Holy Cross is a Catholic High School established by the Catholic Community of the Chorley Deanery.
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Here at Holy Cross we have an extensive curriculum which is built around key stage 3 and key stage 4.
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Science is a core subject in schools and its importance is reflected in the number of lessons that pupils study in a week. At KS3 all pupils receive seven lessons of one hour a fortnight, and at KS4 they have eleven lessons of one hour. We believe that pupils should be encouraged to question, investigate and then evaluate their work; consequently the study of Science at Holy Cross is very practical. We believe that lessons should be fun, and enjoyment of science is the key to ensuring that we develop the pupils into the scientific citizens of the future. Science is a successful subject at Holy Cross and we pride ourselves on the large numbers of pupils who extend their scientific studies at college enabling them to follow a scientific career path in the outside world.
There are six fully-equipped laboratories complete with interactive whiteboards and specialist software. We use the 21st Century suite of software to support pupils learning in year 11, and in year 9 and 10 we use the AQA Trilogy software supplied through Kerboodle. All KS4 pupils will use the on-line homework package to aid their learning and revision. Practical work is incredibly important to us and so the department has a dedicated full-time technician who services the laboratories.
We teach a two year Key Stage 3 believing that we can give a thorough and detailed grounding of the scientific knowledge needed to enable pupils to progress to GCSE in this time. We use the fully resourced Activate scheme published by Oxford publishing, with pupils all having access to a digital textbook. This we feel is the best of the available published schemes and combined with a unique blend of our own skills, enables pupils to develop their understanding and knowledge to be fully prepared for the GCSEs in Science. We cover the full National Curriculum and fully address How Science Works.
Topics covered in Key Stage 3 are:
This consolidates the skills taught at Key Stage 3 that are needed for GCSE. We cover various topics with a very analytical eye on data and evaluative skills. After an initial introductory module we progress onto the GCSE.
All students study the AQA Combined Science Trilogy GCSE with a number of pupils opting to study in extra detail and convert this to three GCSEs in the separate Sciences. Class sizes in KS4 are normally limited to approximately 24 pupils.
Topics covered across the Sciences are:
All pupils at Key Stage 3 are assessed at the end of each module. Assessment will take the form of summative assessment based on past SATs-style questions which are then assessed and formative (investigative and more open-end tasks involving practical and evaluative skills). These assessments inform teaching, progress and setting arrangements.
Pupils are taught in module blocks and at the end of each module there is an in-house summative assessment task based on past GCSE examination questions. In addition to this all students must complete 18 required practicals which are set by the examination board and are completed in school hours.
The GCSE consists of six externally assessed examinations (each is worth 16.7% of the final mark), two from each separate Science, sat as terminal examinations at the end of year 11.
Each externally assessed unit is tiered and the head of department will decide which is most appropriate for individual students.
Revision classes are offered to students preparing for examinations and there are always teachers on hand to give support with required practicals and preparation for assessment tests in KS3. The STEM club is thriving; it is a place where pupils can take part in exciting and innovative science that is not normally covered in the normal curriculum and as pupils design their own experiments it can change every single week. We endeavour to get as many pupils as willing to achieve their bronze, silver and gold CREST awards which involve scientific investigation both at home and in school.
Science trips and lectures on scientific topics are attended by many pupils. We run a Year 5 competition and all staff undertake work in the feeder primary schools with teachers going into these schools. The science staff also assist in school productions and the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Pupils have taken part in numerous activities relating to science and sports. The Science staff have developed the schools ecological approach and have spearheaded the campaign for recycling and sustainable schools. We are currently educating pupils and staff on how to reduce carbon emissions both at home and within school. We also have the gardening club producing Holy Cross grown fruit and vegetables. The department has the use of a purpose-built wet classroom and glasshouse which is extensively used during the school year.
Myles Standish Way Chorley, Lancashire PR7 3LS Tel:
01257 262093 Email:
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