GBHS students learn Science to...
- Develop informed opinions and to support such opinions with reasoned arguments.
- To encourage the development of an enquiring scientific mind and the ability to become an independent learner.
- To promote awareness, knowledge and understanding of Scientific issues beyond the classroom setting.
- To encourage pupils to question, analyse and form opinions about various issues that appear in the news.
- For pupils to understand the purpose of and necessity for Science in their school and future lives.
- To be exposed to vocational and enrichment opportunities such as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
The Science facilities include 11 laboratories. Five labs have recently been fully refurbished and all 11 have interactive whiteboards. There are currently 12 teaching staff supported by five technicians. The science faculty is fully staffed with specialists in the three science disciplines and psychology.
At Key Stage 3 science groups are set by ability. Regular testing throughout the year enables pupil performance to be closely monitored.
At Key Stage 4 all groups are set by ability. Courses have been chosen to best suit the needs of the students. Students will take either separate sciences (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) or combined science. Students who intend to study science post 16 are encouraged to take separate sciences.
The courses we run
We use the AQA examination board for the following syllabi:
|Combined Science: Trilogy||8464|
The Faculty has a very healthy Sixth Form intake, offering A-level courses in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology.
The science faculty delivers good examination results, which in recent years have been substantially above national averages. In 2019, 31 grade 9’s were attained by our students at GCSE with 81% of Chemistry, 80% of Biology and 76% of Physics at GCSE Grade 5+.
An extremely strong team spirit exists within the Science Faculty, where all members of teaching and technical staff are fully involved in making science achievement.
Social, Moral, Spiritual and Cultural aspects within Science
The study of science can contribute to an understanding of spiritual, moral and ethical, social and cultural issues. The following are examples of opportunities to promote students development through the teaching of science at Great Baddow High School.
The issues are addressed by students sensing the natural, material, physical world they live in, reflecting on their part in it, exploring questions such as when life starts, where life comes from and experiencing a sense of awe and wonder at the natural world. Particular areas of the science course which develop spiritual awareness are:
- wonder at what is special about life;
- treating all living things with care and sensitivity including the environment in which we live;
- appreciation of the beauty of natural forms and the relationship of form to function in living things;
- awe of the scale of living things from the smallest micro organism to the largest tree;
- examples of the complexity of living things and the wonder of how it all work together;
- creation of new life via human reproduction; photosynthesis and the wonder that the substance of the largest trees is predominantly produced from water and carbon dioxide;
- all the oxygen that animals need to breath was produced on the earth by plants;
- carbon cycle and the way life is self sustaining. the continuity of matter i.e. the same atoms are constantly circulated, including those in living things;
- the way we sense the world through the nervous system.
- wonder at the significance of the pattern in the Periodic Table;
- wonder at the extent of geological time;
- students consider the enormity of space and the number of stars. they reflect on the earth as one small speck in the universe and our place within it;
- teachers use photographs of planets and their natural satellites to stimulate awe and wonder;
- beauty of natural objects or phenomenon, plants, animals, crystals, rainbows, earth from space etc.
Moral and Ethical Issues
These issues are addressed through helping students to draw conclusions using observation and evidence rather than preconception or prejudice, and through discussion of the implications of the uses of scientific knowledge, including recognition that such uses can have both beneficial and harmful effect. Exploration of values and ethics relating to applications of Science and Technology is possible. Particular areas of the
Science course which involve moral and ethical awareness are:
- teachers encourage seeking the truth through finding evidence in investigations;
- students treat honestly situations where experiments give results that may not agree with accepted scientific knowledge and consider why the results may differ;
- when working in groups students should take responsibility for their own actions even when things go ‘wrong’ and have trust in the contribution of others;
- when considering the environment students are encouraged to consider the long term results of environmental change and the need to care for the environment for future generations. Students consider the effects of pollution, waste disposal, use of finite resources, energy use, biodiversity, eutrophication and changes in the landscape; students are encouraged to show respect to all living things and the environment in which they lie, and to apply scientific knowledge and understanding to the care of living things;
- students consider historical moral issues of small pox vaccination and extend into present day medical moral issues e.g. transplants, human fertility. They consider similarities and differences between selective breeding of plants and animals and genetic engineering. They also debate cutting edge applications of these technologies such as embryonic stem cell research, and explore the issues connected with these from different viewpoints.
These issues are addressed through helping students recognise how the formation of opinion and the justification of decisions can be informed by experimental evidence, and drawing attention to how different interpretations of scientific evidence can be areas of the science course which involve social awareness are:
- students are encouraged to show respect for other people’s ideas;
- group practical work provides opportunities to develop team working skills and taking responsibility; students are encouraged to keep an open mind to new ideas without prejudice until tested by observation and experiment;
- Science should be seen as a social activity. New scientific ideas need to stand up to other peoples scrutiny e.g. Louis Pasteur and micro-organisms.
- students should take responsibility for their own and other peoples safety when undertaking practical work;
- students should consider the effect of science on their lives e.g. enhancement of
- plant growth, use of artificial satellites, development of polymers, development of medicines;
- students consider the benefits and drawbacks and scientific and technological development in environmental and other contexts; attention is drawn to competing priorities and the decisions that have to be made about energy requirements, use of the environment and site of industry, taking into account relevant social, economic and environmental factors;
- students consider two ideas have changed over times e.g. plate tectonics, spontaneous creation of life, movement of the earth etc; students study the effect of scientific theories on how people consider human society e.g. Copernicus, Darwin;
- students are aware of the social consequences associated with human reproduction, smoking, drugs and alcohol;
- a social responsibility for the environment is developed including living things, use of energy and finite resources.
These issues are addressed through helping students recognise how scientific discoveries and ideas have affected the way people think, feel, create, behave and live. Through drawing attention to how cultural differences can influence the extent to which scientific ideas area accepted, used and valued. Particular areas of the science course which involve cultural awareness are:
- scientific discoveries are celebrated as part of our culture e.g. the work of Louis Pasteur, Jenner and Galileo;
- credit is given to scientific discoveries of other cultures e.g. the discovery of fermentation by the early Egyptians.
- students learn that science should be seen as a contemporary activity in many different countries e.g. co-operation over climate change, biofuel production and the need for rainforest conservation, protection of endangered species;
- it is recognised that the patterns of stars and phases of the moon appear different in different parts of the world;
- it is recognised that the smelting of metal ores developed more than 2500 years ago in many cultures, Africa, Asia, Middle East as well as Europe;
- it is recognised that sickle cell anaemia occurs not only in populations of African origin but also in eastern European and Middle East population and that carriers of the trait are less effected by malaria;
- agricultural selective breeding of plants and animals was used in all ancient cultures;
- students learn about the different social and economic factors that cause people in different parts of the world to exploit or conserve their environment in different ways;
- students consider the historical context that influences the way new theories are considered e.g. motion of the earth, evolution, infection theory of disease;
- students are aware that there is a relationship between the reactivity series of metals and the age of discovery.