Science

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Welcome to the Science department. We aim to provide a wealth of different experiences which enable students to learn the challenging concepts in the three science subjects in a safe but enjoyable environment.

Our main focus is to enable pupils to acquire a sufficient understanding of the concepts, principles and applications of science so that they may:

  • Become confident citizens in a technological world.
  • Appreciate the contribution made by science in society.
  • Appreciate the usefulness and limitations of scientific method.
  • Satisfy the needs of the National Curriculum assessment, allow access to careers in science, design and technology, and prepare for A-level and higher education in any pure or applied sciences.

We also wish to encourage and foster:

  • Interest, curiosity and enquiry with a reasonable attitude towards health and safety as well as respect for living organisms and the physical environment.
  • Creativity and inventiveness in setting up hypotheses and designing methods by which they can be tested using objectively.
  • Honesty and objectivity in reporting, evaluating and appraising experimental situations and other information.
  • Enjoyment in the excitement of scientific discovery, new challenges, experiences and success.

In Years 7 and 8, pupils all follow the KS3 curriculum, then In Year 9 they being their GCSE studies.  Details of all the courses we follow are provided below.

 

Year 7

Students follow the Activate scheme of work from Oxford University Press.  All classes are mixed ability, as the pupils are taught in their form groups.  After completing an introduction to scientific methodology, students cover a variety of topics from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  They have 3 lessons a week, and study the topics listed here:

Autumn Term

  • Working Scientifically
  • Cells
  • Particles
  • Space

Spring Term

  • Forces
  • Body systems
  • Elements and reactions
  • Sound and light

Summer Term

  • Acids and alkalis
  • Reproduction

Pupils should expect to spend about 45 minutes a week on homework which will take the form of one extended activity or two shorter pieces.  If they experience any problems completing their Science work, they should speak to their teacher or attend the Science Surgery which runs during certain lunchtimes.

During the year, all pupils will take part in a visit to Whipsnade Zoo, in anticipation of the Ecosystems module in Year 8.  They visit the discovery centre, the sea lion show and the worlds of the world display, as well as most of the large animal enclosures.

The following websites can be used to support studies in Year 7:

BBC Bitesize

Channel 4 Learning

Science Museum

Science Kids

 

Year 8

Students study the topics shown below.  They will receive one piece of homework a week, requiring up to an hour to complete.

Autumn Term

  • Health and life style
  • Periodic table
  • Electricity and magnetism

Spring Term

  • Ecosystems
  • Materials
  • Separating techniques
  • Energy

Summer Term

  • Adaptation
  • The Earth
  • Motion

Occasionally the teacher may set an extended task which is completed over the course of several weeks.  If pupils experience any problems completing their Science work, they should speak to their teacher or attend the Science Surgery which runs during certain lunchtimes.

The students sit an exam at the end of each module.  At the end of Year 8, they will sit a further assessment on all that they have learned.  The Head of Science will place them into sets for Year 9 based on the results in all of these assessments.

In the Spring term, Year 8 pupils take part in a STEM day competition (STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).  They are taken off timetable for a day and work on a project which draws on the knowledge they have acquired and encourages them to use this learning to solve problems with their fellow team members.

The following websites can be used to support studies in Year 8:

BBC Bitesize

Channel 4 Learning

Science Museum

Science Kids

 

Years 9-11: OCR GCSE Twenty First Century Science 9-1

The majority of Year 9 & 10 pupils are taking the Combined Science course (J260), which delivers two GCSEs incorporating various Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics.   This is a linear qualification with 100% external assessment by examination.  There are two tiers of entry: Higher Tier, grades 4 to 9; Foundation Tier, grades 1 to 5.

