Science

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology."

- Carl Sagan

We are enthusiastic about our subject and students and whilst proud of our achievements we are always looking for ways to develop and improve.

We respond positively to new initiatives and share good practice, ideas and resources. We have high expectations of all our pupils and ensure that each pupil achieves their potential by using a wide variety of teaching techniques to accommodate individual learning styles.

KS3 Curriculum

In year 7 students are taught science through the GTS Learner’s Baccalaureate. In year 8 students follow a bespoke programme designed to mirror the National Curriculum whilst embedding the skills and level of challenge needed in preparation for Keystage 4.

 

KS4 Curriculum

From year 9 students will follow one of two pathways in Science throughout KS4:

 

1. GCSE separate Sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Some students will study to gain three separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  This involves more Science teaching than the combined Science option. Learning will therefore be more demanding and at a faster pace to reflect this. 

‘Triple’ Science pupils follow the AQA syllabus resulting in 6 x 1hour 45 minute exams; two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas. There is no longer any coursework in the new Science GCSEs, all practical work will be examined via the final exam papers, of which there are twenty eight compulsory practical's (across the disciplines) that will be taught to pupils, any of which will appear in the final exam papers.

 

2. GCSE Combine Science (worth 2 GCSEs)

This pathway leads to pupils gaining a qualification worth two GCSEs. The course consists of each of the threes Science disciplines, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, each of which are examined at the end of year 11. Students follow the AQA syllabus resulting in 6 x 1hour 15 minute exams; two biology, two chemistry and two physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas. There is no longer any coursework in the new Science GCSEs, all practical work will be examined via the final exam papers, of which there are twenty one compulsory practical's that will be taught to pupils, any of which will appear in the final exam papers.

 

Enrichment

As part of the whole school enrichment programme on a Thursday afternoon, the science team run numerous CREST Awards and were awarded the Crest teacher participation award in 2014-15 for our outstanding support of the awards. An example of some of the CREST course we run or have run are:

  • Who dunnit – link with local Police and magistrates

  • Wildlife garden – link with Rosemoor

  • Extreme Earth

  • Build your own amplifier

  • Green powered car

  • Design wetsuits for para-triathletes

  • Motor mechanics

  • Conservation – link with Meeth

To date 271 pupils have a Bronze CREST Award.

This year we have also entered the Race for the line competition, this is a BBC micro:bit Model Rocket Car Challenge which will encourage year 7 pupils to work together to make a foam rocket car powered by a small solid fuel rocket motor, and pit it against rival teams. Once our cars have been built and tested, we will be holding our rocket car race days in the spring term, with the fastest cars from each school going through to a national competition in July.

 

Science Ambassadors

We have 26 school science ambassadors from across all year groups who applied for the position. The ambassadors help to promote science across the school and help to run events like; Jean for Genes day, the Big Bang @GTS, National Science week competitions and events, plus much more.

 

Big Bang @GTS

On the 17th December 2015, we held the first Big Bang, an event to raise awareness and inspire pupils into the world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths).
Throughout the day there was an array of various workshops, including Space Odyssey (Simon Ould) and his Planetarium Dome, as well as the amazing Peter Wright from Wonderstruck, with his Science in Movie Effects Show.
The Sports Hall was full of fun interactive stands, provide by local employers and organisations from Beran Instruments, TDK Lambda, Eaton Aerospace, Greenfield Engineering & GTD, GCHQ, Institute of Engineering & Technology, Dartmoor Zoo, Sciencedipity, Petroc, Exeter College, Plymouth University, Institute of Physics, WOW Scrapstore & Mrs Recycle and The Royal Navy.

The feedback has been so positive and inspiring, such as “It was the best event of its type I have attended”, “brilliant” and “fantastic event”

It was fabulous to see so many happy young people totally engrossed in STEM activities…hearing Year 6 pupils telling their teachers it was ”The best school trip ever!!”

Exhibitors Greenfield Engineering said ''Wow - what a day! It was fantastic to see the students folding up the baubles and aeroplanes and to see the delight on their faces as the flat profiles came to life in their hands. At one point there were at least 30 students around our stall all eagerly listening and folding up the models. An excellent and well organised event which was thoroughly enjoyed by students and adults.'' Steve Killner Training Officer.

Big Bang @ GTS - Show Guide 2017

 

Achievements

GTS has been awarded the Science Mark Award at Platinum level: the highest possible grade. This is a highly prestigious award from the National STEM Centre in York, designed to recognise and celebrate outstanding practice in secondary science departments across the UK. The rigorous process involved examining three key areas of the Science department:


• Curriculum
• Teaching and Learning
• Leadership and Management

 

A visit to verify our application was conducted at the end of May, our assessor was impressed by the, “strong and dynamic ethos in the team which is strongly focused on improving provision.” In particular he praised the schemes of learning stating: “Schemes of learning are driven by a broader set of values than simply a need to ‘cover content and get good grades’. The team has a comprehensive and aspirational view for the form and function of learning, as a result of which the curriculum offer to students is rich and dynamic.”

We are extremely thrilled to be awarded the highest accolade possible, this recognises the outstanding curriculum, learning and opportunities the Science team at GTS provide for our young people.

 

Recognition for our school’s inspiring work with STEM Ambassadors.

We are incredibly pleased to inform you that GTS has been awarded a STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) Ambassador Award for our ongoing commitment to STEM engagement.

This award has been received as recognition of the commitment of the staff at Great Torrington School for encouraging and inspiring young people in STEM subjects through the use of STEM Ambassadors.

Rachel Higgs, Head of Science at GTS, said:  “As a school we are very committed to expand pupils’ knowledge and awareness about STEM subjects and careers that are available to them all.’
‘We are very proud to receive the recognition for this work and look forward to continually build upon this work.’

 

The Science department has been awarded the Prince’s Teaching Institute Mark. The PTI rewards school departments that develop inspirational ideas and activities which enhance the teaching. To become members, school departments must demonstrate their commitment to increasing teachers’ subject knowledge, and to furthering their students’ understanding of and enthusiasm for the subject, regardless of their background or ability.

To achieve the PTI Mark, departments then have to demonstrate that they have increased the challenge within their subject curriculum; developed their staff’s own specialist subject knowledge; developed subject-based links outside school; and enthused their pupils through subject-based activities beyond the curriculum.

We successfully gained the Princes’ Trust Institute Mark for the first time in July 2016 and is at the beginning of a three year project which will allow us to complete the PTI Schools’ programme, which we hope will result in us becoming a designated Associate Science Department of the Princes’ Trust. We are all very proud of this outstanding achievement and are looking forward to continuing the development of our practice.

Staff Members

 

Team Leader of Science

Miss Rachel Higgs

01805 623531 Ext. 362

 

Mr David Rawle

Ms Jacqui Royse

Miss Jacqui Holleran

Miss Rebecca Beer

Mr David Nicholls

Mr Will Dorrell

Mrs Jenny Nicolson

 

Achievements