The Science curriculum is inspiring because we tailor our provision towards our Netherhall students, by using both local and international scientists, areas and companies to demonstrate the Science happening on their doorstep and beyond.
We also promote the opportunity for all students to begin with the GCSE triple Science route as they progress into year 9.
The Science curriculum is individual as we hold a wide range of progression routes throughout their time at Netherhall so that all students can achieve Science qualifications regardless of their starting point.
The Science curriculum is inclusive as we provide a wide range of high-quality resources and provision both online and within other faculties of Netherhall. This is to ensure all students have the tools and support to achieve their best in the Sciences regardless of the context.
Science helps our understanding of the world around us. Everything we know about the universe is the result of scientific research and experiment. This is why, at KS3, we hope to engage pupils and spark their interest in Science, as well as build their key skills. The Science curriculum is based on 10 Big Ideas of Science: Forces, Electromagnets, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes. Each idea contains four smaller topics, two of which are studied in Y7 and the other two in Y8, which enables pupils to build on their previous learning. Integrated into these topics is learning about Working Scientifically, particularly developing scientific investigation skills and numeracy skills needed in Science. Pupils learn about Science by doing Science and enjoy carrying out research, investigative and practical work.
Students build on their learning from KS3 using the spiral curriculum model to learn and carry out practical experiments about cells and transport, before linking into how this organises living organisms, as well as learning how these organisms carry out reactions and defend against pathogens. Further topics then link to internal processes of organisms, genetics, evolution, and Ecology.
Skills embedded throughout the curriculum include scientific literacy processes, numeracy skills linked to data and to link practical and theoretical knowledge to unfamiliar contexts.
KS4 Biology Link
The students have a wonderful opportunity to carry out a variety of exciting required practicals, that will develop their experimental, analytical, evaluative and collaborative skills. We consolidate and build on key concepts from KS3 linked to the Periodic Table, atomic structure, chemical reactions, and the earth’s resources. We introduce new concepts such as electrolysis, factors that affect rates of reaction, organic Chemistry and chemical analysis. We try to make the chemistry covered relevant to everyday life and encourage students to carry on their interest in this subject after KS4. We organise a trip to GCSE Science Live, where students can hear from a variety of Britain’s top scientists who can communicate with young people in a direct and exciting way.
KS4 Chemistry Specification Link
During the GCSE Physics course pupils will learn the basic concepts that will help them to understand and explain some everyday phenomena. Starting with Energy as a concept, pupils learn about the importance of our energy resources and the particle nature of matter, how we can explain the motion of objects and how electricity enables the modern world. This is taught through scientific enquiry and methods to analyse and interpret data. There is an opportunity to visit the Cavendish laboratories and learn about Physics as a career path.
KS4 Physics Specification Link
Combined Science Specification Link
Entry Level Certificate Specification Link
Extra Curricular Activities
We offer an exciting weekly, after school Year 7 Science club. There are a variety of different projects and experiments carried out where students have the freedom to explore science in a more relaxed atmosphere. We have an Earth Science club for Year 9 pupils, where students can find out more about plate tectonics, the origin of earthquakes and volcanoes and other geological phenomena. This is a good cross-curricular opportunity to link Science with Geography. We offer after school revision sessions for Year 11 pupils in the run up to GCSE exams to boost their confidence and review work from earlier GCSE years.
We run trips to the GCSE Science Live at the Corn Exchange which exposes Year 10 students to well-known science communicators to inspire an interest in STEM careers. We have excellent links with the local Babraham Institute and 12 students attend a Schools’s Day event each year to carry out hands on projects and learn more about STEM careers. We also have a link with the local Cambridge Science centre, who came to do a Join the Crew show about life in space.
For Activities week we have devised a scenario that uses different aspects of Forensic Science to solve an attempted murder. It will enable the students who participate to find out about different Forensic methods used to solve crimes and allow them to carry out a variety of hands-on experiments!
KS5 The Oakes College
Details of the Key stage 5 curriculum for Biology, Chemistry and Physics can be found on The Oakes College website by clicking here