Click here to see the full specifiation.  Content is split into twenty teaching chapters:

  • Chapter B1: You and your genes
  • Chapter B2: Keeping healthy
  • Chapter B3: Living together – food and ecosystems
  • Chapter B4: Using food and controlling growth
  • Chapter B5: The human body – staying alive
  • Chapter B6: Life on Earth – past, present and future

 

  • Chapter C1: Air and water
  • Chapter C2: Chemical patterns
  • Chapter C3: Chemicals of the natural environment
  • Chapter C4: Material choices
  • Chapter C5: Chemical analysis
  • Chapter C6: Making useful chemicals

 

  • Chapter P1: Radiation and waves
  • Chapter P2: Sustainable energy
  • Chapter P3: Electric circuits
  • Chapter P4: Explaining motion
  • Chapter P5: Radioactive materials
  • Chapter P6: Matter – models and explanations

 

  • Chapter BCP7: Ideas about Science – incorporated into each topic.
  • Chapter BCP8: Practical Skills (within each topic).

 

Paper 1 assesses content B1 – B6 and BCP7 and 8

Paper 2 assesses content C1 – C6 and BCP7 and 8

Paper 3 assesses content P1 – P6 and BCP7 and 8

Paper 4 assesses all content

Click on the image below for more details.

 

Biology, Chemistry & Physics

Rather than taking the Combined Science route outlined above, students who have made excellent progress in Science at KS3 are instead prepared for separate OCR Twenty First Century Science GCSE qualifications in Biology, Chemistry and Physics B.  These are linear courses with 100% external assessment by examination.  There are two tiers of entry: Higher Tier, grades 4 to 9; Foundation Tier, grades 1 to 5.

For more details on these courses, click on the relevant link below:

Biology is J257

Chemistry is J258

Physics is J259

Content is split into twenty teaching chapters:

  • Chapter B1: You and your genes
  • Chapter B2: Keeping healthy
  • Chapter B3: Living together – food and ecosystems
  • Chapter B4: Using food and controlling growth
  • Chapter B5: The human body – staying alive
  • Chapter B6: Life on Earth – past, present and future

 

  • Chapter C1: Air and water
  • Chapter C2: Chemical patterns
  • Chapter C3: Chemicals of the natural environment
  • Chapter C4: Material choices
  • Chapter C5: Chemical analysis
  • Chapter C6: Making useful chemicals

 

  • Chapter P1: Radiation and waves
  • Chapter P2: Sustainable energy
  • Chapter P3: Electric circuits
  • Chapter P4: Explaining motion
  • Chapter P5: Radioactive materials
  • Chapter P6: Matter – models and explanations

 

  • Chapter BCP7: Ideas about Science – incorporated into each topic.
  • Chapter BCP8: Practical Skills (within each topic).

 

Homework & Science Surgery

Pupils are expected to spend up to 2 hours a week on their Science homework.  If they have any concerns about any element of the course, they may wish to take advantage of the support available through our Science Surgery: this is a drop-in session supervised by Sixth-Form students who will give advice on classwork or homework, or on how to revise specific aspects of the course.

Extracurricular activities

During this course, we invite a range of visiting speakers to provide students with the opportunity to find out about a variety of science based careers.  Y10 students will also take part in our popular Forensic Science event during the summer term.

To support their learning, Y 9 & 10 students may well have the opportunity to attend lectures such as GCSE Science Live held in London

For extra revision notes and exercises students may also use this website:

BBC GCSE bitesize

Further useful information and websites can be found in these materials prepared by the department:

C1 – Air and water information

P1 Checklist

Physics Equations

 

Key Stage 5 Biology

A-level Biology builds on the concepts and skills developed at GCSE, and is particularly suitable for students who have the skills and knowledge associated with biological and physiological concepts.   Students who study A-level Biology may go on to study medicine or a Biology-related degree course at university.

Our students follow AQA specification 2410.  For more details, click here.

Core content topics:

1 Biological molecules

2 Cells

3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment

4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms

5 Energy transfers in and between organisms (A-level only)

6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (A-level only)

7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (A-level only)

8 The control of gene expression (A-level only)

 

Practical work is at the heart of Biology, as a rich diet of practical work is essential to develop students’ manipulative skills and understanding of the processes of scientific investigation.  It also contributes to teaching and learning of the concepts within the specification.

Students are expected to spend about 5 hours a week on private study.  3 hours will probably be spent on homework activities with the remaining 2 hours spent reading over notes and learning work in preparation for lessons.  Students are also encouraged to attend revision lectures throughout the course.

