Westminster City School
Striving for Excellence, Learning for Life

Science

Our vision is to provide an outstanding science education to ensure all students fulfil their potential.

Science Department Staff

Keith Rowney - Subject Leader
Jonathan Link - Deputy Subject Leader
Harry Willetts - Assistant Subject Leader
David Cook - Assistant Subject Leader
Aba Ansah - Teacher
Jens Apweiler - Teacher
George Christodoulo - Teacher
Sarah Elrify - Teacher
Michaela Forsyth - Teacher (Year 8 Head of Learning)
Chris Rees - Teacher (Assistant Headteacher)
Jack White - Teacher
James Wilson - Teacher (Deputy Headteacher)
John Mason -Technical Services Director
Paul Roberts - Senior Technician
Waffa Seid - Technician

Curriculum

Key Stage 3 Oxford University OxBox

Year 7 starts with an induction into science at secondary school with our highly successful New Skills Unit. This introduced students to the world of science, it's equipment and methods. This unit leads straight onto the Chemistry units covering particles, elements and compounds, chemical reactions and acids. Physics units then follow to introduce boys to energy, forces, space, electricity and magnetism. Biology units start after Easter and cover cells, difference, classification and reproduction.

Year 8 units follow a similar pattern of chemistry, physics then biology. Topics studied include; the periodic table, geology, inside materials, the reactions of metals, heating and cooling, light, sound, motion, life support, human health, the environment and inheritance. Throughout KS3, students will be assessed at the end of each topic and also at the end of every half-term. Every science student will repeatedly compare their current performance against targets and develop a clear understanding of their strengths and areas where further effort is required.

Key Stage 4 Edexcel GCSE/BTEC Science

Students have the choice of Triple Science (3 GCSEs) completed in 2 or 3 years or BTEC extended certificate in Applied Science (2 GCSE equivalents) over 3 years.

The Triple science option is taught in 8 lessons per week with 3 specialist teachers covering the full range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics. The triple science course is assessed through controlled assessments and an exam at the end of each teaching cycle. By expanding the cohort of students able to study for triple science to nearly 75% we hope to improve our students' access to A level sciences and thereby to the sciences at University. Biology topics include; classification, variation and inheritance, animal and plant responses to changes in the environment, problems facing the global environment, cells and their functions, organisms and energy, common systems, control systems, behaviour and biotechnology. Chemistry topics include; Materials from the Earth, acids, obtaining and using metals, fuels, atomic structure and the periodic table, ionic compounds and analysis, covalent compounds and separation techniques, chemical reactions, quantitative chemistry, chemical analysis, electrolytic processes, gases and equilibria and organic chemistry. Physics topics are;

The BTEC option is taught in 5 lessons per week over 3 years with 2 specialist teachers. The BTEC Extended certificate is assessed entirely on project work completed throughout the course, marked by teachers and Internally Verified by the Subject Leader. Topics studied for the certificate include; physical properties of chemicals, elements and atomic structure, rates of chemical reaction, the Earth and it’s environment, energy transformations, waves and radiation, electrical energy and circuits, the solar system and the universe, functions and classification of organisms, the impacts of human activity on the environment and human health. Extended certificate units cover; chemical bonding, exothermic and endothermic reactions, using organic compounds, specialised materials and their applications, investigating motion, forces, electricity, light and sound waves, factors effecting and preventing healthy living, the use of antibiotics, gene therapy and stem cells.

Key Stage 5 OCR AS/A2 level Biology/Chemistry/Physics

With 6 classes at AS and 6 at A2, the sciences are, by far, the most popular of our A level programmes at Westminster City School. Our team of talented specialist teachers offer excellent teaching and superb after-hours support through our tutorial programme, to ensure students have a very clear understanding of the course contents and their performance relative to key assessment criteria.

Support

Science club is held every Monday after school. Open to any KS3 and KS4 student requiring additional support, the main aim of science club, and the 6th Form Science Ambassadors who help, is to support groups of invited students to perform at a higher level in their science studies. Following each half-term assessment, those students from each year group, most in need of additional help are invited to attend the next 6 weeks sessions.

6th form tutorials are held every week for all students, whether they would like help with homework, are struggling with a tricky topic or just need somewhere to work quietly. The tutorials programme was introduced last year and has quickly become a significant part of our students' success.

Extra Curricular Activities

Science teachers take every opportunity to introduce extra-curricular experiences to their lessons. Whether filming watermelons dropping from the school roof, or anime club there are a large number of extra activities centred around the science department.

Recent trips and visits organised by science teachers include Kew Gardens, field studies in South Wales, Imperial College and CERN in Switzerland.