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Chemistry

Chemistry Department

Teaching staff.

RSC Mr Richard Cordwell (Chemistry & Year 7 tutor)
CEI Mrs Clare Ingham (Chemistry, Physics & Year 9 tutor)
KJ Dr Kim Jones (Chemistry & Year 9 tutor)
DK Mr Duncan Kinloch (Chemistry, Computing & Year 10 tutor)
ZMS Dr Zoe Saunders (Head of Chemistry & Year 7 tutor)

In addition, members of the Biology department teach some lower school chemistry:
Currently;

DJP Mr Daniel Peat teaches one Year 7 Chemistry group

Technical Staff.

Sheila Middlehurst (Senior Science Technician and years 10-13 Chemistry)
Lee Haworth (Year 7-9 Chemistry technician)

Richard CordwellRichard CordwellLee HaworthLee Haworth
Clare InghamClare InghamKim JonesKim Jones

Duncan KinlochDuncan KinlochShiela MiddlehurstSheila Middlehurst

Daniel PeatDaniel PeatZoe SaundersZoe Saunders

EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES

The Chemistry department policy is determined by the School Policy: that chemistry is available to all pupils irrespective of gender, origin or background; that resource material, where practicable, is not biased in favour of any group and that where possible, through the teaching of Chemistry, pupils are encouraged to understand and respect different cultures and views.

AIMS and OBJECTIVES
Aims
• To provide a worthwhile educational experience for all pupils at all levels.
• To stimulate curiosity, interest and enjoyment of Chemistry and to equip all students for further studies requiring a scientific background.
• Develop safe experimental and investigative abilities.
• Encourage effective communication and social skills in working with others.
• To acquire a systematic body of Chemical knowledge, including the uses and limitations of Chemistry.
• Develop an understanding of technological, economic, environmental, social and ethical applications / implications of chemical processes as well prepared citizens in a scientific and technological world.

Objectives
Students should be able to:
• Make use of existing scientific knowledge and ideas where appropriate (e.g. on transferring from junior school).
• Understand, recall and apply the knowledge set out in the syllabus for each year group and be well prepared to meet the demands of external examination boards.
• Communicate chemical observations, ideas and arguments, using a range of scientific terms and vocabulary, both orally and in writing.
• Solve qualitative and quantitative problems where appropriate.
• Demonstrate a range of practical skills including:
following a detailed set of instructions
selection and use of chemical apparatus with confidence
devising fair tests when working with several variables
observation, recording and manipulation of results
concluding and evaluating including suggesting improvements.
• Develop a degree of responsibility for their own learning.
• Be aware of Health and Safety implications for themselves and others.
• Have the opportunity for the use of I.C.T. as a source of information and as a tool in the collection and processing of results.

TEACHING STYLE / APPROACH

Schemes of work are available for each year group including the teaching order (programme of study) and practical work. Mrs Middlehurst keeps copies in her preparation area.

Any member of staff is free to modify or add any element which they feel enhances the teaching of a topic. Members of staff are free to develop whatever style they see as appropriate for the age, abilities and learning styles of the pupils, bearing in mind the aims and objectives previously listed.

All schemes of work are subject to regular review by the department as a whole. Practical work is at the core of any Scheme of Work although staff are encouraged to use other resources and teaching aids as they see fit, and to share with other teachers any useful learning activities. The Chemistry technicians frequently assist with practical work at all levels within the school.

CURRICULUM ALLOCATIONS

The school currently operates a two week timetable made up of six teaching periods per day. The curriculum allocation in periods per cycle is:

Year Number of periods allocated

Year

Number of periods allocated

7

3

8

3

9

3

10 (Science & Additional Science)

4

10 (Chemistry)

4

11 (Science & Additional Science)

4

11 (Chemistry)

4

12 (AS)

11

13 (A Level)

13

Courses Offered
The Lower School
Purpose of the Collins Key Stage 3 Science course
This course has been developed to provide support to teachers in planning and delivering exciting, engaging and effective lessons. The overarching priorities have been to:
• ensure that the requirements of the National Curriculum Programme of Study have been responded to
• support teachers in teaching lessons in which students make good progress and are on track to achieve well at the end of KS4
• offer ways of tracking, reporting on and responding to progress given the move away from levels in the National Curriculum
• enable schools to select the period of time they decide to devote to KS3 before starting on KS4 courses
• address the need to challenge and engage students working at different levels of attainment
• focus on the development of skills and processes as well as content
• provide teachers with clear guidance as to how learning can be managed during the lesson, from initial engagement to consolidation and application.

