Welcome to Science!
We are a department of enthusiastic scientists who believe that understanding scientific thinking is fundamental to making decisions in society that affect ourselves and others; it enables us to broaden our mind to make informed decisions about all aspects of our lives. We are passionate about Science as a way of understanding the universe, and the excitement and enjoyment it can bring to how we view the world around us. We encourage the study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics equally and separately, and promote the common skills required by all three.
We believe the study of Science gives students the skills they need and that are useful to them for later learning and decision-making whatever subjects they study in the future. It also paves the way to a vast array of careers and job opportunities whether they require pure scientific knowledge or an application of the skills and understanding gained through the subjects.
Fundamental skills essential for Science include analysis of data, communication of ideas through speech and writing, application of knowledge to explain natural phenomena and make predictions, use of evidence to come to conclusions and the use of practical skills to carry out experiments. We focus on developing all of these skills and in addition, we believe in the development of independent study and encouraging our students to articulate their thinking confidently.
We love our subjects and our aim is to spread this enthusiasm to ensure the next generation of scientists are as prepared as they possibly can be for the world outside Cheam High School.
Our curriculum is designed as a seven-year spiral model; it is tailored not only for academic success but also to enrich the lives of the students studying the subject at Cheam. We have carefully designed practical based courses, which spiral in order to revisit and recap as we go along. It is inclusive and inspiring, while preparing students for their qualifications and encouraging engagement with the subject.
In Years 7 and 8 students follow a curriculum with a large number of experiments split into distinct Biology, Chemistry and Physics units. Students develop their scientific skills through a wide range of activities designed to prepare them for GCSE and to enthuse and excite them about the subject.
In Years 9, 10 and 11 students follow the AQA specification and study either Combined Science (two GCSEs) or Single Sciences (three GCSEs). Students continue to build on the skills and experience from lower years and continue with separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons. Assessment is now 100% by examination, so there is no coursework component, although the practical aspect of science makes up a significant part of the final exams.
At Key Stage 5 we offer students Biology, Chemistry and Physics A Levels, we also offer a Level 3 BTEC in Applied Science (both an Extended Certificate and a Diploma).
Enrichment and Extra Curricular Activities
In the Science department we run a Science/STEAM club at lunchtime which is very popular with Year 7 and 8 students. We also have several extra-curricular catch up clubs for GCSE and A Level/BTEC students who want to boost their learning and understanding.
We enjoy celebrating Science week every year with special events and activities inside and outside lessons.
We run a large number of trips during each term, for example trips to the Natural History Museum and a residential trip to Juniper Hall near Box Hill.
We provide extensive support for students at all levels within the Science department. Our team of Learning Support Assistants are attached to Science and Maths, and provide support for students in Years 7 to 11.
We have a Curriculum Support Officer dedicated to administration and academic support and four Technicians who also provide extra support for the department. The technician team specialise in Biology, Chemistry or Physics and assist with demonstrations and practicals in lessons as well as designing practical activities for students and classes to carry out.
We run a large number of support sessions targeting students who are under achieving compared to their expected grades. We send letters home inviting pupils to specific intervention sessions with specialist teachers to work in small groups with pupils to boost their understanding, recall and analysis.
We also have a carefully designed More Able Gifted and Talented (MAGT) programme for students identified as being in one of these categories.