Science

Christ42Subject introduction

Head of Department: Mr Amritpal Aujla

The department has eight teaching staff and three technicians:

Science is a core subject studied by all pupils at KS3 (years 7, 8 and 9) and KS4 (years 10 and 11). It is also offered as an option at KS5 (years 12 and 13) in the form of A-levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Pupils learn to develop practical and investigative skills which include using a range of scientific methods and techniques to develop and test ideas and explanations. Pupils learn how to work safely in the science laboratory and build expertise in planning and carrying out practicals.

These experiences allow pupils to develop critical thinking and problem solving skills; as well as abilities to work in teams to achieve goals; analyse data to draw conclusions; and work as independent and reflective learners.

Curriculum Intent

The study of KS3 and KS4 Science enables students to learn about the fundamental scientific concepts. Through this study we hope to give students the ability to explain the material world around them and a variety of natural phenomena. E.g. studying the states of matter allows students to understand why ice melts in drinks and also why the global ice caps may melt due to global warming.

Through studying the ‘working scientifically’ content students gain practical experience of learning science through investigation, using practical equipment and testing scientific ideas. This also develops their understanding that scientific theories can develop or change.

THE CURRICULUM

Key Stage 3

In years 7 and 8 pupils learn the fundamental scientific ideas that lay the foundations for their study of science at secondary school.

This learning is aided through the use of key ‘Activate’ textbooks, which supplement the learning resources developed by teachers, and are purchased for pupils to access online.

In both years pupils have 5 lessons of science a fortnight.

The topics taught cover the three main branches of science - biology, chemistry and physics - and are distributed across KS3 as follows:

Year 7

Biology - Introduction to Science, Cells, Levels of organisation, Reproduction

Chemistry -  Particle theory, Elements and compounds, Separating mixtures, Chemical reactions

Physics -  Space, Waves: sound, Waves: Light, Forces

Year 8

Biology - Nutrition and lifestyle, Photosynthesis and energy transfers in ecosystems, Variation, Adaptation and Evolution

Chemistry- Acids and alkalis,  Periodic table, Reactivity of metals, The Earth

Physics - Energy, Electricity, Speed and Pressure

Year 9

In year 9, pupils are also taught 5 lessons of science a fortnight. This commitment to science in the curriculum allows the school to start covering GCSE science content in year 9 which acts as a bridge between the learning done in years 7 and 8; and the rigours of GCSE science in years 10 and 11.

The topics covered are as follows:

Biology - Cell structure and transport, Stem Cells, Organisation Digestive System, Organising animals and plants

Chemistry -  Atomic Structure,  States of matter, Chemical Analysis, Periodic Table, Earth's resources

Physics - Conservation and dissipation of energy, Energy resources, Forces,  Forces and motion, 

 

Key Stage 4 - GCSE

In years 10 and 11 pupils cover the majority of the content that comprises their GCSE in science.

From the start of year 10, pupils take one of two pathways in their GCSE studies:

  1. GCSE Combined Science pathway (called ‘Combined Science: Trilogy’ - awarding two GCSE grades at the end of the course)

  1. GCSE Separate Science pathway (awarding three GCSEs, one each in Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

Each pathway is broken down as follows:

GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy

  • Examining Board: AQA

  • Assessments; 6 x 1hr 15min papers (70 marks each)

  • Tiers: Higher and Foundation

  • Lesson per fortnight: 9

  • Specification Link

Year 10 Content:

  • Biology - Cells and organisation; Communicable diseases; Preventing and treating disease; Non-communicable diseases; Photosynthesis; Respiration; The human nervous system; Hormonal coordination.

  • Chemistry - The periodic table; Structure and bonding; Chemical calculations; Chemical changes; The Earth’s resources.

  • Physics - Forces in balance; Motion; Energy transfer by heating; Wave Properties; Electric circuits; Forces and motion; Molecules and matter.

Year 11 Content:

  • Biology - Photosynthesis; Respiration; Reproduction; Variation and evolution; Genetics and evolution; Organising ecosystems; Biodiversity and ecosystems; Adaptation, interdependence and competition. 

  • Chemistry - Energy changes; Chemical calculations; Rates and equilibrium; Earth’s atmosphere; Chemical analysis. 

  • Physics - Electric circuits; Radioactivity; Electromagnetism; Electricity in the home.

GCSE Separate Science: Biology, Chemistry Physics

Year 10 Content:

  • Biology - Cells and organisation; Organisation and the digestive system; Organising animals and plants; Communicable diseases; Preventing and treating diseases; Non-communicable diseases; Photosynthesis; Respiration; The human nervous system; Hormonal coordination.

  • Chemistry - Chemical calculations; Chemical changes; Crude oil and fuels; Organic reactions; Polymers; Energy changes; Rates and equilibrium

  • Physics - Forces in balance; Wave properties; Light; Motion; Energy transfer through heating; Forces and motion; Electric circuits; Forces and pressure; Space; Molecules and matter

Year 11 Content:

  • Biology - Hormonal coordination; Homeostasis in action; Cell division; Reproduction; Variation and evolution; Genetics and evolution; Adaptation, interdependence and competition.

  • Chemistry - Chemical calculations; Rates and Equilibrium; The Earth’s atmosphere; The Earth’s resources; Using our resources.

  • Physics - Electric circuits, Light, Radioactivity, Electromagnetism, Electricity in the home.

