The Staff Team

Mr S. Mavromichalis, Head of Science Department, joined the school in 2011. Mr Mavromichalis completed a degree in Microbiology before starting his own marketing business and then retraining as a teacher. Mr Mavromichalis is fascinated by the molecular basis of disease.

Dr R. Hagan, Assistant Curriculum Leader, joined Chipping Norton School in 2014. Dr Hagan completed a degree and PhD in Biochemistry before working in infectious disease research. His discoveries included how a particular bond forms in bacteria and the molecular cause of rheumatic heart disease.

Mrs S. Heath, Assistant Curriculum Leader & Head of Biology, has a degree in Biology and has taught at CNS since 2009. Mrs Heath is interested in following how new and wonderful discoveries continue to transform the field of Genetics.

Mr J. Prentice, Head of Chemistry, has a degree in Forensic Science so has used many of the techniques he teaches. Mr Prentice particularly enjoys providing concrete examples of where Chemistry is used in students’ day-to-day lives.

Mrs L. Eakins, Head of Physics, graduated cum laude from Washington State University with a BSc and MSc in Materials Science and Engineering where she specialised in microelectromechanical systems (MEMS).

Dr M. Carpenter is an Ex-CNS pupil, returning 15 years ago to share his love of Chemistry. Dr Carpenter is particularly interested in how molecules work together to form living systems. Having carried out research on anaesthetics, DNA/protein interactions and anti-cancer drugs, Dr Carpenter is passionate about practical work.

Mr M. Turvey joined Chipping Norton School two years ago. Mr Turvey has a keen interest in Cosmology and enjoys running extra-curricular Astronomy classes.

Mrs C. Hartley joined Chipping Norton School in 2018. Mrs Hartley has a degree in Pharmaceutical management and is particularly interested in Biochemistry, Pharmaceuticals and Genetics.

The Learning Spaces

With 10 brand new, light and airy laboratories located over three floors, students at Chipping Norton School can enjoy their studies in classrooms that are purposefully built for each of the three sciences.

Curriculum

Students studying Science at Chipping Norton School will experience an interesting curriculum which is broad and varied from Year 7 right through to Year 13. In addition, we offer exciting opportunities for pupils to fulfil their potential and to extend their knowledge and enjoyment of Science beyond the curriculum. Students have benefited from activities such as running Science fairs; attending lectures; winning national competitions such as The School We’d Like; visiting universities; attending field trips; attending lab experience days and even successfully launching a weather balloon into space.

Key Stage 3

Year 7

Students gain a solid foundation into practical experimentation; the scientific method; exam technique and conceptual thinking whilst following the Activate scheme of work. The topics covered are:

  • Enquiry processes
  • Forces
  • Electromagnets
  • Energy
  • Waves
  • Matter
  • Reactions
  • Earth
  • Organisms
  • Ecosystems
  • Genes

Year 8

Students gain further insight and practice into the skills and knowledge acquired in Y7 so that they may flourish in their GCSEs and A-levels.

KS4 (GCSE)

The transition from Key Stage 3 to 4 happens after completion of Year 8. Pupils are initially placed in mixed ability groups and study the three Sciences separately over three years. Examinations can be taken at both foundation (allowing pupils to achieve grades 1-5) and higher level (allowing pupils to achieve grades 4-9). All examinations are taken at the end of Year 11. We use AQA as our exam board.

SCIENCE: Triple Award (Biology GCSE, Chemistry GCSE, Physics GCSE)

Every pupil will sit three Science GCSEs and they will receive separate grades in each Science independent of their performance in the other two Science subjects.

Course Aims:

Studying the separate sciences means students will cover more content than GCSE Combined Sciences GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics will provide great preparation for AS and A-level, it will also give them three GCSEs allowing them the greatest possible chance of achieving the grades they need for further education and training.

