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The Science Department aims to deliver excellent education to all our students and to prepare them with the science and related technology skills needed in life and work. Oakbank’s Science Department offers your child the opportunity to study and practice science, and to understand the natural world around them, as we encourage all students to achieve their full potential.




In Key Stage Three students continue to develop their scientific knowledge and understanding. Scientific ideas are utilised to explain the natural world around them. Students begin to explore and explain a range of scientific and technological advancements, and their respective impact on the environment. They start to consider various scientific views and opinions, and why there may (or may not) be general concensus in the scientific community. Also, pupils carry out practical investigations quantitatively, and analyse and evaluate their observations. They learn how to present scientific information clearly, with clear understanding of why they conducted the work and its significance

Areas of Study

Scientific enquiry SC1


  • Ideas and evidence in science and investigative skills

          Materials and their properties SC3


  • Classifying materials, changing materials, and patterns of behaviour

          Life processes and living things SC2


  • Cells and cell functions, humans as organisms, green plants as organisms, variation, classification and inheritance and living things in their environment

         Physical processes SC4


  • Electricity and magnetism, forces and motion, light and sound, the Earth and beyond and energy resources and energy transfer


Most of our students will study science for five hours every week and are taught by specialist science teachers. There are currently 3 main course types available leading to GCSE qualifications or equivalent.  The modes of delivery and assessment are very different and students will be advised and directed towards a particular course by their teachers based on the result of regular tests and teacher assessments in Year 9.

Separate Sciences

Separate Sciences NEW COURSE FOR SEPTEMBER 2010 for those students who opt as part of their options to do extra science.

This course is aimed at students who wish to study science beyond GCSE.  It would appeal to any student who aspires to a science-related career such as medicine, forensic or sport science.  The course is 75% exam based with 25% assessed on investigative skills in school.


Students who study Separate Science will gain 3 GCSE's in Biology, Chemistry and Physics


Possible qualifications: 3 GCSE's.



Core Science and Additional Science

In year 10 the course is organized into six modules: two Physics, two Biology and two Chemistry, each of equal worth. Each is examined in a 30 minute multiple choice test. In addition, pupils take a practically based unit worth 25% of the marks.  This involves students carrying out a series of experiments in class and using their results to answer a set of longer style questions under exam conditions.  Successful students will gain their first Science GCSE at the end of Year 10. These students will continue on to take a further Science GCSE in Year 11 containing an element of coursework and a longer style answer paper at the end of Year 11.


Possible qualifications: 2 GCSEs


BTEC First Certificate in Applied Science

There are 3 units of work which cover the statutory programmes of study for science:


  • Unit 3          Chemistry Applications
  • Unit 4          Physical Science Applications
  • Unit 5          Biological Systems


There are no exams involved in this qualification.  The students provide a file of work for each unit.  The work will include notes and diagrams from lessons, practical write-ups, posters, presentations and their own research.  The depth of understanding in the work will credit it with either: a pass, merit or distinction.

BTEC courses are valued highly by employers and sixth form colleges.  Students will have a wide range of options open to them at Oakbank or other local schools and colleges and beyond, if they wish to pursue a post-16 science based course.  In particular, AS and A2 Applied Science or BTEC Nationals.


Possible qualifications: BTEC Certificate in Applied Science (Equivalent to 2 A*-C grades at GCSE)




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