 

Key Stage 5 / Sixth Form - A Level

A Level Biology

  • Entrance Requirements: Minimum grade 6 science and 6 in Mathematics

  • Examining Board: AQA

  • Assessments: 3 x 2hr paper

  • Specifications link

Overview:

Year 12:

To study A level Biology is to embark on a journey of discovery!! Students learn about the basics of life, of organs and organ systems that can determine health, or sickness and disease. Best of all, students look deeper into the nucleus of cells and discover the amazing molecule called DNA. It controls almost everything that makes you, you.

Students will study the principles of electron microscopy, ultrastructure of cells, biological molecules, enzyme technology, transport and exchange mechanisms in plants and animals, classification, diversity and speciation.

Year 13:

In the second year, biotechnology and genetic engineering are key features, and the range and limits of homeostatic control systems, nervous and hormonal coordination. Many physiological and biochemical processes including respiration and photosynthesis are also explored.

A level Chemistry

  • Entrance Requirements: Minimum grade 6 science and 6 in Mathematics

  • Examining Board: AQA

  • Assessments: 3 x 2hr paper

  • Specifications link

Overview:

Studying A Level chemistry is about everything. It is the central science that explains how the world around us works.  It enables us to see patterns in the myriads of chemical reactions that occur in nature.  In this course students will see how the laws of chemistry and the skills of today’s chemists have been used to achieve our present high standards of living. A Level Chemistry is an exciting course that places emphasis on the application of knowledge and the usefulness of laboratory research.

Progress will be checked via Independent Study packs and end of unit tests.

In Year 12 students will study the basic laws and principles of chemistry and learn how to predict the properties and the atomic structure of elements from their positions in the periodic table. Topics will also include organic chemistry, carbon compounds including fossil fuels, plastics and recycling.  

In Year 13 students learn how to control chemical reactions and the importance of chemistry in manufacturing processes. Students are introduced to modern analytical techniques such as mass spectroscopy and nuclear magnetic resonance.  

A-Level: three written examinations each 2 hours long, at the end of two years.

There are 9 lessons over the two week timetable taught by 2 Chemistry specialist teachers.

Students’ practical skills will be developed throughout the course and assessed in the written examinations.

A level Physics

  • Entrance Requirements: Minimum grade 6 science and 7 in Mathematics

  • Students must take A-Level Mathematics with this subject.

  • Examining Board: OCR

  • Assessments: 2 x 2hr 15min paper and 1 x 1hr 30min paper

  • Specifications link

Overview:

Physics is about how things work, from the nano-scale to the cosmic - super massive black holes and galaxies within the universe. Students will learn about forces in mechanics, waves, electrons and protons, gravitational, electrical and magnetic fields.  Students will investigate nuclear energy and apply the fundamental principles learnt to solve real problems.  Practical investigations will be conducted in the Physics laboratory in addition to learning theoretical Physics.

Progress is checked via homework and testing, each week.

Students are expected to bring together the principles and concepts from different areas of physics and apply them in a particular context which may be unfamiliar to them. High standards of work are essential. Students are expected to express their ideas clearly and logically using specialist vocabulary.

  • AS: two written examinations plus one practical examination.

  • A2: two written examinations plus practical based coursework

There are 9 lessons over the two week timetable taught by 2 Physics specialist teachers.

This course may provide opportunities for day trips and visit from external providers.

ENRICHMENT & EXTRA-CURRICULAr

In the science department we believe not only in supporting pupils in reaching their fullest potential in lessons, but also providing pupils with opportunities that open their eyes to the possibilities of science outside of the classroom.

As a result, allowing pupils to develop a deeper understanding of the subject; explore areas of interest; expand their thinking and apply their learning in new and creative ways.

Examples of enrichment opportunities offered include:

  • KS3 Science Club

  • Medical Society

  • KS4 Engineering Club (Silver Crest Award)

  • KS5 Imperial Crest Academy (Gold Crest Award)

  • KS5 Biology Clinics

  • KS4 & KS5 Chemistry Clinic

  • Careers Talks

  • Year 12-Buddy Mentoring

Careers

Biology: The possibilities range from medicine to agriculture, forensics to zoology.  Almost any degree will accept A-level biology.

Chemistry: All manufacturing industries, pharmaceuticals, food processing, cosmetics and metal works.  Chemistry is essential for medicine, dentistry, chemical engineering and a whole host of health and environmental courses.

Physics: Essential for any engineering course or degree and is highly sought after for other scientific or technical careers. Physics is an advantageous subject for courses ranging from medicine to careers involving business and finance.

Textbooks and revision RESOURCES

The science department would recommend the following resources to supplement and support learning in school:

KS3

Websites:

Reading:

  • Activate KS3 Science - Oxford Press (textbook)

  • Exploring Science - Pearson Schools (textbook)

KS4

Websites:

Reading:

  • Biology for GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy   (ISBN: 9780198359265)

  • Chemistry for GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy (ISBN: 9780198359272)

  • Physics for GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy  (ISBN: 9780198359289)

  • AQA Science – Oxford - Biology Third Edition  (ISBN: 9780198359371)

  • AQA Science – Oxford - Chemistry Third Edition (ISBN: 9780198359)

  • AQA Science – Oxford - Physics Third Edition  (ISBN: 9780198359395)

KS5

Biology

Websites:

Reading:

  •  AQA Biology (2nd edition) for Year 1 and Year 2 A- level Biology (ISBN 978 019 835770) - Main Textbook

Chemistry

Websites:

Reading:

  • The Catalyst (Journal)

Physics

Websites:

Reading:

  • A level Physics for OCR   Pub: Oxford University Press (ISBN: 9780198 352181)

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