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.  They have 3 lessons a week and will study the topics listed below.  After completing an introduction to scientific methodology, students cover a variety of topics from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  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.

Autumn Term
7FWorking scientificallycellsparticlesspace and forces
7JWorking scientificallyspace and forcescellsparticles
7SWorking scientificallyparticlesspace and forcescells
7TWorking scientificallycellsparticlesspace and forces
7YWorking scientificallyspace and forcescellsparticles
Spring Term
7Fbody systemselementssound and light
7Jsound and light body systemselements
7Selementssound and light body systems
7Tbody systemselementssound and light
7Ysound and light body systemselements
Summer Term
7Freproductionreactionsacids &alkalis
7Jacids &alkalisreproductionreactions
7Sreactionsacids &alkalisreproduction
7Treproductionreactionsacids &alkalis
7Yacids &alkalisreproductionreactions

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 two pieces of homework a week, each requiring about 30 minutes to complete.  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.

Autumn Term
8Fecosystemsatoms elements and periodic tableelectricity and magnetism
8Jelectricity and magnetismecosystemsatoms elements and periodic table
8Satoms elements and periodic tableelectricity and magnetismecosystems
8Tecosystemsatoms elements and periodic tableelectricity and magnetism
8Yelectricity and magnetismecosystemsatoms elements and periodic table
Spring Term
8Fbody systems/healthmaterials Motion and pressure
8JMotion and pressurebody systems/healthmaterials
8Smaterials Motion and pressurebody systems/health
8Tbody systems/healthmaterials Motion and pressure
8YMotion and pressurebody systems/healthmaterials
Summer Term
8Fthe EarthSeparation techniquesrevision
8JSeparation techniquesthe Earthrevision
8Sthe EarthSeparation techniquesrevision
8TSeparation techniquesthe Earthrevision
8Ythe EarthSeparation techniquesrevision

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

 

Year 9 & 10

We are currently in the process of introducing new courses, which means that pupils in Years 9 & 10 will sit different exams to pupils in Year 11.  The majority of Year 9 & 10 pupils are taking the Combined Science course, which delivers two GCSEs incorporating various Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics.  Pupils judged to have made exceptional progress in Maths and Science during Key Stage 3 will instead take the Triple Science route, which should earn them three GCSEs in the separate disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  For further details click on the relevant link:

Combined Science J260

Biology is J257

Chemistry is J258

Physics is J259

 

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.

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/

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

BBC GCSE bitesize

Further useful information and websites can be found on this revision sheet prepared by the department:

C1 – Air and water information

P1 Checklist

 

Year 11

The majority of our students are following the Double Science Award, which consists of a Core Science GCSE and either Additional or Applied Science GCSE.  They follow the OCR syllabus.  For course details, click on the relevant link here:

Core Science is J241

Additional Science is J242

Applied Science is J251

 

Students who made excellent progress in Science and Maths during Key Stage 3 are taking the Triple Science route.  This means they will sit separate GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  They follow the OCR courses.  For more details on these, click on the relevant link below:

Biology is J243

Chemistry is J244

Physics is J245

 

To support their learning, Y11 students may well have the opportunity to attend lectures such as GCSE Science Live held in London.  They may wish to take advantage of the support available at our Science Surgery, which is a drop in session for students to take class work and home work problems along to, or to revise an aspect of Science with the help of a Science Sixth Form student.  For revision notes and exercises they will find this website useful:

BBC Bitesize

 

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

Our students follow the new specification: OCR Advancing Physics B H157/H557.  To see full details of this, click here.

This is a challenging subject that offers students a chance to develop key skills that are used in careers ranging from finance to medicine. Achieving a good grade in A level Physics is seen as a sign of excellent academic ability, and will open many doors when it comes to applying for the most prestigious degree courses.

Students will sit three exams at the end of the two year course:

  • Modelling Physics (37%)
  • Exploring Physics (37%)
  • Unified Physics (26%)

There is also a Practical Endorsement scheme that assesses their practical skills.  The marks for this are 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.

Throughout the two year course we encourage students to attend twilight lectures at Hertfordshire University.  We also arrange visits to place such as Astrium, the National Space Centre, and CERN in Geneva.

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

BBC Bitesize

Institute of Physics

 

Page updated Sept 2016