Harrogate High School
Outline of the Science Department
The Building
The department is housed in its own block and is spread over two floors. It was subject to a
major refurbishment 8 years ago, bringing all our facilities up to date. There are 6 laboratories,
each one has an Internet-enabled computer, data projector and large SmartBoard. Each one
also has its own stock of basic apparatus for easy access during practicals. There is a large
prep room on each floor, connected via a small service lift so that chemicals and equipment are
easily transported. A passenger lift is available in the department for use by disabled students.
There is an ICT suite on the first floor and a staff work room. Each teacher has their own
laboratory. The department is very well resourced with equipment, text books and other
resources, most of which are new or nearly new.
Staffing structure
There are five science teachers (full-time and part-time), and two technicians (one full-time and
the other part-time). The staff are cheerful, supportive, hard-working, and co-operate closely
with each other.
Courses offered
The department is currently working towards and delivering wide-ranging improvements to its
curriculum, allowing us to offer our students the best opportunities for success. There are five
periods in the school day, and each period is one hour long. Our courses, and teacher
preparation and planning, are supported by use of a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The
department makes good use of the VLE to enhance teaching and learning, and to reduce
unnecessary duplication of effort in our preparation and planning.
Key Stage 3
Harrogate High School runs an extended KS4 course, so the KS3 courses run in Years 7 and 8.
Each set is taught for three periods per week. The KS3 Science course is structured around the
KS3 statutory curriculum with consideration of progress to Key Stage 4 courses. The curriculum
content at KS3 is written by staff using the Exploring Science course as a foundation. Each
teacher has access to an interactive version of the book, alongside worksheets and a lesson
planning tool. The Department has several licences to use with whiteboards eg. TestBase and
BoardWorks. and Footprints.
January 2016
‘Learning First’
Key Stage 4
In recent years the Science Department have offered and delivered a range of GCSE and
BTEC qualifications considered to best meet the needs of our students. Our current overview of
the curriculum is as follows;
At GCSE students study either AQA GCSE Science or the Edexcel Certificate in Science.
Students can either study for Double Award Science or Single Sciences in Biology, Chemistry
and Physics (often called Triple Award). Students are taught by subject specialists.
Students in Years 10 have 5 x 1 hour lessons per week and Year 11 will have 6 z 1 hour
lessons per week.
Key Stage 5
Students in the Sixth Form have the opportunity to choose from four science courses, each
taught for four periods per week:
AQA AS/A2 Biology
AQA AS/A2 Chemistry
AQA AS/A2 Physics A
Edexcel BTEC National Award Level 3 in Applied Biomedical Science
A Level Biology and A Level Chemistry are supported by OUP’s text books and CDROMs, and
A Level Physics by Nelson Thornes’ text books. Each student has their own text books and
associated CDROMs. The Department has licences to use Oxbox software for Biology and
Chemistry, and ExamPro.
January 2016
‘Learning First’