The Middle School

From Year 9 (September 2015), a mixture of Key Stage 3 and GCSE work is covered in line with school policy. The GCSE work covered in Year 9 is from the AQA GCSE (2016) specification. This is a recent change from the existing Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry Syllabus. In Year 10, the majority opt to continue with AQA Science and Additional Science. However a small cohort of the most able will still undertake the Edexcel IGCSE Chemistry as a separate science. This course will cease to run once these students are examined in 2017 as all students will then follow the new AQA GCSE Combined Science course, or they will study separate Chemistry, Biology and Physics.

Year 9 (3 periods per cycle)

The work followed during the year includes some of the less demanding aspects of the GCSE syllabus but its broad nature and continued emphasis on practical work gives a firm foundation for continued study in Years 10 & 11, and also helps students make an informed choice for GCSE. There is one homework per cycle. Standard tests are used.

Year 10 & 11

A small cohort of the most able students are studying Edexcel IGCSE and a smaller number study the Double Award specification.

STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES

In Chemistry students can expect:
• Well planned lessons
• The department operates a policy of seating plans for all years for easy identification of particular students
• Safe practical work in every applicable lesson
• A variety of teaching approaches and differentiation where appropriate
• Regular formal assessment and marking of classwork and homework
• Regular, relevant, homework and feedback upon it
• Tidy and appealing laboratories to be taught in
• Blinds should be pulled up and stools down ready to start the lesson before the students enter the lab.
• A controlled atmosphere

In return staff have a right to expect students:
• To arrive punctually and well presented to every lesson
• Be equipped with pen, ruler, rubber, exercise book and Planner
• The follow the school 'Code of Conduct' (School Handbook/Planners)
• To do homework- completely to an acceptable standard on time
• To respect the people and environment around them
• To follow the laboratory safety rules (issued to all pupils and secured in fronts of exercise books).

Much disruption can be caused when these entitlements are not fulfilled. Behaviour can be perceived as being 'bad' which is actually linked to inappropriate work being set. Lessons should be well planned and delivered in a way that is appropriate to the needs of the students. That said, staff need to work out a range of strategies for dealing with pupils who fail to meet these expectations. Rewarding children who do meet our expectations is a positive way to raise standards (there is a school policy for pupil rewards- School Staff Handbook).

Entry and exit of pupils to and from the laboratory must be formal and controlled (no pupils should enter the laboratory without the teacher being present). All pupils must be aware of the safety rules (a copy must be stuck into the front of every exercise book). Teachers need to go through these in the first lesson of each year, and then reinforce them throughout the year. An enlarged version of the laboratory safety rules is on display in each laboratory.

All student work should start with an underlined title and the date. Drawings should be done in pencil, straight lines with a ruler. The covers of exercise books/files should not be defaced and must be covered if they have been. Students should be encouraged to have personal pride in their work. Chemistry based stickers/pictures could be allowed to personalise books of lower school classes at the class teacher's discretion.

Disciplinary issues should be dealt with according to the whole school policy- if in doubt about procedure/punishment/sanction please ask HoD. Dr Saunders runs a HoD detention one lunchtime per week.

Homework

The chemistry department homework policy is determined by the school homework policy. Homework is set on a regular basis to write up practical work, consolidate and revise work covered in lessons and to provide extension material.
Homework for years 7 to 11 is set according to the homework timetable published for each year group:

Year 7 1 x 20 mins per cycle
Year 8 1 x 25 mins per cycle
Year 9 1 x 30 mins per cycle
Years 10 & 11 (Chemistry) 2 x 40 mins per cycle
(Science & Additional Science) 1 x 40 mins per cycle

In Year 12 the students may expect up to 3 hours of homework per cycle. Homeworks consist mainly of structured questions, or problems connected with practical work. Students at this level are expected to take more responsibility for their own learning: model answers for all questions may be distributed to pupils with their marked scripts. Staff go through common mistakes and are available to go through individual problems. Staff may set alternative work to these standard homeworks as they feel appropriate. In Year 13 students may expect up to 5 hours homework per cycle.

There is also a requirement for sixth form pupils to keep their practical folders up to date, which will invariably involve some extra work outside of the lesson. Practical write ups are generally handed in during the next practical session with the same member of staff.