In the summer term of Y12, we take all the biologists to Snowdonia National Park for a residential weekend to study ecology.

For additional resources and reference material visit:

Biozone

BBC Bitesize

 

Key Stage 5 Chemistry

Students follow OCR specification H032, H432.  For more details, click here.  This syllabus was developed in association with the Royal Society of Chemistry, GlaxoSmithKline, and Chemistry teachers. It encourages learners to:

  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other;
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods;
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills;
  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject;
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society (as exemplified in ‘How Science Works’ (HSW).

Content is split into six teaching modules:

  • Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
  • Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
  • Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
  • Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
  • Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
  • Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis

Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics and they’re assessed both through written papers and a Practical Endorsement:

  • Component 01: Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (37%)
  • Component 02: Synthesis and analytical techniques (37%)
  • Component 03: Unified chemistry (26%)
  • Practical Endorsement in chemistry (04): non exam assessment, reported separately

Students are expected to spend about 5 hours a week on private study, 3 hours will probably be spent on homework activities with the remaining 2 hours spent reading over notes and learning work in preparation for lessons.  Students are encouraged to apply for Work Experience Placements at a variety of science based companies such as Cancer Research UK and Glaxosmithkline

For revision and extra resources visit:

BBC Bitesize

The Royal Society of Chemistry

 

Key Stage 5 Physics

Students follow the AQA Physics 7409 specification.

Physics is such a versatile subject, as it explores all aspects of the universe. The range of topics extends from nuclear physics to astrophysics and looking at the forces between them. Physics develops your analytical, problem solving and research skills which is why it is considered a facilitating subject. These are essential transferable skills for a wide range of careers such as engineering and finance.

LEARNING METHODS AND ASSESSMENT

In A-Level Physics there are opportunities for students to develop practical skills (for example, in choosing and using materials and equipment), practice data-handling skills (for example, estimating, presenting and analysing data) and to use their imagination (for example, suggesting an explanation).  They also learn to place Physics in a social or historical context and argue about the issues that arise.  Students also use ICT as an integral part of learning Physics.

CAREERS IMPLICATIONS

You will find that any course related to Science, Technology, Engineering or Maths may involve Physics concepts at some point. Modern finance and economics use models created by physicists to predict market trends. Medicine makes use of advances in quantum and particle physics to produce imaging techniques and innovative treatments against some of the most deadly illnesses and conditions. New communication technology and advances in renewable energies are made possible by the valuable research conducted by physicists on new materials. The skills, knowledge and attitudes developed in Physics are highly regarded by employers and universities.

COURSE CONTENT

1 Measurements and their errors

This topic will provide you with the skills needed to plan, carry out, analyse and evaluate a scientific investigation.

2 Particles and radiation

You will learn about the strange world of quantum Physics, including the Standard model of Particles, photoelectric effect and radioactive decay.

3 Waves

You will engage with practical work that will help you explaining how musical instruments produce sounds, as well as other applications of wave behaviour such as optical fibres.

4 Mechanics and materials

Discover about the different kinds of materials, their properties, and how engineers make use of this knowledge to create structures. The mechanics section of this topic guides you through the work of Galileo and Newton, explaining how motion  is related to forces and energy.

5 Electricity

You will build an in-depth understanding of how electrical circuits work , and how they can be used to control our home and industrial environments.

6 Further mechanics and thermal physics

In further mechanics, you will learn about  Simple Harmonic Motion, the Physics of Fairground rides , as well as aspects of thermodynamics related to the behaviour of gases and internal energy.

7 Fields and their consequences

You will learn about gravitational, electrical and magnetic fields. The understanding of field theory  forms the basis of most of modern technology from space exploration to electronics and energy production.

8 Nuclear physics

In this topic you will deepen your knowledge of radioactivity and its uses, including radioactive decay and nuclear energy.

9 – Optional section

Choose one from the following topics: Astrophysics, Medical Physics, Engineering Physics, and Turning points in Physics

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Mr Pimentao

To support their private study and revision, students should visit:

BBC Bitesize

Institute of Physics

 

Page updated October 2017