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College Life

Sciences

Click the subjects below to find out more about the Science department at Rendcomb College:

biology 

Biology at Rendcomb CollegeThe Biology department has two dedicated teaching laboratories and a prep room. Facilities include a traditional Biology lab full of both live and preserved specimens to inspire and intrigue. The department also has a recently refurbished lab with discrete practical and theory areas. In addition, Biologists have privileged access to the school grounds which allow unparalleled ecology work including sampling of freshwater ponds, streams, grassland, deer park, forest and meadow habitats. The department is run by highly experienced specialist teachers who are experienced exam markers.

At Key Stage 4, pupils cover a triple or double award pathway and A Level Biology has never been more popular.

Biology includes more than just demonstrations, experiments and dissections, although there are plenty of these. Cross-curricular influences play a role in learning; whether it be creating a piece of extended writing describing the journey through the digestive system from the perspective of a piece of food, The Water Cycle Rap, Stem Cell Poetry, GM Crop Debating or Hormonal Control of the Menstrual Cycle as a play. Biology is an engaging and interactive subject which uses a full of a range of activities to bring the concepts to life.

The department is committed to education beyond the constraint of a classroom and organises a number of day and residential trips for each Key Stage throughout the year. Some recent highlights include:

  • A residential 3 day A Level Biology field trip to Field Study Centre in Port Talbot to work with ecology specialists sampling a number of different ecosystems including rocky shoreline and sand dunes
  • A ‘Biology in Action’ day for Sixth Form and Year 11 pupils at the Institute of Education London
  • Sessions with world experts on a number of hot topics including malaria and Alzheimer’s Disease
  • A public lecture given by Richard Dawkins at the National History Museum Oxford at the launch of the second edition of his book The Ancestors Tale, twenty years after the first edition talking into account all the new Biological discoveries during the interim time

The department’s co-curricular activities include dissection club for Key Stage 4 and Eco Club for Key Stage 3 pupils. There is also a Bioethics Debating Society.

In addition to taking part in the Rendcomb College Science week extravaganza, the Biology department enters pupils for national competitions organised by the Royal Society for Biology: the Biology Challenge for Years 9 and 10. Sixth Form Biologists also participate in the Biology Olympiad.

Chemistry 

Rendcomb College chemistryThe study of the Chemical Sciences is a wonderfully exciting and stimulating pursuit. Chemistry is an excellent choice of subject for pupils who seek a career in health and clinical professions, such as medicine, veterinary science, nursing, biochemistry, dentistry or forensic science. The subject equips pupils for a career in industry, for example in petrochemicals or pharmaceuticals. Additionally, Chemists are at the forefront of research into sustainability, fuel development, nanotechnology, atmospheric chemistry, diamond synthesis and biotechnological applications.

Pupils study Chemistry from Year 7 to GCSE level as a core subject and many continue to study the subject at A Level.

The Chemistry Department takes a holistic approach to the subject, maximising academic achievement, yet embracing the importance of wider exploration of the subject, and hands-on experience. Classes take place in dedicated laboratories which have been refurbished to ‘gold’ standard, with separate wet/dry areas. 

Co-curricular activities include KS3 Crest Award club, KS4&5 Senior Chemistry Society, MedVet Society, national competitions such as the Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, Chemistry Olympiad and Top of the Bench. We encourage students to look beyond school chemistry with our links to University Chemistry departments (Warwick, Bristol and Oxford).  Older students are involved in the delivery of Chemistry outreach work with local primary schools.

Rendcomb has a Senior Chemistry Society for Years 11 and Sixth Form pupils, where students have the opportunity to learn about up-to-date research through regular lectures. Competitions, such as the RSC Olympiad, Top of the Bench and Cambridge Chemistry Challenge, as well as a variety of workshops and lectures organised by the RSC, provide opportunities for pupils to explore Chemistry beyond the classroom.

In preparation for the 2017 trip to Patagonia, pupils have developed their understanding of atmospheric Chemistry. 

Physics 

Rendcomb College PhysicsPhysics has no limits – everything in our lives, on this planet, other planets, to the far reaches of the universe and beyond is in the Physics job description. All the gadgets that we take for granted such as laptops and mobile phones wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Physics. Nor would the electricity supply that charges them and powers so many other things we use every day.

Physicists at Rendcomb are taught in two newly refurbished, well equipped labs.

At GCSE level, pupils choose from two pathways which are discussed at the end of Year 9. Pupils choosing A Level Physics will benefit from the new linear AQA syllabus which follows on from GCSE level covering forces, energy, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism.

At A Level, pupils discover how these ideas work together and begin to grasp the universal principles that apply to everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies.

The department enrols pupils in the Institute of Physics Olympiad, with the first rounds at the beginning of the academic year. At regular intervals throughout the year, pupils visit a variety of higher education institutions such the University of Warwick, to listen and engage in cutting edge research in different fields of Physics.