Key Stage 3 Science
Years 7 and 8
At Cobham Hall, Science is very much viewed as a practical subject. Students learn that the scientific approach to investigation is as important as remembering and understanding scientific concepts. To this end, students carry out open-ended investigations and learn to design their own methods to answer science questions.
Although Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics are taught in Years 7 and 8, students are encouraged to think ‘Science’ first as there are many links between them. Cell biology, digestion, ecology, simple chemical reactions, chemical patterns, forces, electricity and sound are a few of the areas studied. There is a concentration on the development of skills and allowing students to experience learning through a practical approach.
A highlight for Year 7 is learning to light a Bunsen burner, but students also learn to use microscopes to see what we normally cannot and, as part of the Year 7 Reproduction topic, students are trusted to look after a raw egg for a week, encouraging responsibility and bringing to the surface some strong parental instincts!
An added dimension to students’ experience of Science includes visits by outside agencies demonstrating the variation and adaptations of different invertebrates and vertebrates, including birds of prey. The hands-on experience is memorable!
Seeing real animals raises student awareness and students are able to view live video images of feeding and nesting birds with a camera set up on the edge of the Northern Pleasure Grounds, part of the parkland the school is set in.
From Year 9 through to GCSE, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught separately and students begin to make distinctions between these different branches of Science. Topics are studied in more depth and require students to apply knowledge from earlier teaching.