We have been a Science College since 2003 and the impact on the school has been tremendous. From a starting point of just over 40% of students gaining two grade C or better at GCSE we are now regularly getting over 85%. At post 16 we have continually high results and applied science is frequently mentioned in the ‘Good Schools Guide’ as having the best results in the country.
How have we done it?
A personalised curriculum: following a largely skills based two year KS3, at GCSE students can study a whole range of subjects. Triple science, science and additional science, BTec, applied science and OCR National are all available. At KS5 we offer A levels in biology, chemistry, physics and applied science as well as Extended Project in ‘Perspectives on science’.
- High expectations
All students achieve their first GCSE qualification by the end of year 10 which allows for intervention if necessary, but the main drive is then for enrichment opportunities. Some students will gain level 3 qualifications, others convert to GCSE triple science and more gain further qualifications to ensure that both standards and progress are continually boosted. We take every opportunity to celebrate our students’ academic success and we are very keen that successful students are role models for younger members of the college. A place on the coveted ‘celebrating success’ board is not easy to achieve!
- Partnership with science and educational experts
We are very proud of the meaningful and fulfilling cooperation that has been built up over many years. Examples include:
- Becoming a Royal Society Associate School
- Working with the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth on research projects as well as offering visits and expert talks.
- The Marine Biology Association pioneering work with Dr Mike Kent and the college that has allowed students to carry out independent scientific investigation and be mentored by professional scientists. This has led to a purpose built independent research area for students. Read more here
- Cornish sea toursworking with students to investigate the ecology of various species of sea bird whose nesting sites are only visible from RIB – very exciting for teachers and students!
- Opportunities for gifted students.
- Whilst all university applications are supported and encouraged the Gifted and Talented Programme specifically focuses on providing opportunities for students to visit Oxbridge and Russell Group Universities.
- This year we had seven successful applications for Nuffield bursaries so that students could work in research laboratories for four weeks. We have worked with Brook Lapping productions to make a film on sustainable energy which will appear on television over the summer. Enrichment groups meet regularly to discuss cultural and philosophical ideas that will enable our students to have a much deeper understanding of the world around them.
Continued success culminated with the award of the coveted ‘Specialism Quality Mark’. This is an award that recognises achievement in terms of subject specialisms and the college was delighted to be given the status of ‘Transforming and Leading’ in all 14 categories against our two chosen specialisms of Leadership and Science.
Outstanding Science Results leads to Teaching Accolade – Read about it here
To find out more contact Dr Martin Dixon (Director of science) firstname.lastname@example.org