HEAD OF SCIENCE FACULTY – Mr BEN PRESTON – BPR@CHENEY.OXON.SCH.UK
Mr B Preston – Head of Science
Miss E Seller – Deputy Head of Department (KS5)
Dr D Hardwick – Deputy Head of Department (KS4)
Mrs B Lynch – Deputy Head of Department (KS3)
Ms L Elias – Assistant Headteacher
Dr M Parker – Head of Student Progress (maternity leave)
Mrs M Pillay-Sayers – Head of Student Progress (Y8 and Y10)
Mrs R Robson – Head of Student Progress (Prime Students)
Dr L Rayment – Deputy Head of Sixth Form
Dr R Balster – Teacher
Miss V Berry – Teacher and 6th Form Supertutor
Mr D Bowman – Teacher
Dr C Casson – Teacher and 6th Form Mentor
Mr S Clark – Teacher
Dr F Dillon – Teacher
Mr M Finch – Teacher
Miss R Phillips – Teacher
Mr G Richards – Teacher
Miss B Robinson – Teacher
Mr K Routledge – Teacher
Miss Z Tellal – Teacher
Ms A Franklin – Lead Technician
Mrs Q Carter –Technician
Ms P Intek – Technician
The Science department at Cheney School aims to build the breadth and depth of students’ knowledge of science, and maintain their curiosity for the world around them. Lessons include practical activities, demonstrations and extensive practice to consolidate new knowledge and to build on students’ existing understanding. Topics in all years are divided into biology, chemistry and physics, and all include an assessed task which students complete and will have an opportunity to improve based upon feedback from their teacher.
The staff in the science department have a wealth of academic and professional experience, and all bring a different body of knowledge to the team. The department is supported by a highly professional team of technicians who maintain an excellent stock of equipment and chemicals for science lessons. The department continues to enjoy the new Brighouse building offering excellent facilities alongside the existing well-resourced science laboratories.
All students study science until the end of Year 11 and we have enjoyed some exceptional results over the past few years. In 2016, 59% of our students achieved 2A*-C in the sciences, and in 2018 this had increased to over 60% achieving at least two grade 4s in science. The majority of GCSE students study AQA Combined Science (Trilogy), while some choose separate sciences as part of the options process in year 8. In the Sixth Form the majority of students study at least one science course: we offer the traditional A level subjects of biology, chemistry and physics, as well as BTEC qualifications in Applied Science and in Health & Social Care.
The department is committed to extending the opportunities offered to our students and we run numerous trips. Our Sixth Form visit the Arboretum and the Natural History Museum, take part in Open Days at universities, and our Physics students visit CERN in Switzerland each year. Younger students will have opportunities to visit museums, science conferences, the Big Bang show, take part in events and competitions organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics, and the Royal Society of Biology.
KEY STAGE 3
A range of topics are covered in Key Stage 3 Science, and students are taught in mixed ability groups or option groups. The classes in each year follow different rotations due to equipment demands but the topics that are covered are as follows:
In Year 7 students study cells and organisation, skeletal and muscular systems, reproduction, acids and alkalis, chemical reactions, pure and impure substances, energy, light, forces, motion and space physics.
In Year 8 students study nutrition, digestion, respiration, health and disease, ecosystems, the periodic table, rocks, our earth and atmosphere, heating and cooling, particles, waves and magnetism.
In Year 9 students study photosynthesis, gas exchange systems, genetics, evolution, metals, reactivity and chemical reactions, forces, pressure, moments, energy and electricity.
Once students have finished the Key Stage 3 content by Christmas of Year 9 they move on to studying for their GCSEs. Students who have made limited progress throughout Key Stage 3 are supported in Year 9 by the completion of the Entry Level Certificate – a Level 1 course that reviews the basics of science and prepares them for a successful start to GCSE.
During each topic students complete a written assessment on what they have studied. These vary from topic to topic, and they include assessment of both students’ understanding of the topic covered and the scientific skills they have studied. Pupils will be given feedback on these assessments, and will be given the opportunity to further improve their work and develop their knowledge, skills and understanding.
KEY STAGE 4
Students study the programme of study from the National Curriculum through studying for either GCSE Combined Science or GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics – obtaining either two or three GCSEs at the end of Year 11. Students either opt for separate sciences through the options process or are in mixed ability classes throughout Y9, 10 and 11.
The course covers a wide range of subjects in all three sciences. The biology section looks at cells, immunity, bioenergetics, homeostasis and response, inheritance, variation and evolution, and ecology. The chemistry aspect covers fundamental ideas about atoms and reactions, energy changes, organic chemistry, chemical analysis and the chemistry of the atmosphere. The physics component looks at forces, energy, waves, electricity, magnetism and electromagnetism.
KEY STAGE 5
The courses on offer are:
A level Biology
A level Chemistry
A level Physics
BTEC Level 3 in Health and Social Care
BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science
A Level Biology
Students learn about life and living organisms through the study of biological molecules, cells, exchange and transport, respiration, co-ordination, genetics, evolution and more! Practical skills are built upon in twelve required practicals over the two year course. Along with an A level qualification students work towards gaining a practical endorsement.
A Level Chemistry
Students learn about elements and their compounds, through the study of physical, organic and inorganic chemistry. Modules include atomic structure, energetics, organic reactions and spectroscopy. Practical skills are assessed continuously against criteria given by the exam board.
A Level Physics
At A Level, students study particle physics, mechanics, waves and electricity. The second year of the course builds on the knowledge and skills achieved earlier and investigates thermal physics, fields and radioactivity. Practical skills are an essential part of the course and there are six assessed practicals throughout each year.
BTEC Level 3 in Health and Social Care
The BTEC Level 3 in Health and Social Care is assessed through a variety of units, both internally and externally. These units cover a range of topics such as human lifespan development, working in health and social care and meeting individual care and support needs. All of these units link to real life situations in health and social care settings. This qualification carries the same UCAS points as a single A level subject when applying to universities.
BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science Single and Double Award
Students undertake a continuously assessed qualification in which science is taught in a work based context. Topics covered incorporate material from AS Biology, Chemistry and Physics with analytical and investigative practical skills. In Year 13 students study optional modules from a wide range of subjects.
The Single Award (officially known as an “Extended Certificate”) carries the equivalent UCAS points to a single A level, and the Double Award (officially a “Diploma”) is worth two A level grades when applying to universities.