The science curriculum at Fairfield is designed to inspire and challenge pupils of all abilities and aspirations. We aim to develop pupils’ scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Pupils will be equipped with an understanding of the scientific method, the ability to write and understand material of a scientific nature and the mathematical skills needed to solve scientific problems where critical thinking and a creative approach are required. These vocationally useful knowledge and skills can be used as a basis for further study. As part of their personal development, pupils are also encouraged to grow an understanding of and concern for the sustainable development of both their local and global environment.
Throughout their time at Fairfield, our pupils develop an understanding of a wide range of scientific concepts that provide a secure framework for making sense of the world around them. Our teaching has a strong emphasis on investigative science. Over the 5-year programme of study pupils will build their working scientifically skills through planning, conducting, analysing and evaluating experiments in a variety of different scientific contexts. The Science Faculty is housed in a suite of eight laboratories, all of which have been refurbished in recent years. Four of the laboratories have extensive computing facilities. A large prep. room, a resource room and an office complete the Faculty accommodation.
In Year 7 pupils study science for 7 hours per fortnight, and in Y8 and Y9 pupils study science for 8 hours per fortnight. Each year group is divided in half and pupils are then placed into sets within each half based upon their ability. Pupils’ progress and attainment are constantly monitored, for example by formal examinations and by the continual assessment of key scientific skills. Pupils usually move sets at the end of each term after formal assessments, if deemed appropriate. Most pupils will have only one teacher per year, who will teach Science across the specialisms. At Key Stage 4, pupils study Science for 9 hours per fortnight (3 hours per specialism). Pupils are placed into sets based not only on their ability, but also what examination course they choose to study. As a Faculty we currently offer 2 pathways (i) GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics or (ii) GCSE Combined Science. As at KS3, pupils’ progress and attainment are constantly monitored, for example by end-of-topic examinations and working scientifically skills are examined through a series of Required Practicals. All external examinations are sat in the summer of Year 11. All pupils will have three teachers, one for each scientific specialism.