Science

Science

To support your child throughout their Science course we regularly update the VLE with resources for Key Stages 3, 4 and 5. In addition, we provide a variety of resources which are on sale through the science faculty.  For Key Stage 3 there is a ‘Pocket Science Booklet’ and for GCSE groups, we have revision guides relevant to each course. At Key Stage 5, students are given text books and, in some cases, revision guides for their own use for the time they study the course.

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Louisa Miller, Faculty Leader for Science.


Science Year 7

Students are taught in mixed ability groups. They follow an accelerated curriculum that covers the Science National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 in two years. In light of the Science Curriculum changes at Key Stage 4, the Key Stage 3 course has recently undergone an upgrade. The students follow the Activate Science scheme of learning, which incorporates aspects of all three sciences. In Biology, students study cells, body systems and reproduction. In Chemistry, students study particles, elements, atoms and compounds, reactions and acids and alkalis. In Physics, students study forces, sound, light and space.

Assessment is conducted formatively through progress checks and more formal summative assessments take place at the end of each teaching unit. All teaching takes place in fully equipped laboratories by specialist staff.

At the start of the year students learn laboratory safety rules and essential laboratory skills. This is achieved through a cross curricular transition unit based on ‘Harry Potter’.


Science Year 8 

Students are grouped into bands and set within those bands. The students follow year 2 of the Activate Science scheme of learning.  In Biology, students study health and lifestyle, ecosystem processes and adaptation and inheritance.  In Chemistry, students study the periodic table, separation techniques, metals and acids and The Earth.  In Physics, students study electricity and magnetism, energy and motion and pressure.  Assessment is continued as for the year 7 course.


Science Year 9 

Students are grouped into bands and set within those bands.  Students follow the AQA Science ELC (Entry Level Certificate) course which delivers a clear progression from Key Stage 3 Science to GCSE Science.  The course provides the foundations for GCSE Science in terms of knowledge and understanding, and the topic-based specification helps students to understand Science in context and in real world situations.  Students are encouraged to develop a range of skills throughout the course such as practical skills, communication, presentation of information, argument, data collection and drawing conclusions.

Assessment consists of written tests, short pieces of practical work and GCSE-style exam questions.  Students develop a portfolio of work throughout the course which is submitted to the exam board on completion.


Science Year 10 and 11

In Year 10 students are guided to follow one of two science courses:-

  • Triple Science, which leads to 3 GCSEs in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Combined Science. This course requires students to study a combination of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

GCSE Combined Science is a linear qualification taken over two years. Students are required to complete all assessments at the end of the course. There are six papers: two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics. Each of these will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas and will contain a combination of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response style questions.

The course consists of 24 topics in total covering Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  All topics are taught as part of a combined Science curriculum over the two years.  Examples of the Science topics covered include: cell biology, infection and response, ecology, atomic structure and the periodic table, chemical changes, organic chemistry, forces, waves and magnetism and electromagnetism.  Students will complete a number of scientific practical activities in order to develop both practical and investigative skills and to support and consolidate scientific concepts (knowledge and understanding).

GCSE Triple Science is also a linear qualification taken over two years.  Students are required to complete all assessments at the end of the course. There are six papers: two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics.  The course shares common topics with GCSE Combined Science; however, this challenging course will equip students with the skills, knowledge and understanding that will enable them to engage with Science at a higher level.

Assessment for both Science courses is conducted formatively through progress checks, home learning and class work; more formal summative assessments take place at the end of each teaching topic.


Post-16

AS / A Level Biology


Course content: AS Comprises four sections

·         Biological molecules

·         Cells and immunology

·         Cardiovascular and breathing systems

·         Genetic information and relationships between organisms

Course content: A Level Comprises AS sections plus four additional sections

·         Biochemistry of respiration and photosynthesis

·         Nervous system and the kidney

·         Genetics and evolution

·         Gene expression and forensic science

Examination information AS level consists of:

·         Two x 1 hour 30 minute written papers

·         Six specified practicals which are tested in the

written papers

A level consists of:

·         Three x 2 hour written papers

·         Six specified practicals which are tested in the written papers

Who is the course suitable for? This course would be suitable for students who have achieved at least a grade B in Triple Science Biology, or Additional Science, and are interested to learn more about Biology at a greater depth, exploring the key impact the subject has on their health and the world around them.
What is the course style? This course is a highly regarded traditional style A Level, with a practical skills and investigative component throughout each year in which students are expected to be able to work independently.  The focus is on animal biology with the emphasis upon cell biology, genetics and whole organ physiology including, but by no means limited to heart, lungs, kidney and nervous system.  Throughout the course, the medical and forensic science applications of biological processes are highlighted.  The course is challenging, requiring and further developing a wide range of key transferable skills including mathematics and extended writing.
Career opportunities The course provides students with a wide range of progression options into employment or further study. Students who successfully complete the qualification will be well equipped to move onto degrees in related subjects including medicine, dentistry, optometry, veterinary science, pharmacy, nursing, pharmaceutical industry, drug development and research, medical journalism, environmental industry, education, food science, sports science, physiotherapy, academic research, forensic science and other more diverse areas, where it is well regarded, such as law and accountancy.

 

AS / A Level Chemistry


Course content: AS Comprises four modules

Module one: Development of practical skills in Chemistry

·         Practical skills assessed in a written examination

·         Practical skills assessed in the practical endorsement

 

Module two: Foundations in Chemistry

·         Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations

·         Amount of substance

·         Acid-base and redox reactions

·         Electrons, bonding and structure

 

Module three: Periodic table and energy

·         The periodic table and periodicity

·         Group 2 and the halogens

·         Qualitative analysis

·         Enthalpy changes

·         Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)

 

Module Four: Core organic chemistry

·         Basic concepts

·         Hydrocarbons

·         Alcohols and haloalkanes

·         Organic synthesis

·         Analytical techniques (IR and MS)

Course content: A Level Comprises AS modules plus two additional modules

Module Five: Physical Chemistry and transition elements

·         Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)

·         pH and buffers

·         Enthalpy, entropy and free energy

·         Redox and electrode potentials

·         Transition elements

 

Module Six: Organic Chemistry and analysis

·         Aromatic compounds

·         Carbonyl compounds

·         Carboxylic acids and esters

·         Nitrogen compounds

·         Polymers

·         Organic synthesis

·         Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)

Examination information AS level consists of:

·         Two x 1 hour 30 minute written papers

·         Both papers assess content from all four modules

A level consists of:

·         Two x 2 hour 15 minute written papers

·         One x 1 hour 30 minute written paper

·         Practical endorsement in Chemistry

Who is the course suitable for? Chemistry at Advanced level provides an exciting insight into the contemporary world of Chemistry, looking at its impact in industry and our everyday lives.  This course would be suitable for students who have achieved at least a grade B in GCSE Chemistry, or Additional Science, and are interested to learn more about Chemistry at a greater depth.  Chemistry is an excellent option for any student wishing to study science based degrees at University.
What is the course style? The specification is divided into chemical topics, each containing different key concepts of Chemistry. Once the key features of a chemical topic have been developed, applications are considered. The teaching of practical skills are integrated with the theoretical topics and are assessed both in the written examination and in class.
Career opportunities Chemistry is a challenging, academic and rigorous A level that will impress many universities/employers.  Chemistry can lead to many careers in healthcare such as medicine, pharmacy and dentistry.  It can be useful in careers in the biological sciences, physics, mathematics, pharmacology and analytical chemistry.  Chemistry is also taken by many law applicants as it shows you can cope with difficult concepts.

 

AS / A Level Physics


Course content: AS Comprises four sections:

·         Measurements and their errors

·         Particles and radiation

·         Waves

·         Mechanics and materials

Course content: A Level Comprises AS sections plus four additional sections:

·         Electricity

·         Further mechanics and thermal physics

·         Fields and their consequences

·         Nuclear physics

·         Option – Astrophysics

Examination information The course is assessed with three 2 hour exam papers, the third of which focuses on the Astrophysics option and the 12 specified practicals.
Who is the course suitable for? This course would be suitable for students who have achieved at least a grade B in Triple Science Physics, or Additional Science, and are interested to learn more about Physics at a greater depth.
What is the course style? This is a traditional two year exam based A Level with a set of 12 practical tasks that are carried out alongside the relevant theory. The course will develop students’ theoretical understanding, as well as their practical application. Students are also expected to read around the subject.
Career opportunities Physics students have a wide range of opportunities including higher education.  UK Physics graduates have gone on to careers in Business, HR and finance (18.9%), Information Technology (18.9%) and Engineering and building (9.1%).

Level 3 Certificate / Extended Certificate APPLIED SCIENCE


Certificate content:
  • Key concepts in Science (externally assessed)
  • Applied experimental techniques  (portfolio)
  • Science in the Modern World (externally assessed)
  • Students will develop an understanding of key concepts in

Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Learners are introduced to

new experimental techniques and develop their

critical thinking skills.

Extended Certificate content:
  • The same 3 units studied for the certificate
  • The Human Body (externally assessed)
  • Investigating Science (portfolio)
  • One optional unit (portfolio)
  • Students build upon their knowledge from the first year and

have the opportunity to undertake the role of a research

scientist,  following standard procedures and completing a

scientific investigation.

Examination information CERTIFICATE

A combination of two externally assessed examinations and one

internally assessed portfolio which is externally moderated.

Each component is worth 33.3%.

 

EXTENDED CERTIFICATE

A combination of three externally assessed examinations and three

internally assessed portfolios which are externally moderated.

Each component is worth 16.6%.

Who is the course suitable for? This course is suitable for students who do not want to follow the

traditional academic Science A Levels. It allows learners to

understand the core principles and practical applications that

underpin Applied Science. The synoptic focus ensures that learning

is coherent across all units. The programme of assessment is

designed to measure  knowledge and understanding of Applied

Science, as well as its practical application.

 

What is the course style? These Level 3 qualifications offer a practical introduction to Science

and support progression to further study or employment. They help

learners develop the fundamental scientific knowledge and practical

skills valued by universities and employers.

Career opportunities This qualification is supported by a range of universities, and if taken

alongside other qualifications, it can fulfil the entry requirements for

a number of science-related higher education courses, including

biomedical, forensic and sports science, as well as nursing.