National curriculum units are carefully followed through Exploring Science (year 7, 8 and 9) at KS3, which corresponds to the QCA Scheme of Work. This provides ideas for lessons and practical work together with assessment materials including SC1 linked to National Curriculum levels. At the end of each unit, progress and understanding are assessed through a short test or quiz according to ability, which is built into the course. Students with literacy difficulties are given help with reading to encourage them to take part in the full assessment process.
As a practice ELC Science activities are offered to the year nine students and in some cases year eight students with the idea of facilitating the GCSE course which they will be starting in the final term in year 9. As a result of this, they will be gaining the ELC certificate at the end of year 9.
At Key Stage 4 Science continues to develop on the foundations established in KS3, through offering GCSE (Single and Double Award), following the AQA Combined Science syllabus at year 10 and 11. This will allow them to gain two (double award) GCSE qualification at the end of year 10. Those who remain at school for year 11, are encouraged to gain a second GCSE qualification by offering them a Biology, Physics or Chemistry course, which is also conducted by the AQA exam board. We cater to the spectrum of needs of our diverse student population according to their ability. Those who need literacy help in the exams, are assessed by the borough Educational Psychologist and get them approved by the JCQ, before facing the public exams. This process usually takes place in year 9, and provides access arrangement in exams accordingly.
Regardless of choice of qualification, all students are offered core learning experiences through all three areas of Science and examined by the AQA examination board before leaving Melrose.
Where possible, science is taught practically, engaging the students in their world around them. AQA Science books which are exclusively endorsed and approved by AQA are used throughout the course. AQA bite size GCSE Science programs, AQA revision books and London Grid For Learning are mainly in use, in order to complete the above areas of the curriculum.
It is the aim of the science department to increase participation and enjoyment of science, and have more than one qualification in this subject when they leave school.