. Students are assessed internally throughout the year but will not normally sit external (AS) exams at the end of Year 12. The internal assessments and the ‘Progression to Year 13’ end of year test are based on past AQA exam paper questions and are therefore a very good indicator of progress and predictor of grades.
During Year 13 students study the A level elements of the course. A similar series of internal assessments are used thought the year, culminating in the AQA external A level exams at the end of Year 13.
Through both years of the course, students use a laboratory log book to record the planning, execution and analysis of 12 Required Practicals defined by AQA. This log book becomes the primary piece of evidence to support the claim that they have achieved a specified level of practical competency. Those who do achieve this have the words “Practical Competency” recorded on their A Level certificate alongside their grade.
At the end of Year 13 students sit three external examination papers, each worth one third of the marks of the A Level. There is no coursework. Paper 1 mainly covers topics studied in Year 12 and Paper 2 mainly covers topics studied in Year 13. Paper 3 is in two sections; section one focusses on the practical applications of Physics using both long answer and multiple choice questions, and section two covers one of the four option topics. The option topic is chosen each year by the class based on their interests and strengths from: 'Astrophysics', 'Medical Physics', 'Applied Physics', 'Electronics' and 'Turning Points in Physics'.
Results in Physics at A Level have been consistently strong in recent years, both in absolute terms and in respect of 'value added', i.e. in terms of students achieving better grades than initially predicted based on GCSE results. We have seen many students progress onto university degree courses in Physics, Mathematics, Engineering, Natural Sciences, Medicine and Architecture.
Enrichment and Wider Support
Extra-curricular opportunities are sought to extend students’ understanding and application of material. At Key Stage 5 enrichment has been provided by means of the following:
• Year 12: We take a group to Geneva in Switzerland to spend a day at CERN, the home of the Large Hadron Collider. This trip runs most years but is obviously dependant on many external factors.
• Year 13: We take a group to Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE) in Oxfordshire to spend half a day at the national nuclear fusion centre. This trip runs most years but is obviously dependant on many external factors.
• After school tutorials and revision classes.
• Opportunities for students to attend university physics and engineering department induction days and visits.
• All A level physics students are encouraged to join the Institute of Physics and to take advantage of the resources and presentations which are available.
• Direct support to students seeking work placements, apprenticeships and university sponsorship and with university applications (including Oxbridge).