Scientific understanding is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.  All our pupils learn essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.  They gain appreciation of how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas that relate to the sciences and that the individual branches are both inter-linked and of universal application.

Pupils and staff enjoy working in a beautifully designed, state-of-the-art, fully networked and excellently resourced teaching and learning facility. It provides an excellent and comfortable environment in which our pupils can investigate, discover, learn and be taught, instructed and mentored about the wonders and application of the sciences. The Faculty of Science is proud of all its pupils and believes strongly in catering to the highest standards for their education and their enjoyment of the sciences. Staff are enthusiastic and lessons are viewed as a partnership between teacher and pupils. Lessons are dynamic, interactive, academically challenging and engaging, nurturing, creative and fun, and a wide variety of teaching and learning styles, methods, activities and up-to-date equipment and electronic resources to suit the needs and learning style of the individual pupil are employed. Pupils are challenged and stimulated in ways that develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, the sciences. As part of this, practical and investigative work is a strong feature in our work. Pupils are taught to use sophisticated pieces of equipment at an early age and to make and interpret accurate and reliable measurements and observations.

Incorporation of ICT within teaching, learning and experimental work also features highly. This, coupled with an emphasis on practical work and excellent teaching, enables each pupil to develop a strong understanding in each topic. We take and relate each science and topic to the outside world and bring the outside world into our pupil learning programmes. Our aims and objectives can be summarised as:

  • challenge and stimulate our pupils and develop their interest in, and enthusiasm for, science
  • develop breadth and depth of knowledge and understanding in each branch of science and in cross-over scientific fields that is beyond examination specification, relating this where possible across other disciplines, to events and systems in the world outside, and to new achievements and discoveries.
  • offer additional opportunities for pupils to advance their involvement, knowledge and understanding in the subjects and in science overall.
  • provide opportunities for the gifted and talented, for all pupils to be stretched and challenged, and for pupils to be nurtured, as and when required.
  • encourage our students to think and communicate clearly, logically and synoptically, with appropriate terminology and vocabulary, and to develop their powers of analysis.
  • train our pupils in practical techniques and expose pupils to sophisticated items of equipment as early as possible,
  • develop pupil use of ICT within each science subject and develop a critical approach to scientific evidence and methods.
  • promote pupil achievement through publicity and establish pupil links with external organisations and events

Science is popular throughout the school and the Faculty of Science has an enviable record of value added achievement at GCSE, A-level and IBDP. Pupils undertake a rigorous and thorough KS3 course in Years 7 and 8, based on the National Curriculum and Common Entrance and with standardised assessment and testing. Pupils in Year 7 receive one hour of teaching in each subject per week and in Year 8 are engaged for 1.5 hours in each subject per week. 

Pupils commence their GCSE studies in Year 9 and later arrivals to the school are catered for through additional catch-up instruction out of lesson time and purposefully designed Programmes of Study. Pupils start on a separate science core programme and at the end of Year 10, after two years of assessment and testing, three certification options are available for them in Year 11. Pupils are advised as to which is the best route and grade outcome for them; either certification in the three separate sciences, certification in two separate GCSE sciences or continue studies in all three science subjects to certificate in GCSE: Combined Science. Pupils are streamed into Sets according to ability and are taught in relatively small groups. Pupils in Year 9 are engaged in 1.5 hours of teaching and learning in each subject each week. This rises to 2 hours per week in Years 10 and 11.  

In the sixth form each pupil is taught by subject specialists. A-level pupils are engaged in learning, enquiry and exploration for 5 hours per week whereas IB pupils have 4 and 3 hours of lessons and practical classes for Higher and Standard Level courses, respectively. 

Some of the topics studied within our science courses supports delivery of part of the school's PSHE programme. 

Facilities Available

The Wessex Science Centre was officially opened by HRH The Earl of Wessex in 2007. Pupils and staff alike enjoy working in this beautifully designed, state-of-the-art, fully networked and excellently resourced teaching and learning facility. Accommodation on two floors includes eight spacious laboratories, one of which can also host large-scale demonstrations and lectures by internal and external speakers. Laboratories are individually designed, versatile and provide excellent and comfortable environments in which learning, discovery, investigation, and teaching and instruction take place. The laboratories are light and airy and are well resourced in apparatus, equipment, digital and WiFi technology and most have moveable furniture to create different teaching and learning environments. Separate storerooms and three, subject-dedicated preparation rooms support the work and study undertaken in the laboratories. The preparation rooms store and prepare biological, chemical and physical material, accommodate a wealth of apparatus and equipment, contain freezer, cold storage and glass washing equipment as well as having provision for producing distilled and de-ionised water. The Centre is also equipped to cater for pupils with limited mobility. The work of the Faculty of Science is supported by an adjacent, school library that also has a networked suite of computers. A networked staff resources and work room also provides additional space and support for teaching staff.

Examination boards

  • Edexcel - qualifications in GCSE: Biology and Chemistry
  • AQA - qualification in GCSE: Physics
  • Edexcel - qualification in GCSE: Combined Science
  • Edexcel - qualification in A Level Chemistry
  • AQA - qualifications in A Level Biology and Physics
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) and the International Baccalaureate Career-Related Programme (CP) with courses at both higher and standard levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. 

Co-Curricular Activities

A selection of regular and periodic activities

  • Astrophysics
  • Educational trips
  • Cross curricular teaching topics
  • Bridging projects and outreach programmes with feeder and other prep schools
  • Big Bang Science Fair (University of Exeter)
  • CREST Award programme
  • STEM club and activities
  • Smallpiece Trust courses
  • Open Morning cross-curricular events
  • Warminster Science Fortnight
  • Visiting lecturers
  • Curriculum enrichment days
  • Salters Practical Chemistry Club
  • Weird Science Club
  • Astronomy club
  • Biology Challenge
  • Institute of Biology, Royal Society of Chemistry, Institute of Physics Olympiad competitions
  • Physics and engineering challenge
  • Physics paperclips competition
  • Institute of mechanical engineers/RAF:schools aerospace challenge
  • Robotics
  • Beekeeping
  • First Aid