Department Background

  • HOD Biology: Dr Elliot
  • HOD Physics: Mr Panton
  • HOD Chemistry: Miss Williams

The Science department is the largest department in the school and is made up of 16 teachers and 5 technicians. We are fortunate that we have subject specialists teaching all of the 3 science disciplines. The department is housed in 12 modern laboratories, where almost all lessons are taught. All laboratories are equipped with interactive whiteboards which are widely used. The focus of our lessons, as far as possible, is learning from practical work and then seeing how that Science is then applied to ‘everyday life’. Students benefit from a science enrichment programme of arranged lectures from outside speakers, competitions and lunchtime activities. Many pupils leave Latymer to pursue careers linked to Science.

Year 7 - 9

Pupils in years 7 and 8 follow a scheme of learning that follows the National Curriculum, and in year 9 embark on the GCSE courses in the separate Sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. In years 7 and 8 they are taught all their Science lessons by one teacher, but in year 9 they have a subject specialist for each Science and are no longer taught as a form group. A key aspect to their introduction to Science in these years is that the pupils enjoy learning in an organised and safe environment, discovering many concepts through practical work.

Year 10 - 11

The department follows GCSE courses in the 3 separate Sciences, Biology, Chemistry and Physics, using the AQA specifications. The pupils are taught in groups determined by their GCSE option choices (not setting) and are taught by subject specialists. In year 9 there are 4 lessons per fortnight per separate science and 6 lessons per fortnight in years 10 and 11. All subjects have 2 examination papers which are sat at the end of the three year course. In each scientific discipline there are practicals about which students can asked questions in the examinations. All students will get the opportunity to complete these practical tasks. There is no controlled assessment or coursework in science at GCSE.

Year 12 - 13

There are a very large number of pupils who follow a course in at least one of the science subjects. Pupils build on and extend practical skills and theory from GCSE. All pupils are encouraged to extend their learning beyond the specification and to develop a genuine interest in the subject. This is achieved by further reading and independent study as well as attendance at lectures, both in school and in London.

  • The Biology department follow the AQA specification at AS and A2 level
  • The Chemistry department follow the EDEXCEL Chemistry specification at AS and A2 level
  • The Physics department follow the AQA Physics A specification at AS and A2

Curriculum Enrichment options

There are a large number of Enrichment options, many of which are student run societies such as Medical society, Engineering Society, Physics society. There are also university visits, outside lecturers, Mobile Medical unit presentation, and many students participate in various competitions such as the subject Olympiad.

Activities and Recent Highlights

KS3 A number of pupils will participate in the different science societies lunchtime activities and all pupils enjoy a Science Lecture from The University of Bristol Science team. In year 8 all classes have the opportunity to apply their science skills to a crime scene. Ths highlight of the year ofr year 8 is the Science Fair competition in the summer term where each pupil displays their project in the Great Hall.

KS4 Pupils will attend lectures by visiting speakers, some will attend various extracurricular activities. These include a lunchtime Forensics course, participation in Engineering and individual science societies. A number of pupils take part in the Mayors Award and other competitions.

KS5 The Biology field trip to Orielton, Pembrokeshire, at the start of the A2 course provides a valuable opportunity for pupils to learn about different habitats; practising various sampling techniques and applying different statistical tests to the data they collect. Throughout the sixth form there are plenty of extracurricular activities, from student-led societies to the competitive British Olympiads in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. There are a number of extracurricular opportunities that take place. There are Chemistry and Physics Societies which is run at lunchtime by a group of sixth form pupils. They provide activities and demonstrations for lower school students that are not covered in the taught courses. The Biology department are also very involved with running the Medical Society. During the summer term some pupils attend Headstart courses which offer an experience of the separate Sciences and Engineering courses at University. Interested pupils are recommended to apply for Nuffield Research Placements to gain valuable insight and experience into laboratory-based work. We welcome visiting speakers and encourage pupils to attend lectures at the Royal Institution, UCL and other London Universities.