At Bodmin College we believe strongly that our pupils should be able to think freely about the way the world around them works. Children are naturally inquisitive and we endeavour to encourage this curiosity through a practical, enjoyable and challenging science curriculum which inspires and fosters the enquiring mind. Our goal is to enthuse pupils about science and to encourage them to consider separate science as a GCSE option in year 8, regardless of their perceived potential; we believe that Separate Science should be accessible to all and not just the most academic. The curriculum aims to prepare them for success at KS4 regardless of whether they choose to study Separate Science or not.
In the first two years of College, pupils are engaged in a curriculum where practical and enquiry skills are at the forefront of their education. Practical investigation is used to enthuse and excite pupils and to instil in them the value of the scientific method; hypothesising, rigorous testing, data analysis and evaluation, and conceptual thinking.
The curriculum is equally divided between Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics, and is based around the idea of the spiral curriculum, laying the foundations at KS3 for deeper learning at KS4 and 5. It is taught in short units to promote a sense of pace and maintain interest and enthusiasm.
We have a great track record of retaining students who wish to study A-Level sciences and work closely with the William Clift Academy to successfully promote opportunities with the Sutton Trust, Arkwright Scholarships and residential opportunities such as Villiers Park. We have also worked hard to forge links with our Primary feeder schools, for many years running well received Primary Science taster sessions for prospective students in Year 6 and continue to work to develop those links.
At KS3, all pupils study Science. Each year covers six units, each an amalgamation of two topics from the Edexcel scheme. At the end of each topic the students are assessed and a current grade and an indicative predicted grade generated. Homework tasks have a clear purpose; to consolidate the learning that has taken place in the classroom according to the principle of spaced repetition, and to help pupils prepare for future assessment. Formative assessment and DIRT is completed in class regularly. The topics covered within KS3 offer a good base of knowledge for students who decide to continue studying the subject at KS4, whether that be Combined or Separate sciences.
In Year 7, students will cover:
- BIO 1 Cells, tissues, organs and systems; Muscles and bones
- CHEM 1 The particle model; Atoms, elements and molecules
- PHYS 1 Energy; Current electricity
- BIO 2 Sexual reproduction; Ecosystems
- CHEM 2 Mixtures and separation; Acids and alkalis
- PHYS 2 Forces; Sound
In Year 8, students will cover:
- BIO 3 Food and nutrition; Breathing and respiration
- CHEM 3 Combustion; The Periodic Table
- PHYS 3 Fluids; Earth and space
- BIO 4 Plants and their reproduction; Unicellular organisms
- CHEM 4 Metals and their uses; Rocks
- PHYS 4 Light; Energy transfers
In addition all pupils complete a bespoke curriculum (‘Scientific skills’) throughout years 7 and 8 in order to consolidate the key investigative and numeracy skills needed to be successful, and to address any lack of specialist science teaching at KS2.