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Cirencester Deer Park School

Cirencester Deer Park School


The Science Faculty is based in the purpose-built Powell’s Centre. There are eight well-equipped labs, two with ICT facilities and dataloggers. There are nine enthusiastic and dedicated members of the Science Faculty teaching staff, with a range of experience from NQT to 20 years’ experience. Some of the Science Staff have previous industrial or academic experience. All of the Science teaching staff believe in the value of practical and investigative work, and we are well supported by a team of three technical staff.


Find out about each Key Stage in Science and our Key Stage 4 Horticulture course:

KS3 Science 

Our pupils are following the new National Curriculum, with resources from Activate Science (Oxford University Press). Activate will be introduced into Year 9 in June 2016. We currently teach Exploring Science to Year 9.

Our Schemes of Learning have been enhanced by our own practicals and demonstrations, to make our pupils’ lessons more varied, relevant and accessible. Pupils’ skills in Numeracy are explicitly developed in many of our lessons to help to build this fundamental key skill. We try hard to maintain a sense of ‘awe and wonder’ in Science and the World around us and promote independent think that allows pupils to consider themselves as part of something larger – within modern Britain and the wider world.

Pupils in Science study a ‘spiral curriculum’ in which key concepts are revisited and built upon.  There is an increasing requirement for numeracy within the Science curriculum, so our Schemes of Learning and written to provide suitable practise in these key skills.

In the document below, the topics covered in Years 7 to 9 are outlined, together with particularly strong examples of opportunities in Numeracy (‘N’), ‘Awe and Wonder (‘A’) and relevance to life in modern Britain (‘GB’).

KS4 Science 

Our Key Stage 4 courses to allow every pupil to pursue a course that is suitable for their ability and learning style. Separate Sciences (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), Core Science and Additional Science follow a ‘traditional’ pattern. Scientific content is taught in a series of short modules and assessed in terminal exams. Assessment is based on examinations (75%) and teacher-assessed coursework (25%). Pupils have a choice of either

‘Core and Additional’ Science (two GCSEs) in 10 lessons a fortnight (20% of curriculum time), or

‘Separate Sciences’ in which Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught as individual subjects (three GCSEs) in 15 lessons a fortnight (30% of curriculum time)

From June 2016, pupils starting their GCSEs will study either Combined Science (Double Award); Separate Sciences (Triple Award) or an Entry Level Certificate in Science.  The Entry Level certificate may be completed as a ‘stand alone’ qualification, or pupils may still enter for GCSE exams if they show the suitable progress.  All of these are AQA qualifications.  Below are web addresses for AQA, BBC Bitesize revision and Chemguide (which is suitable for higher ability pupils).

KS4 Horticulture 

Pupils can opt to study Level 1 Certificate in Practical Horticulture in Key Stage 4. The course we follow has been designed to allow pupils to develop their practical skills as well as develop their understanding of the Horticultural industry, techniques and practices.

Components of the course include:

  • Soil testing
  • Preparing soil for sowing and planting
  • Assist with the propagation of plants from seed
  • Assist with the vegetative propagation of plants
  • Assist with planting and establishing plants.

By studying this course pupils will be prepared for their next steps in education or training, whether it is within the industry or elsewhere. This is done by:

  • Empowering pupils to take responsibility for their plot and for looking after their plants
  • Giving them real life problems to solve, the results of which will be left in legacy within the school
  • Being one step ahead when entering the industry, where there is a skills shortage.

Pupils have five one hour lessons per fortnight. Four of these lessons are practical in nature, whilst one is classroom-based. The practical lessons take place in our specialist area that has been developed on the school site, including a polytunnel, raised beds and greenhouse. These facilities have been developed by the pupils over the past few years. We also generate our own compost and compost on average 1 tonne of waste each year to ensure a plentiful supply of compost for use on the plot.

Throughout the course we develop our pupils’ enterprise skills by making and selling horticultural-related products including hanging baskets and seedlings. To foster and develop such skills is vital to ensure our pupils can compete into today’s society, as well as the pupils getting a sense of satisfaction and making a profit.

Cirencester Deer Park School has fostered and developed a number of partnerships including:

Phoenix Gardeners – Our Horticultural pupils grow and supply the plants for the Phoenix Gardeners, who plant and look after the flower pots and beds in Cirencester Town centre.

There are many opportunities for pupils to engage in extra-curricular activities in Science. At GCSE level we have offered visits for pupils to Oxford Natural History museum, Bristol University Chemistry Department and Bath University (DNA workshop).  We extend invitations to other specialists to give presentations or run workshops for our other KS4 pupils - these have included astronomers, health professionals and GCHQ. At Key Stage 3 we offer Gifted and Talented opportunities within school and extra-curricularly.  We have a partnership with Xylem pressure systems, who have delivered activities to some of our KS3 pupils.

Useful links: