Science

The teaching programmes in Science are designed to develop a broad range of practical skills and processes, an understanding of scientific concepts and an awareness of the importance of Science in today’s society.  Our schemes of work support the broad themes of the National Curriculum:

  • Scientific Enquiry
  • Life Processes and Living Things
  • Materials and their Properties
  • Physical Processes

Students complete Key Stage 3 in just over two years and during Year 9 they will commence either a Double Award or Triple Award GCSE programme.  
In the sixth form we offer A level courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

        
School Trips

A number of school visits are arranged throughout the course of the year.  Details of trips which have taken place this year or are planned in the future can be viewed in the School Visits, Enrichment area of the website.

Facilities

Science lessons are taught in twelve modern laboratories, fully equipped for all school practical activities.

KS3 Science

Years 7, 8, 9

Students follow the new ‘Activate’ KS3 Science course for the updated 2014 curriculum in Year 7 and Year 8, before commencing GCSE courses in Year 9.  The Schemes of Work are designed to fully prepare and support every student on their journey through KS3 to KS4. Our KS3 programme introduces topics by relating them to real-life situations with a strong emphasis on ‘Working Scientifically’

Year 7

Year 7 science is taught exclusively in science laboratories by science specialist teaching staff. Support is provided by laboratory technicians and teaching assistants where appropriate. Students are timetabled for 7 Science lessons per fortnight and are taught in tutor groups. The topics covered include;

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Year 8:

The topics covered include;

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Year 9:

Pupils start the KS4 syllabus and complete Biology, Chemistry and Physics assessed practicals and other assessments, in preparation for their GCSE ISAs and exams.
What skills students develop

  • Students are encouraged to develop their skills in the following areas;
  • Thinking scientifically
  • Understanding the applications & implications of science
  • Communicating & collaborating in science
  • Using investigative approaches
  • Working critically with evidence.

The KS3 Scheme of work focuses on the knowledge and understanding which students need to engage, as informed citizens, with science-based issues. Students will link their practical experience with scientific ideas. Experimentation and modelling are used to develop and evaluate explanations, encouraging critical and creative thought.  Pupils learn how knowledge and understanding in science are rooted in evidence. The topics are taught in contemporary contexts of interest to allow a smooth transition into KS4. Tasks promote the use of literacy, numeracy & ICT.

How students are assessed

Pupils are set assessments at the end of each topic and a longer exam towards the end of each year.  We are following the assessment model for new 2014 curriculum to ensure that students have a secure grasp of the skills and content specified in the programme of study;

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Homework

Students are set regular homework in accordance with the school’s homework timetable and are published on the ‘Show my Homework’ webpage.   Tasks are designed to support and complement the work covered in lessons and may include a variety of written or investigative assignments, online activities and quizzes, independent research   or revision.

How can parents help

  • Encourage your child to bring the correct equipment to lessons (ie pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, calculator)
  • Regularly check that class books are kept neat and tidy, preferably covered, and that your child is reaching their target level in science.
  • Ensure that your child has a quiet place to study away from distractions & where possible that they have access to a computer.
  • Check that homework is complete on time and to your child’s best standard.
  • Encourage your child to visit ‘Show my homework’ and ‘Moodle’ to access the revision resources, the electronic version of the text books, and the homework tasks.
  • Assist your child to revise regularly for their end of unit assessments or any assessed tasks by promoting the links listed below such as ‘SAM learning.’

Science Club

We have a thriving weekly science club at which students have the opportunity to enhance the learning in the classroom with a range fun practical activities and challenges.

School Trips

Various trips are organised for KS3 students and recent examples include visits to Herstmonceux Observatory, Winchester Planetarium, Science Museum, University of Surrey (TEENTECH), Crawley STEMfest, Royal Holloway (University Challenge) and Atkins Epsom for the YES project (Young Engineers and Scientists) run by STEM ambassadors.  There are also opportunities for students to also take part in educational competitions with other schools.

