Welcome to the Science Department

Departmental Courses
  • GCSE Double Science  (AQA)
  • GCSE Biology (AQA)
  • GCSE Chemistry (AQA)
  • GCSE Physics (AQA)
  • GCE Biology (AQA)
  • GCE Chemistry (AQA)
  • GCE Physics (AQA)
  • BTEC Science

Our goal is for our students to explore how the universe works whilst having fun.

We work to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the study of biology, chemistry and physics.

The aim of the Key Stage 3 course is to equip students with an understanding and appreciation of science and scientific thinking.

We work to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the study of biology, chemistry and physics. Students study topics in modules lasting approximately 9 weeks. Each module is assessed with all students being encouraged to clearly identify how to improve their level of work for the next module.

Students develop their understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science by carrying out projects and experiments on specific scientific questions about the world around them. In addition, students learn about the uses and implications of science, today and in the future. An example would be the potential implications of global warming on our planet.

Emphasis is placed on ensuring students develop skills in handling information and problem solving using and developing skills also gained in other subjects, especially mathematics and English. Students learn how to draw and interpret tables and graphs and write clearly and concisely using scientific terminology.

Homework is set to embed the practice of ‘student based learning’ where the student learns to take responsibility for their own learning. Many students especially enjoy project based homework where they can delve deeper into a particular subject that interests them. There is also a science club, which enables further investigation in a fun environment.

Pupils are regularly assessed with the data being used to inform parents of progress via the tracking point data system. In March of year 9, students sit a formal exam to establish their progress in science during key stage 3. The result is reported to parents. This information is used to establish the appropriate courses of study for science at key stage 4.

Key Stage 4 all students must study double science. However, students also have the option of applying to study our triple sciences course. Both courses are offered by the AQA exam board.

Biology
Biology makes up one third of the triple science course, through it students study living organisms and life processes. It looks at a range of different organisms from microscopic to macroscopic. It studies the industrial application of microorganisms, genetic engineering and cloning. Biology covers a range of topics applicable to everyday situations and requires students to apply their knowledge to draw conclusions and form opinions. Over the two years, the course hopes to develop student’s skills in understanding and applying the core content, applying themselves to practical skills, working safely, as well as evaluating and processing data.

Chemistry
Chemistry makes up one third of the triple science course, it looks at the study of materials around us and how these materials are made, behave and are processed. It looks at a range of different materials from molecular models of these substances to the macroscopic. It studies the industrial application of these materials as well as the environmental impact of the chemical processes we use. Chemistry covers a range of everyday uses and applications of student’s science skills and understanding. Over the two years, the course hopes to develop student’s skills in understanding and applying the core content, applying themselves to practical skills, handling chemicals, working safely, as well as evaluating and processing data.

Physics
Physics is the study of how the Universe works. It explores into the atom and ventures out into Space. Scientific ideas relating to energy, forces, electricity and waves are explored and related to everyday life, including medical applications.
Physics develops analytical skills and uses mathematical relationships to solve problems in the world around us. The course aims to promote independent thinkers who are able to critically examine data and use scientific knowledge to form their own opinions.

At Key Stage 5 we offer  A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics plus BTEC Applied Science.

A Level Biology.

Biology involves the study of a wide range of topics, ranging from molecular biology to the study of ecosystems and microorganisms to mammoths. Many areas of biology are at the cutting edge of science with vital innovations occurring every year.

Success in biology involves plenty of additional independent study, a love of science, a problem solving brain and the ability to efficiently carry out practical work.

  • Topics studied include:
    Biological molecules
    Cell structure
    Organisms exchange substances with their environment
    Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
    Energy transfer in and between organisms
    Organisms respond to changes in their environments
    Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
    The control of gene expression

Assessment:

At the end of year 13 candidates will be assessed by 3 written assessment papers, each 2 hours long as well as a non-exam practical endorsement.

A Level Chemistry.

Chemistry is one of the most academically challenging courses offered by Poole High School and it is highly regarded by Russell Group universities. Success in this course depends on hard work, the ability to think logically and a high degree of self-motivation. It is a subject which develops competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills. Chemistry is involved in everything around us and is often referred to as the ‘central science’.  It helps to connect physical sciences, like Maths and Physics, with applied sciences, like Biology, Medicine and Engineering. Students who take Chemistry often also study Maths and/or another science subject from Biology, Physics, and Psychology.

Year12 Topics include:

  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
  • Bonding and structure
  • The periodic table and periodicity
  • Organic substances and their synthesis and identification
  • Inorganic substances
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium
  • Energetics

Year 13 topics include:

  • Organic substances and their synthesis
  • Analysis
  • Inorganic substances, including the transition metals.
  • Polymers and biochemistry
  • Enthalpy, entropy and Gibbs free energy
  • Acids and bases
  • Electrochemistry
  • Kinetics

Assessment

There are three two hour exams at the end of the two-year course (AQA 7405 Chemistry).

The exams are:

Paper 1 Relevant physical chemistry topics. Inorganic chemistry and relevant practical skills.

Paper 2 Relevant physical chemistry topics. Organic chemistry and relevant practical skills.

Paper 3 Any content. Any practical skills.

A practical endorsement certificate is also awarded to students who show the required level of competence, based on 12 required practicals and additional practicals undertaken throughout the course. Each student keeps a hard backed laboratory book.

A Level Physics

Physics a fascinating subject that allows you to start to understand how and why the Universe works. While studying subjects from sub atomic particle physics to the forces that control the vastness of the universe you will develop your understanding of the world we live in, while accepting there is lots still to discover and explain.

A-level Physics is highly regarded and is identified as a key facilitating subject by the Russell Group of Elite Universities. This means that, along with some other A-Levels, Physics is given a slightly higher weighting when applying for courses at the top universities.

Through your study of Physics, you will develop your ability to problem solve, work with number and communicate ideas clearly. The study of Physics can lead to careers in Architecture, Law, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Dentistry, Computing, Economics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and engineering or electronics sectors.

Topics include:

Year 12

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity

Year 13

  • Further mechanics
  • Thermal physics
  • Fields
  • Nuclear physics
  • Optional topic : Cosmology, Turning points in physics, Medical physics

Assessment

At the end of year 13 candidates will be assessed by 3 written assessment papers, each 2 hours long as well as a non-exam practical endorsement.

BTEC Applied Science

Topics include:

Year 12

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity

Year 13

  • Further mechanics
  • Thermal physics
  • Fields
  • Nuclear physics
  • Optional topic : Cosmology, Turning points in physics, Medical physics

Assessment

At the end of year 13 candidates will be assessed by 3 written assessment papers, each 2 hours long as well as a non-exam practical endorsement.

Biology is also a well-recognised and respected course and is identified as a key facilitating subject by the Russell Group of Elite Universities. It can lead students on to study many different types of science course at university. Students from Poole High School have gone on to study pure Biology, Biochemistry, Environmental Sciences, Forensics as well as medical related courses such as physiotherapy, medicine, dentistry and nursing.

BTEC Applied Science would be excellent for a career in a science-related industry. It would provide the foundations for a subsequent vocational qualification. Most importantly, you would gain transferable life skills of analysis, evaluation, presentation, group work and independence.

Chemistry is a well-regarded facilitating subject. It is a key subject for many health and clinical professions, such as medicine, veterinary science, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy and forensic science. It will also equip students for a career in industry, for example in the petrochemical or pharmaceutical industries, chemical engineering and patent law. Chemistry opens up many other non- science related careers for example accountancy and management consultancy.