Sciences

Science at Putney is not about belief, but the will to find out. We aim to open up the minds of the girls to an understanding of the value, relevance and importance of scientific endeavour in the world around them. Experimentation is at the heart of our approach and we take full advantage of the excellent laboratories, resources and facilities we have here. Above all, Science is to be enjoyed and it holds an immense fascination. We hope to bring that enjoyment to our lessons. Science at Putney provides a firm foundation for further reading, the planting of ideas in the mind and providing the tools for individual research.

Key stage 3: 

In Year 7, the department run its introductory ‘Science Works’ course which is taught in three periods per week. From Year 8 onwards, the three disciplines are taught as separate subjects.

GCSE: 

All students are entered for separate science IGCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The International GCSE course is an academically rigorous and challenging course that provides scientific literacy for all and an excellent foundation for A Level study. There is no coursework associated with the examinations but practical work forms an integral part of the teaching of the topics covered. There are opportunities for students to develop their use of technology including science specific applications and data logging software on iPads, and using the internet to deepen understanding of a range of subject areas.

A Level: 

  • The Biology course aims to sustain and develop an enjoyment of, and interest in, living organisms. It will promote an awareness and appreciation of biology in personal, social, environmental, economic and technological contexts and promote the responsible use of biology in society. 
  • Chemistry students gain a better appreciation of the world around us and become better informed about some of the major current issues such as protection of the environment and energy resources.
  • During the Physics course, students learn about our current understanding of the Universe, from the tiniest subatomic particles and the fundamental forces that dictate their behaviour to the nature of stars, galaxies, space and time. 
  • More than half of all students at Putney take up an A Level in STEM subjects. Sixth Form pupils regularly compete in science Olympiads and Challenges and we have achieved certificates to gold level in the current academic year.

Extension Activities: 

All students in Years 7 and 8 are invited to our weekly Science Club, and a number of Year 8 students are selected to compete in the annual Salter’s Chemistry Challenge. Students from Years 9 - 13 are welcome to attend our thriving weekly Medical Society, and we offer weekly hot topic talks on all three sciences to Sixth Form students. We run a range of educational visits; Year 7 visit Kew Gardens, Year 8 visit Marwell Zoo, Year 9 visit the Science Museum, Year 10 attend lectures at a range of academic institutions in Central London, and our Sixth Formers attend a residential Biology field trip in Pembrokeshire. We look to develop our students’ ability to communicate their understanding of science. Each year a group of sixth formers are selected to assist with the running of a Junior School science club, where students can demonstrate and explain a wide range of experiments to younger students. 

 

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