Summary of Course Structure:

The three GCSEs follow the same course structure as Combined Science but with additional material throughout. Students are taught by three teachers who are specialists in their subject areas.

Assessment:

Each of the three GCSEs are 100% examined with no Controlled Assessment. Students will take a total of 6 exams which will give 3 GCSEs graded 1 to 9.

Course Content:

Two papers: each paper will assess different topics.
Duration: both papers are 1 hour 45 minutes.
Tiers: Foundation and Higher.
Weighting: the papers are equally weighted. Each is worth 50% of the grade and has 100 marks available.
Question types: multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response.

Biology

Paper 1

  1. Cell biology
  2. Organisation
  3. Infection and response
  4. Bioenergetics

Paper 2

  1. Homeostasis and response
  2. Inheritance, variation and evolution
  3. Ecology

Chemistry

Paper 1

  1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
  2. Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  3. Quantitative chemistry
  4. Chemical changes
  5. Energy changes

Paper 2

  1. The rate and extent of chemical change
  2. Organic chemistry
  3. Chemical analysis
  4. Chemistry of the atmosphere
  5. Using resources

Physics

Paper 1

  1. Energy
  2. Electricity
  3. Particle model of matter
  4. Atomic structure

Paper 2

  1. Magnetism and electromagnetism
  2. Space physics
  3. Forces
  4. Waves

Key Stage 5 (A Level)

Biology

The Biology course at Chipping Norton School aims to inspire students in a variety of topics ranging from Human Biology, to biochemical processes and ecological interactions. By studying Biology at Chipping Norton School students will develop into well rounded scientists. They will leave with honed practical skills gained through lab-work and field-work as well as a well-rounded appreciation of how society makes decisions about scientific issues, and how Biology contributes to the success of the economy. AQA is our chosen exam board.

Course Aims:

The aim of this course is to provide a detailed yet widespread knowledge of Biology and to equip students with the necessary investigative skills to continue studying science at University. It builds on existing knowledge and allows for students interested in any aspect of Biology to develop their enthusiasm and passion for the subjects many aspects.

Summary of Course Structure:

  • The course is linear, this means that students will sit three exams at the end of year 13 which cover all of the content from both years 12 and 13.

Assessment:

  • Practical investigation and application of Biology taught throughout Year 12 and Year 13.
  • Students will sit an examination which will consist of three papers at the end of Year 13.
  • There is a separate, non-examinable Practical Endorsement which is assessed throughout the two years of the course.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

  • HAVE at least a 6 in GCSE Biology
  • AND a minimum of a 6 in GCSE Maths and English
  • PREFERABLY a 6 in Chemistry

Course Content at AS:

Topics include; Biological molecules, Cells, How organisms exchange substances with their environment, Genetic information, Variation, Relationships between organisms.

Course Content at A2:

Topics include; Biological molecules, Cells, How organisms exchange substances with their environment, Genetic information, Variation, Relationships between organisms, Energy transfers in and between organisms, Organisms responses to their internal and external environment, Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems and The control of gene expression.

What could I go on to do at the end of the course?

Medicine, Veterinary Science, Nursing, Biochemistry, Biology, Zoology, Physiotherapy, Ecology, Sports Sciences, Forensics, and many, many more related courses.

Chemistry

Students develop their interest in and enthusiasm for Chemistry, including further study and careers in Chemistry.   Students study the three branches of Chemistry (Inorganic, Organic and Physical) as well as key techniques in practical Chemistry. Students studying Chemistry at Chipping Norton School will gain significant insight into applications and importance of Chemistry in real life settings. AQA is our chosen exam board.

Course Aims:

  • To develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of Chemistry and how they relate to each other.
  • To appreciate how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how Chemistry contributes to the success of the economy and society.
  • To demonstrate a deeper appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of Science.

Summary of Course Structure:

  • Units covered in the first year of Sixth Form will cover the year one (AS) content.
  • Year two content is covered in Year 13 leading up to the final examinations that will cover the content of both the AS and A2 course.
  • There is also a non-exam assessment of practical skills which is reported separately to the A level grade.

