Science at NOA

In the Science department, our vision is to develop core Science knowledge and an understanding of key ideas in biology, chemistry and physics; knowledge needed to succeed in later life, whatever post-16 choices made.

Alongside this, we aim to promote a love of Science; it is a fascinating field of study, as it allows you to appreciate the world and how everything in it interacts. We work to grow and nourish aspiration and resilience in our students and encourage a logical and scientific approach to thinking. Through experiments and analysis, students apply these attributes both in and out of the classroom in order to create a breadth and a depth of understanding of our world and beyond!

In an ever-changing world, we aim to create individuals who are scientifically literate, numerate and able to apply knowledge to real world scenarios and future discoveries. Through inquisitive thinking and cross-curricular curiosity, we aspire to create students who appreciate the world around them and understand the important contribution they can make to it

Our curriculum is structured to promote a spiral scheme of work; at each stage of learning, prior knowledge is challenged and developed until our students become confident scientists. The KS3 curriculum introduces a plethora of topics to our students, ranging from cell organelles to electromagnetism, to discovering the atom. These are then built on throughout KS4 and are eventually matched to the GCSE specification.

At KS3 level, all students sit the same tier of exam entry to allow support and stretch of all students, which are used as the basis for setting students. We follow the AQA Synergy scheme for KS4 combined Science, which covers content from all disciplines, which encourages students to treat science as a true cross-specialism, and students find more interest in topics that previously would be dismissed. Students with a strong aptitude for and interest in Science will be invited to study the three disciplines separately at GCSE.

Our KS3 curriculum has been developed by United Learning and its implementation is supported by specialist subject advisors. However, we have enhanced this core curriculum by/with units of work such as ‘working scientifically skills’ as an introduction to year 7 which we believe lays the foundations of scientific thinking, necessary for valuable practical work throughout KS3 and KS4, and levels the playing field as students often have a real range of science skills, depending on their Primary School experiences.

At KS4 we follow the AQA Synergy Specification for Combined Science and AQA for Triple Science. At KS5 students follow AQA Biology, OCR A Chemistry and OCR A Physics.

Students are encouraged to recognise the relevance and importance of the subject through the incorporation of real-world applications into as many lessons as possible. So much of science is relevant to our everyday lives, and our passionate staff take every opportunity to show students this, and to share their own experiences of their specialist areas at university.

Students wishing to study the subject or related subjects at university are supported through our Sixth Form team, careers officers and, more informally, through discussion with their teachers. A lot of work happen in sixth form to ensure students are encouraged to study their chosen subjects at Russell Group Universities, and nothing makes our science teachers prouder than when a student aspires to study our specialism at the university we studied at.