Sir James Smith's School


Science and Technology affect our everyday life. Many of the things you see have been discovered or invented by scientists. From the clothes you wear to the most advanced computer controlled robotic spacecraft.  In your everyday life it may allow you to mend a fuse or rewire a plug. You will know how to plan a healthy diet for you and your family. Your mobile telephone and how it works will no longer be a mystery to you. You may even end up in a career where you are discovering new things that may lead to inventions like a drug to cure cancer or a fuel to replace oil.

Key Stage 3

Our Key Stage 3 curriculum is designed to interest students, developing their curiosity, especially at the beginnings of their science career. We use Assessment for Learning Activities and use Pupil Progress Models of  assessment to engage our students in the lesson and most importantly in their assessment.

Our delivery is based around the Go Science scheme of work.

Motivation, Progression, Success

Go Science! delivers the new KS3 Science Programme of Study with emphasis on motivation, progression and success. It also provides plenty of opportunities to track and measure student’s progress throughout the Key Stage.

  • Best Science Lessons Ever to motivate and excite your children.
  • How Science Works integrated throughout the course, developing the skills which will lay a good foundation as student’s progress to GCSE.
  • Helps personalise teaching with levelled questions and activities to ensure good progress.
  • Fully supported assessment for learning helps students reach their full potential.

High achievers at the end of Year 8

To ensure we maintain the challenge and interest at KS3, we select the top 25 scientists at the end of Year 8 to start to study towards 3 GCSE’s in Science. These are made up of a Core Science GCSE, an Additional Science GCSE and the Further Additional Science GCSE. The Further additional Science replaces the previously offered Separate Sciences course and is a really good stepping stone for those that want to study Sciences at A Level.

Students in Year 7 and Year 8 will be assessed using STEPS.  To find out more about how this works, please click on the link below.  When the Powerpoint opens, if you would like to view as a Slideshow, select Slideshow from the top bar and then the From the beginning icon on the left hand side of the screen:

STEPS for Science

Key Stage 4

In 2011, all Science GCSEs changed following guidelines from the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA). OCR has developed Gateway Science which offers original, refreshing and dynamic approaches to science to make the subject more accessible and relevant to students. 

In addition to covering topics including the periodic table, chemical reactions, Newton’s laws of motion, electricity, photosynthesis and evolution, OCR’s new GCSEs also cover modern day issues such as energy renewal and mobile phone technology. The aim is to provide students with the scientific literacy they need for life in the twenty first century, while Additional Science (taken in Year 11) will also equip students who wish to further their studies with the required specialised scientific skills, knowledge and understanding.

The government recognise that in a modern society, there is a need to be scientifically literate, consequently they have specified that everyone has to study Science in Years 10 and 11. 

Route 1 begins with Core Science and then develops onto Additional Science (this is the expected route for many students). There is an option at the beginning of Year 10 to study The Principles of Science and on successful completion of this course the students can study The Applications of Science. These are both high level qualifications enabling your child to achieve at least a C grade equivalent at GCSE or higher. 

Route 2 is not optional but takes up an option block at the end of Year 9. This is the Further Additional Science GCSE route and students are selected at the end of Year 8 – see above in KS3 for details.

What jobs can I get if I study Science?

Scientists are in demand. Being a scientist doesn’t mean you have to be a rocket scientist!! You could be a nurse, doctor, oceanographer, hairdresser, electrician, archaeologist, mining engineer or conservation worker. Public authorities like the Water Company, Civil Service and local government need scientists to act as ecologists, pharmacists, forensic scientists or even a science teacher.

All of the courses on offer at SJS provide a good basis for which ever career path you follow and I bet your bottom dollar you’ll find some science in your life path – that’s if you look hard enough and are curious enough!

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