What we are trying to achieve with students
The word science comes from the Latin "scientia," meaning knowledge. However at Charters we do not focus solely on the acquisition of scientific facts but also on how scientists work, for example how experiments and observations lead to a better understanding of how the world works. It is our wish that all students experience the awe and wonder of science and enjoy the challenge of making sense of the world around them.
Our aim is that students gain a sound understanding of the main branches of science, biology, chemistry and physics. This allows them to identify real science from the often bogus claims made in the media. In addition the world needs scientists to work in a huge number of industries and research establishments, every year a large number of our students continue their studies at university and pursue a scientific career.
Recently there has been a sharp focus on the links between science and other subjects and the Faculty has led on the implementation of the STEM agenda, building strong links with Mathematics and Technology.
The courses we run
KS3: In year 7 and 8 pupils follow the National Curriculum Programme of Study and enjoy modules such as forces and space, reproduction and chemical reactions. Pupils in year 7 are taught in mixed ability tutor groups, at the end of the year they are grouped in three broad ability bands.
KS4: Pupils begin their GCSE courses in year 9. All students follow the AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics courses for the first year. At the end of year 9, pupils who find examinations challenging are offered the opportunity to continue their studies on the BTEC Applied Science course, which is assessed via coursework assignments. Approximately two thirds of year 10 pupils continue studying separate science GCSEs, at the end of year 11 the majority gain three GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. A small number gain two GCSEs in Science and Additional Science.
KS5: In year 12 a large number of students continue their studies, following OCR A level courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. From September 2010 we are also offering a BTEC level 3 course in Applied Science for those students who prefer a vocational approach to science.
Gifted and Talented Students
Subject Specialists in Science can appear disaffected or bored in class, but may display the following attributes:
- The ability to score highly in tests without apparent effort
- They have a thirst for knowledge
- The ability to think logically and laterally
- May often carry out own experiment to see what happens
Items of particular interest
The Science Faculty offers a variety of extra curricular activities including:
- Science club for year 7 and 8 pupils
- Entry to a variety of competitions e.g. Reading University Challenge, Physics Olympiad
- A science trip to Tirabad in year 8
- Visits e.g. to the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva
- Biology A level field trip
- Nuffield bursaries for work experience in a scientific company or university department.
- Lectures by visiting speakers
- STEM leadership award
- The Science Faculty also trains a number of science leaders in year 10 and 11, who help at science club, visit primary schools and take a leading role in science lessons.