Useful Links

Blenheim High School’s virtual learning site with learning resources, homework tasks, quizzes and electronic ‘Exploring Science’  text books.

KS4 Science (Students who commenced their course before September 2016)

GCSE Graded A*-G

Students may be entered for either two GCSEs in Science (AQA Science A plus AQA Additional Science) or three GCSEs if they have taken Triple Science as an option (AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics).  

AQA GCSE Science A (Core Science)

GCSE Science is taught as three separate subjects – Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

These include:

  • Biology: keeping healthy; nerves and hormones; use and abuse of drugs; interdependence and adaptation; energy and biomass in food chains; waste materials from plants and animals; genetic variation and its control; evolution.
  • Chemistry: fundamental chemical ideas; limestone and building materials; metals and their uses; crude oil and fuels; other chemicals from crude oil; plant oils and their uses; changes in the Earth and its atmosphere.
  • Physics: energy transfer; energy and efficiency; the usefulness of electrical appliances; generating electricity; waves, communication and the universe

What skills students develop

“How science works” is an important feature of GCSE Science and focuses on the knowledge and understanding which students need to acquire, as informed citizens, with science-based issues.

How students are assessed

The final GCSE grade is based on written exams and internally assessed unit. All four units are worth 25% of the final mark:

  • Biology  – 60 minute written exam taken at the end of Year 11
  • Chemistry  – 60 minute written exam taken at the end of Year 11
  • Physics  – 60 minute written exam taken at the end of Year 11
  • Internally Assessed Unit – students complete three controlled assessed tasks during Year 10, each one based on a practical investigation.  The best mark is then submitted to the examining board at the end of the year.

AQA GCSE Additional Science

GCSE Science is taught as three separate subjects – Biology, Chemistry and Physics. These include:

  • Biology: cells and transport; tissues, organs and organ systems; photosynthesis; organisms and their environment; proteins and their uses; respiration; cell division and inheritance; speciation
  • Chemistry: atomic structure; bonding; how structure and bonding affects properties and uses of materials; analysis; quantitative chemistry; rates of reaction; energy and reactions; acids, bases and salts; electrolysis
  • Physics: forces and their effects; kinetic energy, acceleration and deceleration; current in electrical circuits; mains electricity and electrical power; radioactivity; nuclear fission and fusion

What skills students develop

As with GCSE Science, ”How science works” is also an important feature of Additional Science.   Areas of focus include: fundamental investigative ideas; observation as a stimulus to investigation; designing investigations; recording measurements; presenting, interpreting and evaluating data.

How students are assessed

The final GCSE grade is based on three written exams and one internally assessed unit. All four units are worth 25% of the final mark:

  • Biology 2 – 60 minute written exam taken at the end of Year 11
  • Chemistry 2 – 60 minute written exam taken at the end of Year 11
  • Physics 2 – 60 minute written exam taken at the end of Year 11
  • Internally Assessed Unit – students complete three controlled assessed tasks during Year 11, each one based on a practical investigation.  The best mark is then submitted to the examining board at the end of the year.

Triple Award Science

Students complete a further three units in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (each examined at the end of Year 11) and a further three controlled assessed tasks, with the best mark submitted.  The topics covered include:

  • Biology: movement of molecules in and out of cells; transport systems in plants and animals; homoeostasis; humans and their environment;
  • Chemistry: the periodic table; water; calculating and explaining energy change; further analysis and quantitative chemistry; the production of ammonia; alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters
  • Physics: medical applications of Physics; using Physics to make things work; keeping things moving

Homework

Students should expect to receive 60-90 minutes of Science homework each week and up to two hours if they are following the triple award GCSE course.  It is important that students ensure all homework tasks are complete and that they catch up on any work missed due to periods of absence.

