Science is taught to all students in Years 7 to 9 in four 50-minute lessons, the maximum class size at present is 22 and mixed ability (a total teaching time of 3 hours 20 minutes). We follow the Exploring Science curriculum at KS3 but we do have a strong emphasis upon skill development and therefore the team have planned an excellent skills curriculum that runs along side in context. At the end of Year 9 all students take the Key Stage 3 Science attainment tests, and these are used to support the extensive assessment opportunities provided and tracked at all stages of KS3. At Key Stage 4 all students are placed on a pathway that is specialised to their ability and needs.
Class sizes vary with an absolute maximum of 30 in the most able groups and smaller class sizes in BTEC pathways. As a result we would describe all classes to some extent mixed ability with broad setting in the acadeimc pathways. We ensure that all students who study any of our KS4 pathways have the opportunity to study Science within Burnside and beyond at KS5.
At present we have a well-subscribed sixth form range of courses that offer a multitude of progression routes, these include: AQA Biology, Physics and Applied Science and OCR Chemistry A. Students who study Applied Science at GCSE often progress to A-level Applied Science and we are excited that many students then progress to university on Science based courses. In addition we not only offer subject teaching but provide information, advice and guidance to assist and prepare students for progression into Higher Education. This includes activities such as university open days, liaising with key lecturers at both local universities, lectures by visiting science professionals and preparation for personal statements and interviews. As a consequence we do have a healthy percentage of our student progressing to the highest tariff courses such as Medicine.