Discovery

Faculty Team

Mrs Lyndsay Reavley, Senior Teacher/Faculty Leader
Mrs Sarra Peek, Second in Faculty
Mr Robin Walker, Second in Faculty
Mr Andrew Small, Lead Teacher
Mrs Sarah Moore, Programme Leader/Teacher in charge of transition
Miss Natalie Beecham, Teacher of Science
Mr Andrew Hare, Teacher of Science
Miss Rachel Jefferson, Head of Turing House/Teacher of Science
Miss Chloe Wassell, Teacher of Science

Mr Joseph Milligan, Teacher of Science

Mr Alex Reed, Teacher of Science
Mrs Gemma McMahon, Discovery Technician
Mrs Julie Straughan, Lead Discovery Technician

 

Introduction

Science permeates our lives and informs our actions.  Physics, for example, teaches us how mirrors work and how glasses can aid one’s vision.  Chemistry discusses the principles of matter, like atoms, molecules and compounds.  These atoms, molecules and compounds make up the water we drink, the food we eat, the air we breathe and the medicines we take when we are sick.  Biology, the study of life, teaches us why we are the way we are, what we need to survive, how all living things are categorised and where we all came from.

Key Stage 3

During Key Stage 3 students will continue to build upon their scientific knowledge from Key Stage 2 to fully prepare them for their Key Stage 4 qualifications, and beyond. Our Key Stage 3 programme of study aims to provide the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. As such students are taught a range of discrete units that are categorized into one of these areas. As part of their studies students are given an ‘Extended Learning Project’ to complete for each unit, which looks at applications of the science they have learnt in a real life context. The structure of the key stage aims to ensure that students have a secure understanding of each block of knowledge and concepts to enable rapid progress.

There is a heavy focus on ‘Working Scientifically’, allowing students to look at applications of Science in everyday life.  Students study the following;

  • How to relate Science processes and phenomena to the world of work, industrial processes and today’s society
  • How to explain scientific phenomena
  • How to investigate Scientifically and safely
  • Investigational skills
  • Graphical and Numeracy skills
  • How to draw conclusions and evaluate
  • Communication and coordination skills
  • Literacy and ICT skills
  • Team work and independent thinking

 

Students are assessed at 4 points across the year – 80% of this assessment is based on a 1 hour exam, and 20% on a practical ‘Working Scientifically’ assessment.

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4 we build upon the skills and content covered at Key Stage 3.  We aim to offer a number of level 2 qualifications which are tailored to the needs of the students.  All students commence their KS4 courses in Year 9 and follow a route that leads to at least two Level 2 qualifications.  There are two routes that are available for our students at Key Stage 4, these are: Triple Science and Trilogy Science.

The GCSE courses follow the AQA specifications and qualifications are available from grades 9-1.  Each GCSE has a number of Required Practical Tasks which are carried out in lesson time. These are then assessed as part of the terminal examination papers at the end of the courses. The following GCSE Science options are available:-

GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry, GCSE Physics – Separate Sciences
An option which is a very academic route particularly suited for those students who wish to study traditional A-levels in Science post 16. Students taking triple science will sit two 1hr 45mins terminal examination papers per subject. These papers will be worth 50% each.

GCSE Trilogy Science
A GCSE course which is accepted as entry onto traditional A-level courses. Students following the trilogy specification will sit six 1hr 15mins terminal examination papers. Each paper will contribute 16.7% towards the final grade.

The faculty also offers BTEC First Award in Health and Social Care as an option subject.  The course is suited to students wanting to study in the context of a vocational sector and aid progression to further study and prepare learners to enter the workplace in due course.  This qualification provides learners with a taste of what the health and social care sector is like, enabling them to make informed choices about their future career.  The course consists of two compulsory core units, one which is assessed internally and one which is assessed through external examination.  There are then two further internally assessed units that can be selected from a range of six units.

STEM

Following the award of our recent STEM Assured status, STEM opportunities at High Tunstall College of Science have never been better or more plentiful. Following the creation of our Industrial Advisory Board, we now have members of the industrial and business communities working closely with our students and staff members on projects involving curriculum design, staff updating and mentoring opportunities. We have a full itinerary of STEM trips planned out for the coming academic year, as well as exciting opportunities available to all who choose them, delivered at the College on a weekly basis.

KS3 (Junior STEM club)

This is held each Wednesday after college and is aimed at Year 7, 8 and 9 students who have a passion and enthusiasm for Science.  In these sessions students will take part in a variety of STEM based activities and work towards achieving Bronze and Silver Crest Awards. Many of these sessions will also be supported by STEM mentors sourced from our industrial and business partners as well as other STEM providers in the area.

Future Scientists, Mathematicians, Engineers and Technologists
These sessions are aimed at Key Stage 4 students who are considering continuing with Science studies in college/University.  In these sessions external speakers will come in to speak to the students about careers in Science and how Science affects our everyday lives.  A timetable will be published in every lab. Some sessions will make use of programmes such as Futuremorph, where students will be given the opportunity to research careers in the field of STEM and then actually speak to a person currently living that career!

VEX Robotics

Following the introduction of the hugely successful VEX Robotics programme, there will be an opportunity for students to opt in to an after school club where various aspects of Robotics are studied.

Kielder Project

High Tunstall College of Science is always striving for innovation and scientific excellence. Our latest partnership is with Kielder Observatory which will allow students access to rare scientific equipment, extend their learning through a variety of expertise from staff at Kielder, career advice and possible work placements, as well as trips to the site to use the telescopes and engage in current scientific research.