Years 7 and 8 (KS3)
The two-year KS3 programme at St John’s is designed to prepare the students for the rigour of the IGCSE triple award, which all students get the opportunity to start in Year 9. The programme has a variety of experiments and a large amount of practical work is conducted to enable the students to see science in action.
The assessment of students’ progress is based on National Curriculum levels and all students are provided with a test score sheet and target sheet to aid their progress.
Year 7 students are taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate disciplines by the same teacher. In Biology the focus is on cells, adaptions and inheritance, ecosystems, and biological method experimental work. In Chemistry the focus is on particle theory, compounds and elements, and simple chemical experiments. In Physics the focus is on energy, electrical circuits, heating and cooling, and light and sound.
In Year 8 Biology focuses on food and digestion, practical ecology, plants and microorganisms along with an Easter project. Chemistry looks at reactions of metals, acids and alkalis, the reactivity series and experimental chemistry. Physics looks at forces, speed, magnets and electromagnets, gravity and space.
Years 9 to 11 IGCSE (KS4)
The core curriculum at St John’s is based around Maths, English and Science teaching the Cambridge International Exams (CIE) IGCSE over three years. This is a highly regarded qualification and is recognised for its academic rigour internationally. For more information visit the CIE website.
In Science all students get the opportunity to start the triple award aiming towards three IGCSEs: Biology, Chemistry and Physics in Year 9. There is the opportunity for those who show flare towards Physics to be invited to study the Edexcel GCSE in Astronomy. For those who find the academic rigour of the IGCSE a challenge there is the opportunity in Year 11 to switch to a single combined science IGCSE and the AQA Entry Level Certificate as a vocational course. Our programme both stretches the most able and supports the vocational side.
Students who show a good understanding of Physics in Year 9 will be invited to study GCSE Astronomy in addition to their three IGCSEs. Should a student wish to study the course we will listen to any serious request; bearing in mind that this is a further GCSE in addition to their current load and it will require an after school commitment.
The course will begin in September 2012 and will be studied in a weekly one-hour session after the end of the school day. Students will also have the opportunity to visit observatories and telescopes. As part of the course, actual telescope time will be booked for students to complete the “observation” module.
Use of the newly refurbished Lab 7 computer and data logging systems, in this course, will give students the experience of using real time data collection and computer simulations in their studies.
Lab 7 Science Suite
Lab 7 was recently refurbished to give six workstations comprising of a PC, water and gas connections with desk space akin to what one could expect to see in a university science lab. The purpose of Lab 7 is to enhance the following areas:
- KS3 foundation sets will be able to conduct virtual experiments in conjunction with their lesson work. Teachers will also be able to use the computers to allow students to access a variety of learning styles to support their educational experience.
- IGCSE students will be able to conduct experiments using data logging equipment to simulate real time experiments such as rates of reaction, photosynthesis and velocity/time graphs.
- At A Level the students will be able use the data logging facilities to investigate a large variety of topics and produce lab reports in a style similar to that expected at university. This will prepare them for science at university as well as enhancing the A Level experience.
- Gifted & Talented provision. It will allow students a base to conduct further work to achieve Biology, Chemistry and Physics Olymiad awards as well as CREST, RSC, Institute of Biology, Institute of Physics awards
- A Level PE physiology experiments can now be conducted in-house over a period of time to enhance the school’s tie with Chichester University and allow both potential medical students and PE students to take part in the institute of physiology awards using the virtual body software.
- GCSE Astronomy students will have a dedicated workstation to conduct real-time data logging observations. The GCSE astronomy course can be taught in a virtual setting on the computers as well as bench practical work much better than in an ordinary science classroom.
- Extra-curricular club: The rocketry club can model flights and recovery systems before flying up to 1000ft, taking photographs and conducting atmospheric experiments during the parachuted recovery phase.
The OCR course has been developed to allow candidates to further explore the subject of biology after a successful GCSE course, and to encourage them to progress into higher education. Candidates who study biology are well equipped to continue their studies at university; embark on another science- related degree course, or enter employment where knowledge of Biology would be useful. An A Level in biology can also be advantageous when applying for medicine, the health or agricultural services, biological industry, education and, increasingly, environmental protection.
The Advanced Chemistry course integrates theory and relevant practical work, which are developed at different levels throughout and builds on the process skills inherent in GCSE. The course aims to foster imaginative and critical thinking and incorporates a number of themes.
It is a requirement for many university courses and professions for example, medicine, veterinary science, pharmacy, biological sciences, food science, and engineering.
Physics A level is a valuable qualification which can lead to a wide range of careers. These include applied physics, astrophysics, geophysics, material technology, forensic science, engineering, meteorology and medical physics. Physics A-level is also complementary with intended careers in medicine, mathematics, computing, finance, law, accountancy and many more areas.
South Africa Trip
36 Upper School students, four members of staff and a stuffed giraffe named George embarked on a ‘truly memorable’ trip to South Africa in April 2011. Over the ten-day excursion pupils visited bird, elephant and cheetah sanctuaries; Kruger National Park (including a night safari), and the capital of South Africa – Pretoria. During the more cultural part of the trip they experienced a tribal village, the apartheid museum and a Soweto Township, where the group walked through some of the poorest, most crime stricken areas of South Africa.