Assessment:

  • At end of Year 12 mock exams will be had covering all of the Year one content.
  • The final examinations will consist of three papers (including Year one content) at the end of Year 13.
  • For all candidates there is a separate, non-examinable Practical Endorsement which is assessed throughout the two years of the course.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

  • Either at least a 6 in GCSE Science AND Additional science OR a 6 in GCSE Chemistry.
  • At least a 6 in GCSE Maths.

Course Content in Year One:

Topics extend the work covered at GCSE which underpin the understanding of Chemistry e.g. the structure of atoms, bonding and structures, reactions and equations, and amounts of substance. In addition we will look at the periodic table, groups 2 and 7, reaction rates and equilibrium. Organic (Carbon) chemistry including the properties, synthesis, reactions and analysis of hydrocarbons, alcohols and halogen alkanes will also be covered. In addition there will be a double lesson per fortnight focussing on the development of practical skills.

Course Content in Year Two:

The 2nd year of the course includes a more quantitative treatment of rates, energetics and equilibria, pH and buffers, electrode potentials and the properties and reactions of the transition metals. The chemistry of carbon is developed to cover aromatic compounds, carbonyl compounds, carboxylic acids and esters, and polymers. Further analytical techniques such as NMR are also covered. In addition to these there will be a double lesson per fortnight on the development of practical skills.

What could I go on to do at the end of the course?

As well as chemistry and chemistry related degrees, chemistry is essential for veterinary medicine, medicine and frequently dentistry. Employers and Universities recognise that A Level Chemistry involves a high level of conceptual thinking and numerical literacy. Therefore chemists are sought after in a wide range of fields ranging such as accountancy, biochemistry, pharmacy, chemical engineering, law, forensic science and ecology.

Physics

Course Aims:

Physics is behind the technology that put man on the Moon, made the internet possible and revolutionised surgery, and also the technology that will shape tomorrow’s world: quantum computers, nuclear fusion or perhaps the means to colonise the solar system.
The Sixth Form programme develops the pupils’ practical, analytical and mathematical skills so that they can progress into any scientific, technical, financial or medical discipline.

Summary of Course Structure:

  • Themed units of work divided into topics which are taught over two years for the A-level examination at the end of Year 13.
  • Half of the units are taught during the first year in preparation for an end of year assessment used to determine a UCAS predicted grade and suitability for continuation to the full A-Level in Year 13.

Assessment:

  • Practical investigation and application of Physics taught throughout Year 12 and Year 13.
  • Year 1 – Topical assessments throughout with cumulative assessments in January and June.
  • Year 2 – Topical assessments throughout with pre-public exams in January. The public examinations in June will determine 100% of the final grade.

What do I need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

  • At least a 6 in Combined Science Trilogy OR a 6 in GCSE Physics.
  • AND at least a 6 in GCSE Maths and English.

Course Content in Year One:

Topics include:
Mechanics, Materials, Electricity, Waves, Electromagnetic Radiation, and Particles.

Course Content in Year Two:

Topics include:

Electric and Magnetic fields, Circular Motion, Simple Harmonic Motion, Astronomy and Cosmology, Nuclear Decay, and Thermal Energy.

What could I go on to do at the end of the course?

Many students go on to study physics, astrophysics, engineering, medicine, mathematics and even less expected disciplines such as finance and law at University. This can lead to careers such as engineering, international law and space exploration!

Physics is behind the technology that put man on the Moon; made the internet possible; revolutionised surgery and the technology that will shape tomorrow’s world: quantum computers, nuclear fusion or perhaps the means to colonise the solar system. Students following the Physics programme at Chipping Norton School will develop their practical, analytical and mathematical skills so that they can progress into ay scientific, technical, financial or medical discipline. AQA is our chosen exam board.