Heads of Science: Mr. S Fell, Mr. F Sochacki & Mr S Worth
As one of the core curriculum subjects, Science is studied by all pupils up to GCSE. In the sixth form the sciences are optional, but have proved popular and successful choices. We offer separate science subjects at AS and A level as well as Science as part of the International Baccalaureate. The facilities in the laboratories are excellent enabling a variety of teaching approaches to be adopted in order to cater for the needs and interests of individual pupils.
Below is a brief summary of Science at Kent College for each age group:
Year 7 and 8
The junior years study Combined Science. The course consists of a series of modules, largely based on the Department for Education Scheme of Work for Science at Key Stage Three. This Scheme has been modified and extended to suit the facilities available at Kent College and the experience of our teaching staff. The emphasis is very much on practical work and understanding scientific processes through investigation. Teaching makes full use of the facilities available including visits to the school farm. Electronics is also taught in Year 7.
In Year 9 pupils study the three separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics). These are taught by subject specialists within the different departments. We have adopted the OCR Gateway Science Suite of GCSE courses. This suite allows a significant degree of flexibility in the courses followed. All pupils study the early modules of this suite gaining experience in all three individual sciences. This experience informs their choice of subjects in year 10.
Years 10 and 11
Pupils choose to continue studying two or three of the separate sciences. Guidance is provided to assist pupils in their choice. Pupils are advised to consider their possible future A level choices so that they do not narrow their options by making inappropriate choices.
Each science is assessed through two external examination papers and through coursework The science courses are modular and external examinations will usually be sat at the end of year 10 and again at the end of year 11. The coursework is carried out as part of the course and contributes one third of the final marks.
As well as the mainstream choices there is also the opportunity for pupils to take Electronics and Environmental and Land Based Science (ELBS) to GCSE. In certain circumstances an individual Science GCSE is also available for pupils with a specialised timetable. We now offer a pre IB course in year 11 as an introduction to and in preparation for the full sixth form course.
Years 12 and 13
At Kent College, sixth form science is thriving. We offer the three separate sciences at both AS and A2 levels and a large number of pupils choose a combination of these options. Laboratory facilities are of excellent quality and contemporary, with recent refurbishments providing exciting opportunities for the comprehensive practical programmes carried our in support of the curricula. Many students go on to high level University courses, including Medicine, Veterinary, Engineering and Space science, with a yearly quota of Oxbridge candidates. Please see the individual Science Department pages for more detail.
All three sciences are offered as part of Group four. The three science departments maintain very close liaison in order to combine expertise. This is particularly helpful during the Group Four Project in which teams of students from each discipline combine their efforts in an investigation. Please see the individual Science Department pages for more detail.
Other Science activities
- Junior Science Club - a weekly event in which pupils carry out short investigations which are aimed at being fun as well as stretching their scienctific understanding.
- Practical Conservation - open to all age groups and making close ties with the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and the RSPB
- Lego League - a selected group of junior pupils prepare for and enter the annual Lego League Competition hosted by Kent University.
- Science and Engineering in Education - a small group of senior pupils prepare for and enter the Engineering Competition run by Pfizer each year.
- A Science and Technology programme is run as part of the school 'Activities Week' at the end of the summer term. Pupils of all ages participate in visits, talks and other events.
“ I think science is fun. We do lots of experiments instead of just reading it in a book. It is taught well and I have learned a lot.”
We offer all three sciences through OCR. Pupils are taught in small groups, in specialised laboratories fully equipped for this advanced level of study. During Year 12, pupils study for the AS courses. The first unit examination is in January of year 12. The second AS unit is examined in June of year 12. A similar structure is followed in year 13 while studying the A2. Pupils have the opportunity to retake all modules if required. The normal expectation is a minimum of GCSE grade B in the subject(s) chosen for study. Many students progress to highly successful scientific and medical courses, leading to related careers.