The following guidelines will be issued to students in Years 7 – 11:

HOMEWORK RULES

Homework is set on It is collected on

• All pieces of work will be recorded in my Chemistry teacher's mark book. Consistently good work or tests will be rewarded. Examples of rewards include a) credits b) SIMS Achievement records c) postcards sent home.

• If for any reason I have difficulties with the homework, then I should see my chemistry teacher for help.

• If for any reason I don't hand homework in on time then I will see my Chemistry teacher at the earliest available opportunity.

MARKING OF WORK
Marks will be awarded for most types of work, including tests. e.g. 6 / 10.
Grades may be awarded for some types of work, such as poster work. e.g. B.
Your teacher will provide feedback (either in class or written into your book) to help you improve.

You will be expected to make your own response to the comments on the feedback sticker.

Chemistry Department Marking and Assessment
1. Purpose of assessment
• Monitor student progress to aid teaching
• Provide feedback on progress
• Target setting
• Motivation
• Determine grades
• Assess strengths and weaknesses of individual pupils and class as a whole

2. Characteristics of assessment
Content should match the teacher's departmental objectives and be seen as meaningful in the eyes of the student. The majority of homework tasks should have the target/challenge sticker added after marking. All pupils must make some comment about the piece of work/the mark and a target if appropriate- they must enter into a 2 way conversation about their work. If appropriate for the lesson it is advised that on the return of work/books the class is given 5 minutes in silence to reflect on their work/make corrections and make a comment target. At the start of the academic year the system should be explained to classes so that it is clear what is expected and that they get into this routine.

HOD/HOY/Parents/tutor must be kept informed if any pupil gives any cause for concern in any relation to the lesson including academic performance, quality of work produced, attendance or punctuality.

3. Feedback on assessment
Work is generally awarded a numerical mark (if applicable) or (less likely) a grade as shown below or both. In addition to these grades written feedback can be given to indicate to the students how they could improve their future work. Written feedback will be positive in its tone but honesty is paramount. Grades awarded are A* (Outstanding) to G (Very Poor)
The awarding of credits for good pieces of work or improvement is encouraged in years 7 to 11. For outstanding pieces of work post cards can be sent home or work can be displayed.
In the event of unsatisfactory work, suggestions may be given to indicate improvements. This may be verbal or written. Work or effort which is consistently unsatisfactory or late will result in a referral to the Head of Department (Dr Saunders). The student is then asked to see Dr Saunders and a letter may be sent home.
Feedback can also be given in writing or in the form of credits in the event of good classwork. (either written or verbal).
Late work will be noted in the mark book and may appear, for example, as 7L.
Example grade descriptors are given in Appendix 3


4. Mechanics of Assessment
Work will usually be collected in during the next lesson after it is set. Exceptions to this rule are the Year 7 and 8 pupils who are required to hand in their exercise books during the subsequent morning registration period (with prior agreement with their respective form tutor).
Each piece of work should be awarded a mark as outlined above and any comments made where necessary.

Comments may be made in the body of the work and this should be referred to at the end of the piece of work.

Past papers. Usually a mark or % may be given. Where appropriate a grade may be given, but these may change form, year to year and close inspection of the examiners' report is needed. As a rough rule:
GCSE, AS & A-level past paper questions and papers should be expressed as grades

(A* to U) where:
A* = 90%
A = 80%
B = 70%
C = 60%
D = 50%
E = 40%
U = less than 40%

5. Formative and Summative Assessment
The department recognises the value of summative assessment and marks are obtained via tests, practical exercises, investigations and national examinations. Its purpose is to find out what students know, find out what they understand, check on progress made, to rank students, award grades, set targets and report to parents.

The department also recognises the value of formative assessment (assessment for learning). Its purpose is to improve learning, improve self esteem, and provide feedback to students and teachers. Formative assessment may take place by a variety of techniques including questioning, giving feedback (marking and oral), self assessment (e.g. reviewing work at the end of a topic), and peer assessment.

Self-assessment and peer assessment are alternatives to traditional marking of work by the teacher. The aim is to give the student more 'bites' of learning – by revisiting the work again and also to take on more responsibility for their own learning. This can be achieved by traffic lighting, marking your own work or marking each others work, reviewing work by asking students what questions they have about the work, generating and answering their own questions (as a group) or even asking students to teach a small section of work.