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    Science

    “An experiment is a question which science poses to Nature, and a measurement is the recording of Nature’s answer.”

    Maxwell Planck

    Science is the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    Staff

    Dr A. Francklin (Science Co-ordinator)
    Mr P. Blair (Subject Leader of Biology)
    Miss L. Collins (Subject Leader of Chemistry)
    Mr P. Ayling (Subject Leader of Physics)
    Mrs D. Kanasawich (GCSE Combined Science Leader)
    Mrs V. Fielding

    Mrs A. Goldswain
    Mr M. Sayer
    Mrs K. House

    Students in Year 7 and 8 study our new Key Stage 3 Science curriculum which organises the big ideas and topics into clear objectives.  The content is planned through 10 Big Idea headings: Forces, Electromagnetism, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes.  Each idea contains four smaller topics: the building blocks for the big ideas.

    Using the Big Ideas principle, the generalisations, principles and models which connect concepts are at the heart of our curriculum.  In Year 7 students experience an introductory course in Science and this is developed in Year 8 as a pre-GCSE year.

    We believe this curriculum enables students to see the world analytically, to explain phenomena and make predictions – all skills they need for their next stage of scientific learning.

    “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”

    Marie Curie (Nobel Prize winning Physicist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity).

    Students at GCSE study either AQA GCSE Separate Science or AQA Combined (Trilogy) Science.  These courses allow students to explore a wide range of scientific concepts and calculations taught in five set groups.  During their study of GCSE, students are exposed to a range of practical ideas, where the strong foundation of Key Stage 3 is built on further.

    In GCSE Biology, students study: Cells and Organisation, Disease and Bioenergetics, Biological Responses, Genetics and Reproduction and Ecology.

    In GCSE Chemistry, students study: Atoms, Bonding and Moles, Chemical Reactions and Energy Changes, Rates, Equilibrium and Organic Chemistry, Analysis and the Earth’s Resources. 

    In GCSE Physics, students study: Energy and Energy Resources, Particles at Work, Forces in Action and Waves, Electromagnetism and Space.

    "Don't be afraid of hard work.  Nothing worthwhile comes easily.  Don't let others discourage you or tell you that you can't do it.  In my day I was told women didn't go into Chemistry.  I saw no reason why we couldn't."

    Gertrude Elion (Nobel Prize-winning Biochemist)

    Biology

    At A-Level our students follow the OCR Biology A (H420) course.  The course builds on the fundamental principles of Biology learnt at GCSE and challenges the students to deepen their understanding of bioenergetics, genetics and cellular communication in interesting ways.

    The course comprises a foundation unit covering cells and biochemistry.  Exchange and transport is studied, followed by units on classification, biodiversity and disease.  Much of the ecology and ecosystems topic is also taught in the first year.  In Year 13 students are introduced to the more challenging subject matter of bioenergetics, communication and genetic control.

    In addition to the A-Level qualification, DGGS provides pupils with the opportunity to complete a series of practical tasks which leads to the Practical Endorsement required for undergraduate courses.

    A-Level Biology is a very useful qualification that will support University applications for a wide variety of degree level courses including Human and Veterinary Medicine and allied subjects, Agriculture and the Biosciences.

    Chemistry

    Students at A-Level study the OCR Chemistry A (H432) course.  The course aims to develop knowledge and ideas introduced at GCSE to enable students to understand the fundamental concepts in Chemistry such as: The Periodic Table and Physical Chemistry, Organic Synthesis and Analytical Techniques and Unified Chemistry.  Students are encouraged to develop their existing practical, mathematical and analytical skills in a new, more challenging situation.

    In addition to the A-Level qualification, pupils are provided with the opportunity to complete a series of practical tasks which leads to the Practical Endorsement required for undergraduate courses.

    A-Level Chemistry is obviously essential to anyone wishing to study Chemistry at a higher level, but it is also a highly sought after A-level for many courses including Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Science, Midwifery, Pharmacy, Forensic Science, Environmental Science and Chemical Engineering.

    Physics

    At A-Level our students follow the AQA Physics (7408) course.  The course builds on the fundamental principles of Physics learnt at GCSE and challenges the students to develop their mathematical, analytical and problem solving skills in new and interesting ways.

    The course comprises foundation units in Year 12 covering Particles and Radiation, Waves, Electricity and Mechanics.  In Year 13 students are introduced to the more challenging subject matter of Further Mechanics, Fields, Thermal Physics, Radioactivity and Nuclear Energy.  The students also have the opportunity to select the optional topic they learn from Astrophysics, Engineering Physics, Medical Physics, Turning Points in Physics and Electronics.

    In addition to the A-Level qualification, DGGS provides students with the opportunity to complete a series of practical tasks which leads to the Practical Endorsement required for undergraduate courses.

    A-Level Physics is obviously essential to anyone wishing to study Physics at a higher level, but it is also a highly sought after A-level for many courses including Engineering, Architecture, Mathematics, and Design.

    Students are encouraged to access the Pupil Area in which there are a plethora of resources available ranging from knowledge organisers, past paper questions and further reading.

    Homework and independent study often involves students reading and memorising key information from the range of resources mentioned above.

    The department publishes a recommended reading list - titles from which are all held in the DGGS library and students are encouraged to keep a book “on the go”.

    “The impression sometimes created among the public is that scientists are working away in their labs, and maybe they're not always thinking about the implications of their work. But we are.”

    Jennifer Doudna (lead developer of the CRISPR CAS9 technology)

    Throughout the year students are encouraged to take part in a wide variety of Science activities.

    At Key Stage 3 we provide entry into First Lego League competition whereby students design and program robots to complete particular challenges.  In addition, students compete against other schools in Kent at the Salters Science Festival.

    Across all Key Stages, throughout the year, students participate in scheduled enrichment days in which their practical skills are developed.  Furthermore, students also have the opportunity to attend a variety of Science trips and events. 

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