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Sciences

Sciences

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Sciences

Studying Science will develop your curiosity about the world we live in and allow you to become knowledgeable about the science you will meet in everyday life. 

During your lessons, you will learn scientific facts and gain an understanding of the topics. You will apply your knowledge, perform experiments and analyse the results. Along the way you will learn scientific vocabulary, ICT skills and all about the benefits and drawbacks of scientific and technological developments. You will also have the opportunity to discuss controversial scientific and technological issues. The skill that you develop will enable you to make informed decisions and choices on scientific matters.

All students from Year 3 upwards enjoy their science lessons in MSJ’s modern Science Education Centre comprising eight laboratories, four classrooms, an ICT suite and three specialist science preparation rooms.

Separate sciences are taught at Key Stage 3, whilst at GCSE, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are offered as separate science subjects, or as 'Science' in Year 10 and 'Additional Science' in Year 11. At GCSE the courses are Double Award Science (DS) or Triple Science (TS) – Biology, Chemistry and Physics. 

Having studied a subject as part of either DS or TS, it can be taken at AS and A2 level. The courses will enable you to develop your knowledge and understanding of the concepts and extend your intellectual and practical skills.

Biology

You can’t get away from Biology. It’s you, your pets, your family, your surroundings, maybe even the way you earn your living.  

Studying Biology helps you to understand and appreciate your place in the living world, as it’s always in the news in some form or other e.g. genetic engineering, pollution, global warming, food production, habitat conservation and destruction, biofuels, fishing quotas or cloning.

At MSJ, Biology is taught by specialist teachers and as we are one of the few schools that offer a Triple Award qualification at GCSE you have the rare opportunity to study it in more depth than usual.

Biologists are natural polymaths, as the subject encompasses Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Latin, Greek, Statistics and a good appreciation of Geography, Sociology, Dietetics and Medicine.  Good Biologists have very flexible intellects! 

Biology links seamlessly with your studies in Nutrition, Sport, Food Technology and the other STEM subjects. The nature of the course means that studying Biology also ensures that you will develop excellent, clear, communication skills.

We enhance our lessons with entries in the Biology Olympiad and Biology Challenge competitions, day trips in all years, and a residential Field Trip in the Sixth Form. Biology has so many aspects to it, that is accessible and enjoyable to all, and indeed, several students choose to take it as their only science at A Level.  Because of its usefulness and versatility, it opens the door for you to a wide range of university courses.

Chemistry

Have you ever wondered why you can’t unbake a cake, or why we put salt on the roads in the winter? Studying Chemistry will help you answer these questions, along with a host of others that you might have about our amazing world.  

At Malvern St James, Chemistry lessons are crafted with common threads: pursuing academic understanding, safe and effective practical skills, creative problem solving, identifying the everyday relevance of the material studied, and links to potential careers. 

The Chemistry curriculum is taught by subject specialist teachers in our three purpose-designed and well-equipped laboratories, with the support of a full-time dedicated Chemistry technician.  Lessons are varied in their format and make use of a wide and diverse range of resources.  Frequent hands-on experience is included in lessons, to demonstrate or explain the theories studied. The Chemistry department, although independent, naturally has very close links with Biology and Physics.  The departments work together on curriculum issues, so that concepts introduced by one subject are supported and augmented by the others. They also support and promote Science Teaching in a wide variety of ways, including activities in National Science and Engineering Week and a visit to the GCSE Science Live Conference.

In the Sixth Form, pupils who enjoy a challenge can enter the Chemistry Olympiad run by the Royal Society of Chemistry, or can compete in the Organic Chemistry Challenge in the Ships’ Olympiad to gain points for their Ship Students also get a taste of the undergraduate Chemistry experience through our annual visit to the University of Bristol.

Physics

STEM Club rocket launch

Physics teaches you…
"….how to handle doubt and uncertainty, what the rules of evidence are, how to think about things so that judgements can be made, how to distinguish truth from fraud, and from show.” Richard Feynman (Nobel Prize winner)
"The whole of finance is to do with probabilities - that is very physics-y. A lot of equations of physics are absolutely applicable on the stock market." Jessica James, Vice-President of the Strategic Risk Management Advisory Strategy Group at the First National Bank of Chicago in London 

To study Physics is to study the nature of the universe and everything in it. From the enormous energies of supernovae to the microscopic dimensions of atoms, Physics allows our imagination to wonder and our intellect to investigate the world around us. 

Studying Physics develops essential investigative and critical thinking skills, preparing our students for an increasingly technological world, enabling them to make informed decisions and reach logical conclusions; skills that will serve them well at university and beyond. 

At MSJ our Physics courses are carefully prepared to allow our pupils maximum exposure to student-led investigative science. Their practical learning is supported by innovative delivery of the theoretical content making full use of our modern multi-media facilities and dedicated Science IT suite. Students can gain further practical experience and theoretical understanding attending our after school STEM activities as well as the field trips each year supporting a specific aspect of their learning.

“Physics enables you to retain your childhood curiosity without sounding like you’re doing a circus skills course. It is exciting, fun and stretching and real satisfaction can be achieved when a difficult concept is understood or when one can apply the skills learnt in real life. Not to mention the fantastic teachers who offer extra teaching time and activities to challenge us!” Cliona Maley, 6th Form Physics Student

The Physics Department follows the AQA exam board courses for GCSE and A Level.

The full specifications can be accessed by clicking on the following links:

AQA GCSE Physics

AQA A Level Physics

Physics - The obligatory Van de Graaff generator during an electrostatics lesson!