The science department consists of 8 specialist science teachers in the three main science disciplines – Biology, Chemistry & Physics. We also have a dedicated science technician who supports our subject with practical work and ensures we maintain high levels of health & safety. As a department, we endeavour to share our passion and enthusiasm with students about our subject to inspire our students, providing them with the best prospects in life. 

The science curriculum has been designed to provide students with a deep understanding of the scientific knowledge and ideas that impact them as individuals, within a local and globalised context. Our bespoke curriculum is ambitious, challenging and provides an insight into working scientifically so that students appreciate the value of science in their everyday lives. The intent was to create an overarching narrative for our curriculum strands, which covers 11 key themes that connect the big ideas within science.  Our rationale allows the students to understand what they are learning and why they are learning this now, linking the key ideas together. This will support them to build on the knowledge and skills incrementally, making links to prior learning as well as across the breadth of the curriculum.

Head of Science: Miss P Phoenix (Biology)
Deputy Head of Science: Mr A Babicki (Chemistry)
Teacher of Biology: Mrs S McArdle
Teacher of Chemistry: Mrs F Ali
Teacher of Chemistry: Mrs M Mohsin
Teacher of Physics/ Biology: Dr P Heywood
Teacher of Physics: Mr J Allerton
Teacher of Physics: Mr H Qayyum
Teacher of Physics: Mr K Nikoumaram (Principal)
Lab Technician: Mr Z Salah

Teaching & Learning in Science

To aid students in accessing our ambitious curriculum we have embedded supportive strategies into the way that we deliver our science teaching. These strategies include:

  • The use of knowledge organisers, which links to clear and consistent homework
  • Introducing key concepts in manageable chunks, that are interlinked to prior and future learning
  • Providing feedback through demonstrate and connect
  • The explicit teaching of scientific vocabulary

Clear and consistent homework is set weekly by the science department. Years 7-9 are expected to have learnt sections of their knowledge organiser as directed by their class teacher. This homework is checked in lessons through low-stakes retrieval practice. In addition to knowledge organisers, all students across the year groups have access to the free website ‘Seneca Learn’. Each student has a specific class and can access questions that have been set by their teacher. Year 10 and 11 homework varies is set and checked on Seneca. Excellent participation in homework is rewarded through tri-stars and science prizes.

Feedback is provided in the format of demonstrate and connect. This model of feedback ensures that students receive timely, consistent, and personalised feedback on their work.

Scientific vocabulary is explicitly taught in every single lesson. Learning science involves learning a whole new language, we at Manor Croft ensure that students become fluent in that language by explicitly teaching new scientific vocabulary. We also focus on the etymology of words to aid understanding and linking of vocabulary.

Key Stage 3

In Year 7 & Year 8, students have science three times a week and are taught the foundations of the key strands.  They develop their scientific knowledge and understanding through all the specific disciplines. Students are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Early on in Year 7, students are introduced into the practical element of science, learning how to use equipment safely to allow them to build their practical skills to investigate problems in Year 8. Alongside this, we develop students’ ability to analyse the data they collect, working collaboratively with the Mathematics department to ensure a uniform approach in language and teaching approach.

In Year 9, students have 4 lessons of science, but this is split across specialist teachers, which allows for greater depth of the science disciplines. Students continue to revisit the foundations of each strand to ensure that knowledge is secure, allowing them to access the ambitious curriculum we have created to enable them to apply their knowledge to challenging concepts.

Everything in science has a purpose and all science subjects taught help students understand how science lessons are linked to careers that they may be interested in someday. We provide students opportunities within our curriculum to help them understand and experience science beyond the National Curriculum. They learn about awe-inspiring and even life-changing topics related to the time of year such as Recycling Week, Space Week, Health day and World Bee Day, to name a few. In the summer term our curriculum covers enrichment projects following their final assessment, with links to science locally, ensuring that students develop an understanding of other areas of science such as psychology and microbiology.

Key Stage 4

KS4 at Manor Croft carefully builds on the strong foundations of both knowledge and skills developed at KS3. We follow the AQA Trilogy and Triple science which offer detailed and rounded specifications that provide students with the base knowledge they need to understand the world around them, and to give them the ability to question any scientific matter encountered in daily life. In its breadth, science at KS4 has an ambitious curriculum and by embedding content in a cyclical manner, it can be understood and appreciated by all.

Students follow a similar path within each lesson, revisiting information from previous lessons with individually marked ‘connect’ tasks, giving them a chance to directly address any misconceptions they may still hold after a lesson. The woven curriculum with KS3 and constant revisiting of topics through ‘drill’ activities, allows students to challenge their pre-existing notions of the world around them in a gradual manner. Using an evidence and experimental-based approach, we give them a chance to reframe their thinking. We use instructional teaching and chunking of information to model and guide students towards understanding, all supported by a well-designed knowledge organiser to help students with independent study. Ultimately students work up to a final assessment at the end of KS4 to illustrate what they have learnt. We give the tools they need through guided practice and low-stakes practice questions to demonstrate their knowledge.

Extra-curricular science

Currently we have a Lego robotics club and CREST club. Last year we had a science club where past experiments included making volcanos, lava lamps, growing crystals, turning pennies gold, fruit batteries, physics thinking challenges and exploring the ecology of our own school grounds in the summer. Staff go above and beyond, reaching out to other scientists to arrange guest speakers, like space rock experts that allow students to look at interesting objects from space with magnifying glasses. Science is an expansive topic that covers many different fields of study, our teachers recognise this, and encourage students to request topics that they find truly fascinating.

Memorable experiences

Science is all about how the world around us works, and as such we aim to take our students so see it. Memorable experiences in science have included a Year 8 trip to Yorkshire Wildlife Park, so they see animals they might not have had the chance to see otherwise.

Students were given the chance to touch and hold animal teeth, claws, eggs, and even hold life exotic creatures such as cockroaches and snails during an educational session hosted by the park’s staff. Sometimes the memorable experiences make their way to the school. In year 7, a pop-up astronomy dome allowed students to explore the galaxy from the comfort of the school’s main hall and ask anything they wanted to know about space to a real astrologist. Year 7 also have experienced space in virtual reality using VR headsets from the comfort of a science lab! Other experiences have included trips to Magna, the Deep, Arla, Maverick’s science conference and science focused residentials to Dallowgill.