How parents can help

  • Check that your child has the correct equipment ie pen, pencil, ruler, rubber, calculator
  • Ensure that your child has a quiet place to study, away from distractions
  • Checking that homework is complete on time and to your child’s best standard
  • Encourage your child to revise regularly, using the activities on our virtual learning site.
  • Ensure that your child has the necessary revision materials (revision guides and past papers) in preparation for exams, which are available from the school.

Useful Links

KS4 Science (Students who commencing their course after September 2016)

GCSE Graded 9-1

Students may be entered for either two GCSEs in Science (AQA Trilogy Science also known as Core Science) or three seperate GCSEs if they have taken Triple Science as an option (AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics).   
 
AQA GCSE Trilogy Science (Core Science)

GCSE Trilogy Science is taught as three separate subjects – Biology, Chemistry and Physics. These include:

  • Biology: Cell Biology, Organs Systems, Disease and Drug Development, Photosynthesis, Respiration, Systems of the Huma Body, Ecosystems Variation and Evolution.
  • Chemistry: fundamentals of atoms and the periodic table, Structure and bonding, Calculations in Chemistry, Chemical reactions, Hydrocarbons and Organic Chemistry, The earth and its atoms, Polymers, Chemical analysis, Chemistry and the products we use
  • Physics: Forces and motion, Energy in Physics, Electromagnetic waves and light, Electricity, Magnetism, Molecules and Matter, Radioactivity, Space Physics

What skills students develop?

“How science works” is an important feature of GCSE Science and focuses on the knowledge and understanding which students need to acquire, as informed citizens, with science-based issues. The course has a strong mathematical element (20%) built into all 3 disciplines. Students will also develop practical experimental skills and their various applications.

How students are assessed?

The GCSE grades are based on 100% written examinations, equally weighted between Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

  • Biology  – 2 x 1 hour 15 minute papers
  • Chemistry  – 2 x 1 hour 15 minute papers
  • Physics  – 2 x 1 hour 15 minute papers

AQA GCSE Triple Science

GCSE Triple Science is taught as three separate subjects – Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The course builds on the work covered in Core, Trilogy Science, and content includes:

  • Biology: Cell Biology, Organisation, Infection and response, Biogenetics, Homeostasis and response, Inheritance, Variation and Evolution, Ecology
  • Chemistry: Atomic structure and the Periodic Table, Bonding Structure and the properties of matter, Quantitive Chemistry, Chemical changes and analysis, Energy changes, Organic Chemistry, Chemistry of the Atmosphere, Using resources .
  • Physics: Forces, Energy, Waves, Electricity, Magnetism and electromagnetism, Particle model of matter, Atomic structure, Space Physics.

What skills students develop?

Areas of focus include: fundamental investigative ideas; observation as a stimulus to investigation; designing investigations; recording measurements; presenting, interpreting and evaluating data. This course continues to have a strong focus on Mathematics and it builds on the work covered in Core, Trilogy Science, towards a broader and deeper set of skills and understanding.

How students are assessed?

The final GCSE grade is based on 100% written examinations. The papers in each subject are equally weighted. (worth 50% of the grade and has 100 marks available.)

  • Biology - 2 x 1 hour 45 minute papers
  • Chemistry - 2 x 1 hour 45 minute papers
  • Physics - 2 x 1 hour 45 minute papers

Homework

Homework is set regularly and is designed to consolidate the skills, knowledge and understanding that are central to the course.  As the course progresses, there is an increasing emphasis on skills required for success in the externally set examinations.

Students should expect to receive 60-90 minutes of Science homework each week and up to two hours if they are following the triple award GCSE course.  It is important that students ensure all homework tasks are complete and that they catch up on any work missed due to periods of absence.

How parents can help

  • Discuss current Science issues with your child and encourage an interest in Science topics in the news.
  • Take an interest in the homework set, checking that it is complete on time and to your child’s best standard.
  • Encourage your child to review regularly the work covered in class and revise for end of topic tests.

Useful Links