Thursday 22 February 2018

Biology is the natural science concerned with the study of life and living organisms, including their structure, function, growth, evolution, distribution, identification and taxonomy. In other words, it is part of us all, a subject that everyone can relate to. In the Biology Department at Westbourne we aim to support pupils as they explore this vast and eclectic field, composed of many branches and subdisciplines, helping them to develop an interest in and understanding of the natural systems in the world around us. We also aim to encourage enquiring minds through development of practical and investigative skills related to Biology.

What will I learn?

Pupils follow the AQA KS3 syllabus for Chemistry, which equips them with the basic knowledge and concepts required to study the subject in more detail at GCSE.  The broad progression of topics covered is as follows;

Year 7

Particles and their behaviour

Elements, atoms, and compounds


Acids and alkalis

Year 8

The Periodic Table

Separation techniques

Acids and metals

The Earth

Year 9

Pupils commence the GCSE syllabus, working through topics as follows;

Atomic structure and the periodic table

Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

Quantitative chemistry

Chemical changes

Energy changes

The rate and extent of chemical change

Organic chemistry

Chemical analysis

Chemistry of the atmosphere

Using resources




Science Department Annual school trips, visits, field work and other activities

Pupils are encouraged to engage with their subject, and are helped to bring it into context, with the use of practical demonstrations, field work in the local area, and organised events both in and out of school.  Popular events include;

Forensics day

This is a very popular annual day in school where, with the help of a visiting Forensic Scientist, the pupils use their skills to solve a challenging crime scene. 

Pupils from Year 8 investigate an aggravated burglary (staged by SC-High Quality Science Events) in school. There are three potential suspects and pupils are divided into two groups; SOCO’s (Scene of Crime Officer’s) and Forensics Scientists. The SOCO’s examine the crime scene (Biology lab) in white suits, masks, and gloves under the watchful eye of Mr Jon Bates while the Forensics Scientists carry out the laboratory work. Pupils use blood pattern, fingerprint, and handwriting analysis as well as paper chromatography and physical fit evidence to identify the suspect. The session ends with a re-enactment of a trial in order to decide if the suspect is guilty or not.


Science Live

The aim of this day out at Sheffield City Hall is to show pupils that science can offer solutions for many of the world’s problems as well as to give them practical advice on examination success.

In 2017 the speakers;

Professor Alice Roberts (Clinical anatomist/radio and TV presenter/author)

Professor Dave Cliff (Research scientist in computers)

Professor Kate Lancaster (Research into nuclear fission)

Professor Lord Robert Winston (Medical science/human fertility/TV presenter/author)

Professor Jim Al-Khalili (Physics/radio and TV presenter/author)

Stewart Chenery (Science examiner)


The Big Bang

Each March Year 10 attend The Big Bang UK Young Scientists and Engineers Fair at the NEC in Birmingham. The Big Bang Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths for young people in the UK. It offers a unique opportunity for pupils to interact with and understand, at first hand, how they can make an impact on the world. Through practical and fun activities, they can see where their classroom subjects could lead. They will also be encouraged to ask about everything from the first principles of physics to how to go about applying for apprenticeships, jobs or university courses.