Science is the largest department in the Academy, there are 19 well qualified teachers supported by four equally knowledgeable technicians.
There are 13 well equipped laboratories. All laboratories have active boards and the department has two class sets of laptops.
Key Stage 3
Students complete KS3 in two years, following a scheme written by the department for Years 7 and 8 in reference to the National Curriculum. At KS3, students develop a broad base of science knowledge, understanding and skill. Year 7 students are taught in mixed ability sets. Year 8 students are separated into two half year groups and are set based on ability.
Key Stage 4
At Key Stage 4, students complete AQA GCSEs. These are completed on one of two routes - the Dual Award where students attain two GCSEs in Science; or the separate sciences route in which students attain three GCSEs, one in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
The Dual Award students will complete their second GCSE in Science. This qualification is attained through three external exams at the end of the year and a controlled assessment completed in school. The Separate Science students will complete their three GCSEs and will take three external exams for each.
Students continue through either the Dual Award or Separate Science routes. Those students studying for the Dual Award Certificate take the first of their science GCSEs at the end of Year 10. This is attained through three external exams and a controlled assessment completed in school. The grade achieved cannot be changed or the qualification re-taken.
Initially, students complete some work to support their transition to GCSE Science. This work provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate GCSE level understanding. The ability shown is used to help determine which GCSE route will be chosen for each individual. In the second part of Year 9, GCSE study begins in earnest.
Key Stage 5
A Levels in Applied Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics are offered and they are popular options. Currently, the Chemistry Department deliver the Salters scheme, but from September 2015 all new courses will be with AQA.
At KS3 (Years 7 to 9) our science club runs weekly and is attended regularly by a number of enthusiastic students. Students enjoy using microscopes to investigate the structure of everyday objects, experiment with the effectiveness of chemical indicators and complete a number of competitive engineering challenges.
For KS4 we have a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) group for students with an interest in careers in these subjects. Previously the STEM group has participated in a LEGO Mindstorms (robotics) workshop at Bradford Science Festival, had a guest speaker on Geophysics careers from Leeds University, and used software to analyse images and determine the age of stars.
Woodkirk Academy has also achieved a Gold Quality Mark in Leading Space Education. As part of this we have annual space weeks involving space enterprise competitions for KS3 students and Maths in Space workshops for our KS4 and KS5 students.