Science

 
“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

Carl Sagan


Our vision is to inspire every pupil through a science education that stretches their abilities, challenges their understanding and expands their future aspirations.

Science is a vital part of our everyday life. Everything, from the food that we eat, to the technology that we use for our entertainment, is brought to us through the use of science. A good understanding of the science around us and the scientific method prepares us to critically evaluate the science that we regularly see in the media and to make informed decisions about our health, our well-being and our impact on our environment. The GCSE Science curriculum prepares us for this through the acquisition of scientific understanding, through developing our investigative skills and through developing our ability to evaluate the claims of other scientists.
 

What learners need to be successful

 
Pupils need to use many skills to learn about science and become scientists themselves. These include:

  • Numeracy skills such as graph drawing, using equations and calculating averages to present data from their findings
  • Literacy skills such as writing clear descriptions and explanations of scientific ideas, methods for practical investigations, conclusions based on the findings of an investigation and evaluations of the methods used
  • Practical skills to be able to carry out investigations precisely and safely
  • Teamwork to work and learn cooperatively with others
  • Research skills to be able to find relevant information from a variety of sources

Pupils are expected to bring a pen, pencil and ruler to every lesson.
 

What pupils will learn

 

Key Stage 3

 
Students in Year 7 and 8 will follow the ‘Exploring Science’ scheme, in which the will study different aspects of biology, chemistry and physics. There is a strong emphasis on developing ‘working scientifically’ skills throughout each topic, giving pupils valuable opportunity to complete experiments and practical work. Further details of the topics covered in Year 7 and 8 are given in the table below:
 

Year 7 Year 8
Biology
  • Cells, tissues, organs and Systems
  • Muscles and bones
  • Sexual reproduction in animals
  • Ecosystems
  • Food and nutrition
  • Plants and their reproduction
  • Breathing and respiration
  • Unicellular organisms
Chemistry
  • Mixtures and separation
  • Acids and alkalis
  • The particle model
  • Atoms, elements and molecules
  • Combustion
  • The periodic table
  • Metals and their uses
  • Rocks
Physics
  • Energy
  • Current electricity
  • Forces
  • Sound
  • Fluids
  • Light
  • Energy transfers
  • Earth and space

 

Key Stage 4

 
Most students will study GCSE combined science from Year 9 to 11. Students following this route will achieve two science GCSE, graded from 1-1 to 9-9.

Exam board/specification:

  • AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy (8464)

Some students will be put onto the ‘separate sciences’ route and will achieve three science GCSEs (biology, chemistry and physics).

Exam board/specification:

  • AQA GCSE Biology (8461)
  • AQA GCSE Chemistry (8462)
  • AQA GCSE Physics (8463)

Further detail of the topics covered at KS4 are shown in the table below:
 

Year 9 Year 10 Year 11
Biology
  • Cell structure and transport
  • Cell division
  • Organisation (plant and animal tissues, organs and organ systems)
  • Infection and response
  • Photosynthesis and respiration
  • Nervous system and hormonal coordination
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology
Chemistry
  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources
Physics
  • Energy
  • Particle model of matter
  • Electricity
  • Atomic structure and radioactivity
  • Forces
  • Waves and electromagnetic waves
  • Electromagnetism

 
Students studying separate biology, chemistry and physics will study additional topics in each area in year 10 and year 11.
 

How pupils’ learning will be assessed

 

Key Stage 3

 
Students in Year 7 and 8 will be assessed using end of topic tests. These assessments are designed to test their knowledge and understanding of the topic content covered, as well as their ‘working scientifically’ skills and knowledge of scientific apparatus and techniques. Students will also sit an end of year test on all of the content covered in the year.
 

Key Stage 4

 
In Years 10-11, students will continue to complete end of topic assessments, however these will now utilise past exam questions to ensure that pupils gain experience of this style of assessment. Throughout each year, pupils will also be reassessed on the content that they have covered previously to ensure that this is revisited before the examinations in Year 11.
 

GCSE Science Examinations

 
Students studying combined science will sit six papers, each lasting 1h 15 min. Each paper is worth 16.7% of the course.

Students studying biology, chemistry and physics separately will sit six papers, each lasting 1h 45 min. Each paper is worth 50% of each GCSE in biology, chemistry and physics.
 

Additional Learning Resources

 
Throughout Year 7-11, students will be set weekly homework tasks from each of their science teachers – this is an important opportunity to review the work covered in class. Year 7 and 8 students will be expected to practise spelling key terms as part of their homework. For Year 9-11 students, the homework will be focussed around using exam questions so that students get regular opportunities to practise these in preparation for their assessments and examinations.

Year 11 pupils should also attend the weekly ‘Science Masterclass’. This takes place every Wednesday from 3:15-4:15 pm. All pupils taking a GCSE course are able to purchase a revision guide from school to support them with their homework and exam preparation.
 

Useful revision or study websites:

 

 

How parents can help with their child’s learning

 
Parents are encouraged to regularly talk to children about their work in Science. It’s not necessary to understand the science they’ve been studying, simply showing an interest really encourages their work.

There are many news articles online, on television and in newspapers that are about scientific advances. Parents could talk to children about how these might affect our lives, especially if there is a moral or ethical dimension to them, such as nuclear power or genetically modified foods. This will help pupils become more aware of how science affects our everyday lives.