The Science Faculty
Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity; it is the torch which illuminates the world. — Louis Pasteur
Our Science Faculty has an excellent reputation both within and outside the School. All our pupils study the three sciences to IGCSE, and many continue to A Level and then follow university courses in the physical, chemical and biological sciences, medicine, and engineering.
The Science Faculty is housed in three single-story buildings. The Newton Building provides four laboratories serviced by a preparation room. The Darwin Building provides two further laboratories both with fume cupboards for chemical demonstrations. A new state of the art preparation room with a fume cupboard, storage and washing facilities is located between the two laboratories in the Darwin building. The Franklin Block, our newest laboratory block, houses two laboratories separated by a standard teaching room. Practical work is central to our teaching and our resources reflect this. We are also well resourced and fully equipped to integrate information technology into our classroom teaching.
In their first three years, pupils study Biology, Chemistry and Physics separately and are taught by subject specialists. All of our pupils study for the Edexcel International GCSE (IGCSE) Triple Award exam which we feel is a scientifically rigorous course and is excellent preparation for studies at A Level.
In the science department we aim to give pupils opportunities to:
- acquire scientific knowledge and develop an understanding of science;
- develop an interest in and enjoyment of science:
- develop experimental and investigative abilities;
- develop an understanding of the nature of science; and
- develop an understanding of the role of science and technology and its application in society.
Peponi offers three routes in terms of the Science curriculum. The IGCSE Edexcel Single Award in Science culminating in one IGCSE grade. Alternatively, the IGCSE Edexcel Double Award in Science which culminates in two IGCSE grades; or the Triple Award, IGCSE Edexcel Biology, IGCSE Edexcel Chemistry and IGCSE Edexcel Physics. For all routes each science is taught separately by specialist teachers and considerable emphasis is placed on practical work.
In Shell (Year 9) pupils begin the IGCSE and are set into groups based on data collected from both Common Entrance and Peponi Entrance examinations. In Fifth Form (Year 10 and Year 11) pupils in the top set will be taught subject content from the Triple Award syllabus and will have the opportunity to sit for these examinations. Invitation to sit for the Triple Award is made by the Head of Science in consultation with subject teachers. Parents will be notified in writing after the mock examinations have been sat in February of the examination year. The other two sets will take the Double Award.
In the Triple Award pupils sit Paper 2 as well as Paper 1 in each of the three science disciplines this results in three separate grades for Biology, chemistry and Physics. The Double Award will be graded and certificated on a 15-grade scale: A*A*, A*A, AA, AB, ...GG, of which Grade A*A* is the highest and Grade GG is the lowest. The Single Award accords pupils with a single grade in Science.
A Level Biology
Whilst challenging, the study of Biology at A Level is both thought provoking and wide-ranging. Biology is at the forefront of many of the most exciting, innovative and controversial issues that concern us all and is rarely out of the headlines these days. Stories concerning genetic engineering, human health, stem cell research, environmental concerns, bird flu, MRSA, cancer research and forensic science continue to make Biology one of the most debated and interesting fields in Science.
We expect pupils to have gained a good IGCSE grade, either in Triple Award or in Double Award Science; with anything less pupils are likely to struggle right from the start. The CIE course is followed to AS and A Level. The A Level Biology course is designed to stretch, inspire and challenge students, giving them the opportunity to demonstrate their potential and thus help universities to recognise and reward their talents and interest in Biology.
A Level Chemistry
From the moment you are born, and throughout your life, you are surrounded by chemistry: the air you breathe, the food you eat and the clothes you wear; they are all chemistry. Chemistry is the study of substances; what they are made of, how they interact with each other and the role they play in living things. Whether you want to care for penguin colonies in Antarctica or work in a dynamic business environment, chemistry can help you achieve your goals. From research in space, to the depths of the oceans, chemistry helps you understand the world around you and opens up lots of career opportunities. A chemistry qualification can take you almost anywhere.
We expect pupils to have gained a good IGCSE grade, either in Triple Award or in Double Award Science; with anything less pupils are likely to struggle right from the start. The CIE course is followed to AS and A Level. The course aims to stimulate and sustain students' interest in, and enjoyment of, Chemistry, and to show the interrelationship between the subject and its applications in society. In addition we aim to develop intellectual and practical skills which will lay the foundation for further study and be of value in future life.
A Level Physics
Physics is crucial to understanding the world around us, the world inside us, and the world beyond us. It is the most basic and fundamental science. Physics challenges our imaginations with concepts like relativity and string theory, and it leads to great discoveries, like computers, lasers, satellites and smart phones that lead to technologies which change our lives: from healing joints, to curing cancer, to developing sustainable energy solutions and easing telecommunications. Physics provides a broad training in skills that are valued by all employers; an ability to grasp concepts quickly, a determination to find coherent answers, along with problem-solving, analytical and IT skills.
We expect pupils to have gained a good IGCSE grade, either in Triple Award or in Double Award Science; with anything less pupils are likely to struggle right from the start. The CIE course is followed to AS and A Level. The course aims to stimulate and sustain students' interest in, and enjoyment of, Physics, and to show the interrelationship between the subject and its applications in society. In addition we aim to develop intellectual and practical skills which will lay the foundation for further study and be of value in future life.