The Science team at Soar Valley consists of nine full and one part-time teacher plus two technicians. Science teachers at Soar Valley teach across all three disciplines of Science throughout KS3 and KS4. Science at Soar Valley has superb facilities with 10 laboratories, two well equipped prep rooms and the college ICT facilities. All students in years 10 and 11 have personal login to online text books ‘Kerboodle’ Science as well. To support students personal study and revision sessions outside of college, as well as extra support available for students in college.
Science Curriculum Key Stage 3
Science at Soar Valley is based upon Schemes of Work that have been developed by the department to incorporate all the key aspects and skills across all 3 subject areas. Throughout Years 7 - 9 students gain an understanding of key scientific principles that prepare them for their GCSEs and develop the investigative skills necessary for Science . We also believe in training the students to become ‘Scientists’ developing their skills of enquiry and analysis throughout their time at Soar Valley. Year 9 students start their GCSE transitional work in the summer term in order to further prepare them for their GCSE studies, consolidating the work they have covered in Years 7 and 8 and further developing all aspects underpinning ‘How Science Works’.
Years 7 students are taught in mixed ability groups from the offset. Throughout the year they undergo various forms of assessments and progress checks, which are then used to set students in ability groups for years 8. There is a similar approach in year 8 to assist with setting procedures for year 9. Towards the end of Year 9 students will be put into groups for further Science study at KS4. During the last part of the summer term students are taught a short course that prepares them for transition into KS4.
Science Curriculum Key stage 4
A variety of Science routes and courses are offered at KS4 to meet the different needs of the learners at Soar Valley College. Most students study core Science, with different routes available for further progression after completion of the core Science. The majority of students will study Science following the more traditional Double GCSE option of ‘core’ Science and Additional Science. All three of the Science areas Biology, Chemistry and Physics are covered and integrated together for final examinations on completion of the Additional Science course.
Additional Applied Science is for those students that a more vocational approach to their studies would be beneficial. The Additional Applied Science course is a recognised GCSE and places more emphasis on relating Science to the ‘real world’.
Pupils with an aptitude for Science now have the opportunity to gain three GCSE's instead of the mandatory two that were previously available. These students will be spoken with by Science staff and will need to have a level 6 amongst other criteria to follow this route.
Learning does not just happen inside the classroom and therefore over the past couple of years more opportunities for out of classroom learning have been created. Examples of these would be Young Investigators club which takes place at lunchtimes, annual trip to Snibston Discovery Park where the students have the opportunity to participate in workshops to enhance their understanding in Science or visits to the Space Centre which has always been a hit! Future plans are to develop these experiences to tailor towards targeted groups of students and really extend their knowledge and understanding of Science in the real world.
Key Stage three assessment descriptors are attached below. The “learning pathway” (e.g. 8-9) indicates the likely GCSE grade that a student may expect at the end of year 11, based upon both their current attainment and year of study.