The Science Department at AGGS is extremely busy and hardworking. Over 76% of Year 12 students study at least one science, 45% take two sciences and 11% take all three subjects. We have a similar pattern at A2 with many students wishing to pursue the sciences at university and beyond. We are a team of eighteen teachers and four technicians housed in thirteen laboratories.
AGGS is a Lead School in Biology. This means that in addition to providing excellent education to our own pupils and students we are also involved in providing support to other teachers and other schools. One way in which we do this is through the delivery of training to teachers. The Science Learning Partnership is run by Zoe Hulme from the Biology department at AGGS and she coordinates the delivery of accredited training in many areas of science education in a range of venues across the Teaching School Alliance. Several members of the department are qualified to deliver these training courses.
AGGS is also a base for the Prince’s Teaching Institute NQT training and four members of the department are Subject Lead Teachers, delivering training at weekends at AGGS and in London and Birmingham schools to recently qualified teachers who travel across the country to attend.
The Science Department holds a Prince’s Teaching Institute Mark for its innovative projects. Currently we are running a Science and Sustainability project, which aims to get pupils from different year groups to work together and research recent developments in science and engineering that promote sustainable living. We ran this project three years ago and it was judged to be hugely successful. Students completed poster presentations, visited cutting edge research centres and invited guest speakers into school. The groups then developed their own research ideas and presented to panels of experts over two afternoons. Girls achieve CREST Silver and Gold awards for their projects and the whole endeavour is hoped to be repeated next year.
The Science department is very experienced in providing high quality Initial Teacher Training. Many members of the department have acted as subject mentors to trainee teachers through the universities’ PGCE programmes, School Direct and from September 2015, SCITT training too. We provide school-to-school support through our SLE and informally through networks and collaborative work.
?The Science Department holds a PTI (Prince’s Teaching Institute) Mark for its innovative projects. Last year a Science and Sustainability project, which aimed to get pupils from different year groups to work together and research recent developments in science and engineering that promoted sustainable living, was hugely successful. Students completed poster presentations, visited cutting edge research centres and invited guest speakers into school. The groups then developed their own research ideas and presented to panels of experts over two afternoons. Girls achieve CREST Silver and Gold awards for their projects and the whole endeavour is hoped to be repeated next year. In addition, this year we are hoping to work with primary schools across the Trust and the Alliance to develop teaching resources to promote innovative science learning, using our students as teachers and demonstrators.
Anyone passing through the Science Department will find it buzzing with activity, with pupils engaged in innovative learning and discussion with a wealth of extra-curricular opportunity. We have talks ranging from particle physics to the use of animals in research and a wide range of competitions and clubs for pupils to enjoy.
A very large number of our pupils continue with Science through the sixth form and go onto careers in the Sciences and Medicine. However, we aim that every child enjoys Science and gains the scientific literacy needed for 21st century careers and citizenship.
Science is taught as a single subject in Y7 and Y8, although many of the topics will be identifiable as Biology, Chemistry or Physics. Our aim in these years is to instil a sense of enquiry, excitement for new ideas and that the pupils learn the foundations of Science.
In Year Nine, Science is taught as the three separate disciplines by specialist teachers, and it is during this year that the GCSE courses begin. Over half of the pupils go on to study “Triple Science” (GCSEs in all three Sciences) and the others take Science and Additional Science at GCSE.
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Extra Curricular Activities
Each summer a few AGGS students have participated in the Nuffield Bursary scheme. This scheme places Y12 students into a laboratory environment during their summer holidays, allowing them to carry out a project with University or industrial researchers. Most of our placements have been at Manchester University, where the girls have been involved in four-week long projects, allowing them to get a flavour of the extended study usually not experienced until the final year of an undergraduate course.
For those students who are ineligible for Nuffield Bursaries, we help them find relevant work experience in laboratories and we are always trying to find new contacts who would offer placements.
Science and Sustainability Project
This project using a model of sixty students from Y10-Y12 working in teams to look at what the challenges of the future are likely to be, and to analyse in depth one particular issue and how science and technology are involved in finding a solution.
Students currently in Year 9 and Year 10 have heard presentations in assembly about the project, and are being invited to apply by writing a short paragraph indicating their interest. We plan that students taking part will work in mixed year group teams, deciding on three initial issues, and then carry one of these forward for their final study; they will be working for the prestigious British Science Association CREST Awards at Silver and Gold level.
|Biology Drop In||Tuesday||12.40||L6||Biology Staff|
|Chemistry Drop In||Monday||12:30||L11||Chemistry Dept|
|Maths for Physicists Y13||Wednesday||12:30||L13||Mr Osborne|
|Physics Support Y11||Tuesday||3:30 – 4:20||L12||Miss Lloyd|
|Physics Drop In||Thursday||12.40||L12||Physics Staff|
|STEM Club Y7/8||Friday||12:40||L1||Mrs Hulme|