Science

Palmers Green High School has an active, vibrant and thriving Science Department.  All three sciences (Physics, Chemistry and Biology) are taught separately by specialist teachers in small learning groups from Year 7 onwards.  Throughout all year groups pupils are guided and encouraged to develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

The study of Science at PGHS enables pupils to gain the ability to evaluate claims based on science by applying the critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.  Pupils learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments. Their understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries, are developed and pupils are able to answer scientific questions about the world around them.

“It adds to the joy of discovery to know that your work may make a difference in people’s lives.”

Flossie Wong-Staal, the first scientist to clone HIV and map its genes. She identified that HIV was the cause of AIDS in 1983.

KS3 (Years 7 and 8)

Pupils follow a two-year course in Years 7 and 8, enabling them to start the GCSE in Year 9. We follow the Science Progress course, which is highly engaging, inspirational and develops independent learning and communication skills. Pupils work through Books 1 and 2, which build and assess KS3 Science knowledge, understanding and acquiring ‘Working Scientifically’ skills which ensure a solid foundation for GCSE and further study of science.

Year 9/KS4 (GCSE)

Please click on the link to see GCSE curriculum (link will take you to Science page of Options booklet.

Extra-Curricular Activities and Enrichment

Science Surgeries

Surgeries, run by subject specialists, occur throughout the week for all year groups. Pupils who might want extra help on a topic or those who have been absent in a lesson attend and are able to benefit from individual attention.

STEM Club

The STEM Club allows pupils to develop their interest in science through a variety of practical activities. Each topic is repeated in order to ensure that all pupils have an opportunity to participate in every session.

Various educational visits and activities take place throughout the academic year and have recently included a day trip to the field centre in Epping Forest, where Y10 pupils undertook a series of fieldwork sessions as part of their Core Practicals work for their GCSE.

Every year, a project called Living Eggs takes place in the Spring Term involving the whole School. Fertilised eggs are brought into School, these can be ducks, chickens, or Grey Partridge as part of a conservation project. The hatchings are observed via a webcam or directly in one of the laboratories, pupils are taught how to handle and care for the hatchlings.

PGHS pupils also take part in the British Science Olympiad challenges, part of the University of Oxford, where pupils have been very successful, with many achieving a Silver Award (nationally awarded to the top 12% of candidates).

Some Year 9s are chosen to attend The Royal Institution, supported by the London Metropolitan University, where they undertake a series of Engineering Masterclass workshops led by experts from industry, academia and education. These sessions offer pupils in-depth investigations of topics in Engineering and combine theory with interactive exploration.

All senior pupils have the opportunity to take part in the Talent 2030 competition, where they are awarded a Bronze, Silver, or Gold CREST Award. Pupils carry out research on Climate Change and the spread of disease and prepare a project on a topic of their choice. Last year our pupils were very successful and achieved second place in this prestigious, national competition. As well as being awarded with prizes and certificates, winners were invited to the Big Bang Fair, where they were provided with an exhibition area in which to set up their work and present it to the public.

Other events are organised in conjunction with scientific trends, including inviting guest speakers into School as well as an organised Science Week, where the seniors participate in a wide variety of activities set up for them in our laboratories. This event also provides a further opportunity to earn Crest Awards.