The Science team at DESC, made up of 23 specialist teachers and 4 dedicated technicians, love to inspire young adults to find out how everything in the world works! We aim to share our love of the subject across all three Key Stages and open as many doorways into Science fields as possible for our students.

Key Stage 3 Science

In our KS3 years, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths) projects have been built into our curriculum to help students develop the skills to become real scientists and to enable them to work in a cross curricular approach to learning.  In Year 7 students are given the option of choosing a “career” in Science, they can choose two different courses to explore science in the real world. Some of the options available are Robotics, Forensics, Cooks and Chemists.

F1 in Schools is a unit of learning in Year 8. Guest speakers from a wide variety of backgrounds link the Science, skills and responsibilities to the different roles students will take on during the project. F1 in Schools is an amazing opportunity to build life skills such as team leadership, management, reflection and evaluation. Students are introduced to subjects they wouldn’t normally encounter until GCSE or A Level such as Business and Economics. These supporting departments have designed lessons on budgeting, interview skills and application writing. There are a wide range of literacy skills that are developed through the production of a portfolio, public speaking and other presentations.

Key Stage 4 Science

In Year 9 students begin the GCSE course at the beginning of Term 2. We follow the AQA Combined Sciences and Trilogy Sciences specification at KS4. Students who are excelling in Science at the end of year 9, and who are regularly scoring grade 7 or above in their end of unit tests will then be given the option of choosing to move to the Separate sciences (Trilogy) pathway.

Combined Science is currently taken by 80% of students in the UK. This course prepares students to take on any of the Sciences at A level, recommendations are that students score 7-7 in this course and have a secure grade 7 in Mathematics in order to take A level Sciences. This course is aimed to keep pathways at A level open to more students. Separate Sciences have a lot more volume in content, they stretch students and can be very challenging. It is recommended that students score a grade 7 or above in the separate science they have chosen for A level, as well as a secure grade 7 in Mathematics. Students have to cover a number of required practical’s in all three Science subjects.

Key Stage 5 Science

Biology, Chemistry and Physics are very popular with DESC students. All three subjects are 2 year courses examined by 3 papers at the end of  Year 13. Mathematical skills are required for all three subjects, approximately 10% of the marks in assessments for Biology use these skills, 20% for Chemistry, 30% for Physics.

Practical work is at the heart of Science and therefore students will complete a number of AQA set required practicals over the two year course. The required practicals give students the opportunity to embed their skills and knowledge. Attendance and participation in these practicals are mandatory to achieving the Practical Endorsement certificate for the courses, this is required by the majority of universities in the UK. 15% of the marks in the papers will relate to practical work.

Related stories