At Monk’s Walk School we use our specialist status to create a challenging environment which raises levels of achievement and standards of teaching and learning within science and within the wider school. We have a diverse curriculum across three key stages. We have a significantly higher proportion of students taking GCSE separate sciences than the national average. We offer four subjects at A-level (Physics, Chemistry, Biology and Psychology) and lead the Welwyn and Hatfield consortium in these subjects, offering training and support.
The Science department is extremely well staffed with subject specialist teachers and specialist technical support. Staff use ICT in innovative ways with a dedicated ICT suite and interactive whiteboards in many of the rooms.
Practical science is very important to the department and students are given constant opportunities to experience ‘hands on experimental work.’ Over recent years the department has led aspects of developing school practice. The key areas of development have been ‘assessment for learning’ at Key Stage 4 and numeracy development across the school. Teachers in all four of the A-level subjects are leading in the school’s action research being completed in conjunction with Villiers Park.
As part of our community links we have a strong partnership with our local primary schools. Year 5 and 6 students benefit from our outreach programme where specialist secondary teachers deliver science with an emphasis on practical work.
Community links have been further enhanced through our series of Science lectures. These twilight lectures are delivered by experts in their field, recently from Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell and Sir Harry Kroto.
Other community events include parent and pupil science learning evenings, where parents and their sons/daughters collaborate in a challenging practical project.
Specialist Science status has greatly increased the opportunities for students to engage in enrichment activities. Our science teachers run a successful after-school club with students collaborating on science-themed projects working towards CREST awards. There are also extensive after school revision and booster sessions.
The Specialism has led to a wide-ranging focus across the school on sustainability issues. The head of sustainability coordinates the student eco-committee to promote and participate in activities such as tree planting, charity events and gardening club. All students are encouraged to participate in sustainability linked events through Pledges and their Passport to Graduation. The school has an eco-garden and solar panels which are used within lessons.