Science

Science Curriculum Intent

We believe that Science is for all and has something to offer students of all abilities and aspirations. Our curriculum has been developed to ensure that students are engaged and challenged in order for students to reach their scientific potential.

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 during Year 7 and Year 8. In Year 9 students start the AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) GCSE programme. In the sixth form we offer A level courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and Applied Human Biology BTEC.

The complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas:

Biology

  • life processes depend on molecules whose structure is related to their function
  • the fundamental units of living organisms are cells, which may be part of highly adapted structures including tissues, organs and organ systems, enabling living processes to be performed effectively
  • living organisms may form populations of single species, communities of many species and ecosystems, interacting with each other, with the environment and with humans in many different ways
  • living organisms are interdependent and show adaptations to their environment
  • life on Earth is dependent on photosynthesis in which green plants and algae trap light from the Sun to fix carbon dioxide and combine it with hydrogen from water to make organic compounds and oxygen
  • organic compounds are used as fuels in cellular respiration to allow the other chemical reactions necessary for life
  • the chemicals in ecosystems are continually cycling through the natural world
  • the characteristics of a living organism are influenced by its genome and its interaction with the environment
  • evolution occurs by a process of natural selection and accounts both for biodiversity and how
  • Organisms are all related to varying degrees.

Chemistry

  • Matter is composed of tiny particles called atoms and there are about 100 different naturally occurring types of atoms called elements.
  • elements show periodic relationships in their chemical and physical properties
  • these periodic properties can be explained in terms of the atomic structure of the elements
  • atoms bond by either transferring electrons from one atom to another or by sharing electrons
  • the shapes of molecules (groups of atoms bonded together) and the way giant structures are arranged is of great importance in terms of the way they behave
  • there are barriers to reaction so reactions occur at different rates
  • chemical reactions take place in only three different ways:
    • proton transfer
    • electron transfer
    • electron sharing
  • Energy is conserved in chemical reactions so can therefore be neither created nor destroyed.

Physics

  • The use of models, as in the particle model of matter or the wave models of light and of sound
  • the concept of cause and effect in explaining such links as those between force and acceleration, or between changes in atomic nuclei and radioactive emissions
  • the phenomena of ‘action at a distance’ and the related concept of the field as the key to analysing electrical, magnetic and gravitational effects
  • That differences, for example between pressures or temperatures or electrical potentials, are the drivers of change
  • That proportionality, for example between weight and mass of an object or between force and extension in a spring, is an important aspect of many models in science
  • That physical laws and models are expressed in mathematical form.

        
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.

Download All Combined Science Equations

KS3 Science

Link to course specifications

Students follow the AQA Activate KS3 Science course in Year 7 and Year 8 in preparation for their AQA GCSE Science course in Year 9. 

The KS3 syllabus uses big ideas and mastery goals to engage and inspire students. The syllabus develops working scientifically and practical skills which are essential to success at GCSE. The curriculum is spiral in design which means that each ‘big idea’ is studied across Year 7 and Year 8 with sub-topics building in complexity as students mature.

Topics Studied

Big Idea

Year 7

Year 8

Forces

Forces & Motion

Contact Forces & Work Done

Electromagnets

Electricity & Magnets

 

Energy

Forms of Energy

Heat & Pressure

Waves

Waves & Sound

Wave Effects & Light

Matter

Particle Model, Elements &
Separating Mixtures

Periodic Table

Reactions

Acids & Alkalis

Types of Reactions, Metals & Non-Metals, & Chemical energy

Earth

 

Earth Resources & Climate

Organisms

Cells

Movement, Breathing & Digestion

Ecosystems

Ecosystems & Plant Production

Respiration & Interdependence

Genes

Human Reproduction

Variation, Evolution & Inheritance

 

Assessment

Students are assessed through Key Assessments and Tri-Weekly assessment. Each half term students receive either a Key Assessment which is summative, or a Tri-Weekly which is formative.

What Skills will Students Develop?

“Working scientifically” is an important feature of the course and areas of focus include: fundamental investigative ideas; observation as a stimulus to investigation; designing investigations; predicting outcomes; recording measurements; presenting, interpreting and evaluating data.

Homework

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

How Parents Can Help

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

Useful Links

  • www.kerboodle.com Log in with initialsurname (e.g. jsmith) and date of birth (e.g. 310203) as the password.  Institution code is ahc2.

This provides access to AQA Activate 1 and 2 textbook used in class for each of the Sciences, worksheets and interactive tasks to assist with revision.

Great revision summaries and short quizzes to test understanding.

Register for free to access engaging videos covering all GCSE Science topics.

KS4 Science 9-1

GCSE Science 9-1

Students study AQA Combined Science (Trilogy) and receive two (linked) GCSE grades.

All students receive separate Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons taught by subject specialists.

Topics Studied

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

  1. Cell biology
  2. Organisation
  3. Infection and response
  4. Bioenergetics
  5. Homeostasis and response
  6. Inheritance, variation and evolution
  7. Ecology

 

  1. Atomic structure and the periodic table
  2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  3. Quantitative chemistry
  4. Chemical changes
  5. Energy changes
  6. The rate and extent of chemical change
  7. Organic chemistry
  8. Chemical analysis
  9. Chemistry of the atmosphere
  10. Using resources
  1. Forces
  2. Energy
  3. Waves
  4. Electricity
  5. Magnetism and electromagnetism
  6. Particle model of matter
  7. Atomic structure

Assessment

Assessment for Combined Science is based 100% on terminal, written examinations, these are equally weighted between Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Students must complete 16 Required Practicals across Biology, Chemistry and Physics as part of their Science GCSE’s which are assessed in the external examinations.

Students sit 6 x 1 hr 15 min (7.5hrs) 

Science exams are tiered with Higher and Foundation entry possible for both pathways. Students must sit the same tier across all three sciences.

Higher Tier enable students to access grade 9-5 and Foundation Tier enable students to access grades 5-1.

Grading

Students receive two linked GCSE grades which form a 16 point scale i.e. from 1-1 up to 9-9.

Mathematical Content + Equations

Students should know how to apply two lists of Physics equations: one is learnt by students and the second is provided as an insert in the external examinations.

In Combined Science maths skills will make up 20% of the marks allocated and be in the ratio 1:2:3. In other words for every one mark of maths in Biology there must be two in Chemistry and three in Physics.

What Skills will Students Develop?

“Working scientifically” is an important feature of the course and areas of focus include: fundamental investigative ideas; observation as a stimulus to investigation; designing investigations; predicting outcomes; recording measurements; presenting, interpreting and evaluating data

Homework

Homework is set regularly and is designed to either prepare for, or consolidate knowledge and understanding that is central to the course.  As the course progresses, there is also an increasing emphasis on the skills required for success in the externally set examinations. Being a motivated, independent learner is key to success in this course as some content will be delivered through distance learning.

How Parents Can Help

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

Useful Links

  • www.kerboodle.com Log in with initialsurname (e.g. jsmith) and date of birth (e.g. 310203) as the password.  Institution code is ahc2.

This provides access to textbook used in class for each of the Sciences, worksheets and interactive tasks to assist with revision.

Great revision summaries and short quizzes to test understanding.

Register for free to access revision guides and practice questions.

Register for free to access engaging videos covering all GCSE Science topics.

Course Specifications

Combined Science

Bronze School Mental Health Award