Science at James Bateman Middle School

Science…………………the practical solution

Welcome to the science department. At James Bateman we believe science plays an important role in your child’s education and life.

“Science is a fantastic subject that everyone can enjoy. Our lessons are fun, enjoyable and have a fine balance of experiments and written work in order to retain the maximum knowledge.

“The staff are kind and cater for all types of learners. The variation of the subjects covered over the years mean pupils are keen to get to their science lesson. Anyone who says science is boring has clearly never had a lesson in our science department, we can even make chemistry fun!!!” – Edward Handley, Y8 (2015)

Throughout both KS2 and KS3 there is a firm commitment to provide the resources that will enable and encourage young learners to develop and embed learning. There are opportunities to develop and improve practical skills (working scientifically) in our 2 science suites, along with the developing scientific knowledge that will lay the foundations for further success at GCSE in KS4.

“Albert Einstein once said “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance in science.” Still in this day of age, that quote makes complete sense, and in this school it stands perfectly on its two legs. I truthfully doubt that it will ever fall over.” – George Mackay, Year 8 (2015)

At James Bateman, the learning journey through science starts in Y5 with 3 hours per week of science, where pupils are introduced to a range of science topics, including how to work scientifically.

When in Year 6 pupils are taught by science subject specialists to further develop their knowledge and understanding as well as developing their practical skills in a safe and scientific approach.

In Year 7 and Year 8 pupils have 4 hours per week of science, again taught by science subject specialists following a condensed version of the new KS3 national curriculum.  During this time pupils will gain the confidence, knowledge, skills and understanding to prepare them for GCSE in KS4.

The Science Department firmly believes in developing young minds and offering structured opportunities for James Bateman pupils to shape their learning experience. We believe this will have a significant and effective impact on increasing your child’s success and developing them to become effective citizens in the wider community.

At James Bateman we teach science through discrete units of Biology, Chemistry and Physics termly.


•Biology is the study of living things and covers our understanding of our bodies and plants and animals in the World we live in, as well as our part in both changing and conserving the World we live in.

•When biologists talk about living things, they mean much more than just animals. Biologists study everything! They study algae, one-celled animals like amoebas, slime moulds and plants. They study invertebrate and vertebrate animals, like reptiles and mammals, as well as their habitats too. Every living thing lives in an environment, or habitat, that is suited to the way the organism lives, and because there are lots of different kinds of living organisms, there are lots of different kinds of environments.

•Some biologists may study just one type of environment and all the different living things that live there. For example, a marine biologist studies plants and animals that live in the ocean. Other types of biologists study just humans and their environments, whereas cell biologists study cells, the smallest part of a living thing. Cell biologists study the way cells are made, the parts that make up a cell, the way these parts all work together and interact with their surroundings, and the cell’s life cycle. The study of cell biology has led to an understanding of human tumours. Maybe someday, it will help scientists find a cure for cancer.


•Chemistry is the scientific study of matter, its properties, and interactions with other matter and with energy. Our pupils have the opportunity to use chemicals in their investigations, delve in to the wonders of the Periodic Table and discover how it informs us of the properties of the chemicals they use. Because everything in our world is made up of chemicals, yes, even people! A chemist also studies atoms, as atoms are the smallest particles of an element that still have the properties of that element.

•Chemists study how these atoms join together and are constantly inventing new materials with new properties for our ever advancing technological world. Almost every industry benefits from the chemical compounds brought about by research in the chemical sciences. For instance, the chemical formula for oxygen is O2. This means that oxygen is made up of two atoms of oxygen joined together. This is like a “recipe” for oxygen. If we change the “recipe” and join three atoms of oxygen together, then we get a different chemical called ozone, whose formula is O3, and its properties are no longer the same as oxygen.

 Chemists typically specialize in one of the sub disciplines of chemistry, the most prominent of those being biochemistry, neurochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and theoretical chemistry. There are even those involved in forensic chemistry who work with law enforcement to establish evidence in criminal investigations.


•Physics is “the study of matter, energy, and the interaction between them”. This really means that physics is about asking fundamental questions and trying to answer them by observing and experimenting. Physicists ask really big questions like: ◦How did the universe begin?

◦How will the universe change in the future?

◦How does the Sun keep on shining?

◦What are the basic building blocks of matter?

If you think these questions are fascinating, then you’ll like physics.

What do Physicists do?

Many physicists work in ‘pure’ research, trying to find answers to these types of question. The answers they come up with often lead to unexpected technological advances. For example, all of the technology we take for granted today, including games consoles, mobile phones, mp3 players, and DVDs, is based on theoretical understanding that was developed around the turn of the 20th century.

Physics is applied in every area of human activity, including:

•Development of sustainable forms of energy production.

•Treating cancer, through radiotherapy, and diagnosing illness through various types of imaging, all based on physics.

•Developing computer games.

•Design and manufacture of sports equipment.

•Understanding and predicting earthquakes.

…in fact, pretty much every sector you can think of needs people with physics knowledge.

As you can see above, science plays a major role in developing our understanding of the world we live in and our surrounding environment, and at James Bateman we aim to make this journey of learning the most rewarding we possibly can.

Excerpt for QCA:

“The study of Science fires pupils’ curiosity about phenomena in the world around them and offers opportunities to find explanations. It engages learners at many levels, linking direct practical experience with scientific ideas. Experimentation and modelling are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thought. Pupils learn how knowledge and understanding in Science are rooted in evidence. They discover how scientific ideas contribute to technological change – affecting industry, business and medicine and improving quality of life. They trace the development of Science worldwide and recognise its cultural significance. They learn to question and discuss issues that may affect their own lives, the directions of societies and the future of the world.”

Science programme of study for Key Stage 3,

© Qualifications and Curriculum Authority 2007

James Bateman Middle School