Welcome to Kents Hill Park’s Science Department. We offer an inspiring, knowledge-rich curriculum, which embeds maths, literacy, and scientific enquiry skills throughout our pupils’ time at school. Our goal is to spark a passion for science from Year 7 and maintain this enthusiasm as pupils grow and discover their areas of interest.
We have the very highest standards and commit to ‘going the extra mile’ to ensure pupils enjoy their lessons and make outstanding progress in Science.
Staff and Facilities
Mrs Sewell is Head of Science, and specialises in Biochemistry and Immunology. Our Science Teachers are Dr Henwood, who specialises in Geology and Chemistry, Mrs Harris, who specialises in Biology and Psychology, and Mr Holmes. Our Science Technician, Mrs Swain, provides outstanding support to our Science Department.
The members of the science team have a wide range of experiences and are very well qualified with subject experts across the full range of sciences. The team is particularly passionate about our pupils achieving the very best academic qualifications across all the key stages.
The Science department is well resourced with fully equipped science labs, and access to a wide range of textbooks, topic booklets and online materials.
Leicester Space Centre: In year 7, pupils learn about space, the visit to the space centre provides an opportunity for the pupils to ask their questions and view the exceptional progress that has been made in understanding the Solar System.
Open University: Pupils have visited the OU to listened to lectures held about the Moon and experience hands-on activities organised by the staff there.
NEC Science Week: During science week we take the pupils to the NEC to involve themselves in the activities and attend the talks presented.
Body World: A group of pupils were taken to London to visit the fantastic exhibition created by Dr Gunther Von Hagens. In year 7 pupils learn about cells, tissues and organ systems and in year 8, pupils learn about breathing and the digestive system. This is a perfect opportunity for the pupils to witness the plasticised models and read the texts to support their understanding of life and science.
Once a week, pupils meet to build upon and develop their understanding of a chosen topic in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths fields and work done may lead to a CREST Award. An ongoing project in STEM club is the Carbon dioxide project: ‘Do plants increase pupils level of focus and engagement in lessons?’ Levels of carbon dioxide are measured at regular intervals during the day by the pupils in each year group.
The Parks Trust have visited us to support Year 7 Ecology lessons, and the Ogden Trust are supporting pupils to enjoy and value the importance of physics in the world.
Year 7 Curriculum
The topics taught in year 7 have been chosen as they form the Big Ideas in the AQA KS3 syllabus. Each topic is linked to the prior knowledge taught at KS2 and links to AQA Separate sciences and Trilogy GCSE.
Each topic taught in year 7 is revisited in the following year but with more content and deeper learning is required. The knowledge and skills acquired by the end of year 7 will include: asking scientific questions, planning investigations, recording data, analysing patterns and evaluating data. Students will learn about forces in terms of speed and gravity; electromagnets with regards to potential difference and current; energy, both costs and transfer; sound and light waves; matter with respect to the particle model and separating mixtures; reactions between acids and alkalis and metals and non-metals; the Earth’s structure and the Universe; organisms in terms of movement and cells; ecosystems involving interdependence and plant reproduction and genes, understanding variation and human reproduction and development. Throughout each topic students are provided with knowledge organisers, mindmaps and topic booklets to support and embed the understanding of key facts and a glossary of key words which are constantly referred to. Retrieval practice is frequently used throughout KS3 and KS4. The topics taught in year 7 form the basic foundations of the core learning which students must undertake to gain a solid ground.
Year 8 Curriculum
Each topic taught in year 8 is revisited in the following year but with more content and deeper learning is required. The knowledge and skills acquired by the end of year 8 will include: answering scientific questions, further work on planning investigations, communication, more analysing patterns and evaluating data, looking at evidence and sources, critique claims and justify opinions, risks and benefits and reviewing theories. Students will learn about forces in terms of contact forces and pressure; electromagnets with regards to magnetism; energy, both work and heating and cooling; waves both effect and properties; matter with respect to elements and the periodic table; types of reactions and chemical energy; the Earth’s climate and the resources; organisms in terms of breathing and digestion; ecosystems respiration and photosynthesis and genes, understanding evolution and inheritance. Similar to the year 7 topics, students will be provided with knowledge organisers and glossaries to support their learning. These topics form the basic foundations of the core learning which students must undertake to gain a solid ground ready for GCSEs.
Year 9 Curriculum
In Year 9, we continue to practice retrieval of the concepts acquired during year 7 and 8 and encourage the pupils to make links with their knowledge. Pupils learn about cells in more detail and recognise the importance of particular structures in the synthesis of vital biological molecules such as proteins. Pupils build upon their understanding of the the periodic table and the explanations regarding atoms, ions and isotopes, piecing together their knowledge. The key concepts in Physics are reinforced such as energy and resources providing an opportunity for pupils to practice using equations and improve their maths skills such as using standard form and working out magnification. We work closely with the maths department to ensure that there is consistency in how methods are taught. Graph drawing skills are improved due to the frequent opportunities given to the pupils to plot either collected or provided data.
We continue follow the AQA syllabus at KS4. Pupils will follow one of two pathways, Triple (separate) or Trilogy (combined) science. Pupils are invited to study triple science, this decision is made based on the overall performance of pupils in the biology, chemistry and physics, particular focus is given to the physics assessments.
Pupils will build upon their understanding about biological concepts such as organisation, bioenergetics, homeostasis, inheritance and ecology. In the chemistry lessons, pupils will develop their understanding further about bonding, structure and the properties of matter. Pupils practice quantitative chemistry, organic chemistry and chemical analysis. Physic lessons will recall knowledge about forces, waves, electricity, energy and the electromagnetic spectrum. At KHP, we encourage pupils to support their understanding of key concepts through the use of practical work.
Pupils are taught in mixed ability tutor groups in Years 7 & 8 and 9. In Year 10 they are set, to allow for extension and extra support where needed. Pupils complete Required Practicals which form part of the assessment in the science exams.
For both Triple and Trilogy science, pupils will complete 6 exams at the end of KS4; 2 Chemistry, 2 Biology and 2 Physics. Each of the written papers will assess knowledge and understanding from the distinct topic areas. For the Triple course, each exam paper contributes to 50% of the GCSE. For the Trilogy course, each exam paper contributes to 16.7% of the GCSE.