If you fell down yesterday, stand up today.
Our aim for every child is that they know enough science to develop an inquisitive mind, to enable them to understand and question the ‘awe and wonder’ of the world they live in.
In every year group pupils are taught the three disciplines of science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), which are rotated half-termly. At STARS we provide a challenging and supportive curriculum, to help our pupils achieve their full potential. Across the three disciplines, we explore a range of cultures, experiences and opinions so that our pupils can develop scientific thinking skills and appreciate how science works in the real world of discoveries and theories.
For all of our pupils our focus is on providing a supportive environment, so that pupils can thrive and engage in learning again. Our curriculum closely follows the national curriculum taught at schools within the borough and close links with local Science departments ensures cohesion. We embed all the necessary skills, including practical skills and communication skills, to enable our pupils to return to mainstream schools with confidence.
Trips to local schools to attend national events, such as Big Bang, builds resilience around managing a bustling mainstream environment and creates positive experiences.
At KS4, if reintegration back to school is not possible, then Science lessons fully prepare pupils to apply their scientific knowledge and understanding to access examination materials. This allows them to achieve their full potential and progress onto the next stage of their learning journey.
The enthusiasm of both science teachers is one of the major strengths in this department. We plan and work collaboratively to ensure that the science curriculum is taught in an exciting and innovative way.
The Science department offers Combined Science: Trilogy which equates to two GCSEs. Teaching and learning is outstanding across the department, as evidenced by Ofsted, as well as our excellent GCSE exam results. Overall, pupils make expected or accelerated progress in Science, in line with the national expectations.
In regards to the pupil voice questionnaire, pupils commented that they always know what they are learning in their lessons and what they must do to make progress. Pupils commented on the usefulness of sharing the learning objectives and that staff are approachable and supportive.
Curiosity is at the core of the Science department, leading to exciting and challenging lessons, for all abilities. Pupils at STARS enjoy Science lessons and the opportunity to carry out hands-on practicals, to discuss, analyse and evaluate scientific theories and observations.
Feedback from Pupil Voice questionnaires is overwhelmingly positive. Pupils comment that through Science they have been better able to learn about the world, and the role of Science in the news, which has enabled them to understand clearly the relevance of science around them.
To promote literacy in science, keywords and their meanings are given to each pupil for them to familiarise with the science content that will be covered and can be referred to throughout the course of the lesson.
Science and Engineering week in March of each year is a highlight for us as a science department. Activities are planned around a theme for pupils to actively engage in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities. Science trips and visits are arranged throughout the year.
The pupils’ classroom experience is enhanced by extra-curricular activities, such as the annual Big Bang event, in-school workshops such as Zoolab and celebrating British Science Week. We regularly have chicks hatching during British science week, which pupils find very therapeutic as well as applying their knowledge of growth and development in science.
The Science department organises fundraising events, such as Jeans for Genes, raising awareness of rare genetic disorders.
In addition, there are visits to such places that will broaden pupils’ understanding of the scientific world, such as the Science Museum in London and other science attractions in London.
Pupils have also been involved with recommending titles and ordering new books for our lending library. The reading dog remains a huge success, encouraging reluctant readers to gain confidence with their reading.