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Devonport High School for Girls

Name of Head of Department

Mr C Moore, BSc (Hons), MSc, PGCE

Statement of Intent 

The science curriculum at DHSG is designed to support our learners in their development to become scientifically literate citizens of the 21st century. We aim to engage their curiosity; to help them learn how to ask the right questions about the world around them and the society we live in. We will support them in developing the skills and knowledge required to investigate their questions and then to interpret and critically evaluated the answers they find. We achieve this through the study of the three traditional scientific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, all of which are underpinned by practical principles and investigation and will include learning about how scientists work. 

We ensure that students have a firm scientific knowledge and skill base to progress with confidence through the Key Stages and finally progress into the wider world with the scientific tools required to pursue their individually chosen further study and future career pathways. We will teach our students how to use mathematics in science and not assume the transference of maths skills whilst ensuring our curriculum is assessable to all. 

Physics is the study of the universe and all things in it from the unimaginably small to the unfathomably large. We aim to inspire students with the wonder of Physics through the teaching of five key areas, Waves, Energy, Electricity, Matter and Forces, all of which are revisited throughout key stages 3 to 5. 

Practical Science: 

We have designed our practical science curriculum with eight fundamental principles on mind: 

  • to develop scientific enquiry;
  • to develop knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts; 
  • to develop practical competencies; 
  • to prepare students to answer examination questions related to practical work with confidence;
  • to develop teamwork and collaborative skills; 
  • to excite, inspire and develop student curiosity and ideas, so that they will rationalise and question further the world in which they live; 
  • to prepare students for life in an increasingly scientific and technological world; 
  • to raise awareness of STEM careers, provide visible role models and engage with external agencies where possible to create/be involved in STEM enrichment activities, e.g. links with Plymouth University etc. 

Key stage 3 (Year 7 and 8)  

Students in Years 7 and 8 study four modules of Physics each year. These are based upon the Oxford KS3 Science Activate Syllabus. The units studied are Forces, Sound, Space and Energy in Year 7 and Electricity, Energy, Light and Motion in Year 8. The topics build on the KS2 Programme of Study for science and form a good foundation for moving on to Physics at Key Stage 4. 

Key stage 4 (Year 9, 10 and 11) 

KS4 Triple Science Options: AQA GCSE Physics is delivered.

GCSE Physics students follow all the units 4.1 – 4.9 found on the GCSE Physics Specification link below. Practical skills are assessed throughout the course and examined as part of the final examination series.

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the AQA website GCSE Physics specification

KS4 Double Science option: AQA Combined Science: Trilogy is delivered

Combined science students follow selected elements of units 6.1 – 6.8 found on the GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy Specification link below. Practical skills are assessed throughout the course and examined as part of the final examination series.

Full details of the specification and assessment criteria can be found on the AQA website GCSE Combined  Science: Trilogy Specification

 

Extra-curricular activities 

The Physics department works closely with various other schools across Torbay and the South Hams and regularly holds collaborative events for students to participate in. The nature of the events varies each year and has included: an evening exploring Astronomy and Light; the Physics of fire; Medical Mavericks; GCSE Physics Escape Rooms. All the schools are keen to continue this work which enriches the Physics curriculum and aims to improve uptake at A-Level. Students have also taken part in the Go4Set project and travelled to Birmingham to exhibit further projects at the Big Bang Science fair.