Welcome to the Science Department

Meet Our Staff

  • Mrs F McConvery (Head of Department/Assistant Headteacher)
  • Mrs M Dowdall (Second in Department)
  • Mr D Atherton (BTEC/Intervention co-ordinator)
  • Mr D O'Hanlon
  • Miss V Hawkins
  • Miss D Hilditch
  • Mr J Parker
  • Mr J Mitchell
  • Mrs S Buckley
  • Mrs Swanwick
  • Mr Brigden
  • Dr O’Brien

Our curriculum is organised in such a way that it provides learners with the best opportunities to be successful in their learning. Our principles focus on depth not just breadth by creating a mastery within the curriculum, which stretches learners and accelerates their progress over their 7 year learning journey at our college. In this section of the website you will find the subject intent, implementation and impact.

Alongside this, are our long and medium term plans which enable all stakeholders to have a clear understanding of the content, knowledge and skills taught within this curriculum area. The long term plan also outlines the cultural capital experiences and career opportunities learners have within the subject, as well as our tailored approach to supporting learners' metacognitive processes. Further to these documents, the discrete sequencing of lessons are in the College's bespoke schemes of work that can be accessed through departments.

'Only the best will do!'

What exactly do they learn?

Students are taught the big ideas of Science throughout the curriculum. There is an emphasis on key areas such as particles, forces, energy and cells in order to develop understanding. Long term planning ensures a wide breadth and depth to the science curriculum, delivered over three years at Key Stage 3 so learners have secure knowledge and understanding before embarking on their GCSE studies. HAPS are targeted with further questions/activities to extend their learning. Teachers follow the sequence of lessons and ensure students are secure before moving on. Reading opportunities are provided using a wide range of textbooks and links to news articles. A Science library is being developed which contains further reading materials that students can access. Students will study Combined Science at GCSE, which enables progression to A levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or BTEC Applied Science.

What did they learn at primary?

Staff have an understanding of, and keep up to date with, the Key Stage 2 Science Curriculum. Strong links have been forged with local primary schools. At the start of all topics at KS3 a quiz is undertaken to assess prior learning. Starts of lessons contain consolidation questions linked to Key Stage 2. Links have been made with local primary schools to ease transition to Key Stage 3. Students come from a wide range of feeder schools and will have a summer dip in their knowledge so the year 7 curriculum is designed to consolidate and extend so no students are disadvantaged. Transition activities include sessions on Transition Day, visits to primary schools and engaging primary children with science visits to the College.

How do you measure attainment and progress?

Students are formally assessed twice per year at KS3/4 and three times at KS5. Progress is measured against starting points and targets. Assessments are moderated departmentally and the department has been involved in the Liverpool LA assessment project so has moderated students' work with other schools across the city to standardise age related expectations. Assessment is used to plan intervention for individual students at classroom teacher and departmental level. Detailed feedback is given on assessments and throughout the course, which students respond to in order to improve their understanding.

What order do you teach things in and why?

Topics are taught in an order that builds on knowledge and skills to show progression. More conceptual topics come later. All teachers were involved in remodeling the sequencing of the curriculum for 2019.

Schemes are structured to help students remember more by including consolidation activities and low stakes quizzing regularly throughout. Homework tasks are designed to support this. Key areas are revisited regularly e.g. cells, forces, particles and energy so this knowledge is embedded.

What's the purpose of teaching your subject?

Science at Archbishop Beck enables students to develop a sense of curiosity and excitement and inspires them to gain an understanding of the world around them. Through our ambitious curriculum, all students access the same key content, differentiated for their needs, building their knowledge through each year and as they move up through each key stage. All students have the opportunity to gain two Science GCSEs and continue their study of Science post 16.

How do you know that you have a 'good' curriculum?

The Science Curriculum is designed to enable all students to achieve of their best. According to pupil voice the majority of students enjoy their Science lessons. Outcomes are improving. The number of students achieving grades 55+ increased from 23% to 26%. 100% of students in 2019 achieved grades 99-11. A level and BTEC Pathways are provided Post 16 and uptake is good. We attract students from other schools to study science post 16 and outcomes are improving.

How do you enrich your subject outside the classroom?

There are opportunities for students to become involved in extracurricular activities e.g. STEM Robotics Challenge, Science Club, trips and cultural capital activities. Links to careers are highlighted when appropriate in lessons and through Careers Week. Students have opportunities to take part in various enrichment activities such as the Big Bang Fair, Science Week and visits to universities.