Head of Department
Mr A Birbeck
- Bachelor of Science in Genetics
- PGCE Secondary Education and Science
“Science knows no country, because knowledge belongs to humanity, and is the torch which illuminates the world.”
Science has the profound ability to offer not just an illuminating account of the origins and development of life and the universe, but also the mental tools to become a scientifically literate citizen who is able to assess the validity of claim and counterclaim on the basis of evidence. The aim of the science department is to deliver a broad and deep understanding of the scientific endeavour to explain the facts of reality.
At Pleckgate we want all students to think scientifically as this is an essential part of the cultural capital required to flourish in the modern, technological driven society. We cannot predict what the future holds for our students, but if they are able to form reasoned opinions based on the empirical evidence, then they will be able to make informed decisions on the ethical questions that are increasingly generated in the ever more technological world. We do not know whether artificial intelligence, climate change, big data, genetic technologies, or some other scientific development as yet unimagined will be the pressing concern in the lifetime of our students. However, if we teach them to evaluate the evidence, follow the dictates of logic and reason, then we may have confidence that they are best equipped to deal with the situation.
Pleckgate High School’s science curriculum follows the National Curriculum. Students begin their science studies through ‘enquiry’ as well as developing fundamental practical skills to learn how to safely practice science. The curriculum focuses on the fundamental principles of each scientific discipline with each new topic being built on the prior knowledge from earlier study. Chemistry, biology and physics are taught discretely and careful consideration has been taken to ensure the revisiting of learning is scheduled so that the vast amount of knowledge, skills and understanding are embedded and consolidated.
Our students study GCSE science with a large proportion of students opting for triple science. During these studies students will further develop their scientific skills and there is a strong focus on using practical work to learn skills of experimental design, skills in handling more advanced equipment, collecting and analysing data and drawing conclusions from evidence and evaluating the validity of findings. A high percentage of our students go on to study Sciences at further education and we have two different pathways to cater for the future educational or employment aspirations of all our students.
The science department believes that all our students are entitled to the benefits of a rigorous scientific education, to equip them with the skills to navigate the modern technological world.