Head of Department
Key Stage 3
Key Stage 3 Overview:Science is taught in Key Stage 3 as combined Science over a two-year accelerated course (Years 7 and 8), using a bespoke scheme of work to prepare students for Key Stage 4. The curriculum at KS3 includes the skills, vocabulary and scientific knowledge student will need to be successful at KS4. There is a focus on practical work and on the language of Science to equip students in KS3 with the tools they will need in KS4.
Year 7:Students begin Year 7 with lab safety, earning a Bunsen burner license. They will then undergo a two term induction to each of the three sciences, equipping them with the language and basic understanding they need to transition from primary to secondary school. In rotation, classes will then study reproduction, sound, speed, light and acids and alkali's before ending the year with two projects, one in Physics and one in Biology. Throughout the year, we aim to ensure students enjoy Science and have the chance to be hands on in experiments where ever possible.
Year 8:Year 8 sees students study a wide variety of topics across all three science subjects including plants, magnetism, radiation, the human body and generating electricity. The aim of Year 8 is to cover, in a simplified form, the topics that occur in Years 10 and 11 at GCSE level. By covering these topics early and becoming familiar with the key words, processes and ideas at GCSE are much easier to understand and retain the information required in the crucial GCSE years. We take a practical approach where possible, bringing the Science to life for students and giving them the lab skills they will need to complete their GCSE required practicals.
Year 9:In Year 9, students will study a bridging curriculum. The aim will be to review key concepts from Key Stage 3 and add more detail to the processes involved and upgrade the key words and language to a Key Stage 4 level. The year will put units into a real world context and focus upon investigation or data analysis as these are key parts of the GCSE specification. All three sciences will be taught in rotation, the focus being on the skills required at key stage 4 such as graphing, data analysis and investigation planning and evaluation. As a result practical work is at the core of what we do in year 9 with the students.
Assessment at Key Stage 3:At the beginning of Year 7, a KS2 transition test will be carried out to clarify the knowledge gaps and ability of the students as they transition from primary to secondary education. An end of topic test will be carried out at the end of each unit of work (approximately 4 weeks), which will be graded and inform a running average grade from the year. An end of year exam will also take place to give an over view of the year. Year 8 will follow the same modal without the transition test. In Year 9, each project unit will be assessed slightly differently to assess the specific skills delivered in that unit. The year will end with a KS3 transition test issued by AQA. Students are graded on a GCSE scale from year 7 onwards. In year 7 grades will run from “ND” to “3C”, year 8 up to grade 4, year 9 up to grade 5. These grades are awarded based upon how the work would be graded at GCSE level.
Key Stage 4
Key Stage 4 OverviewAQA Science – Trilogy – AQA Trilogy replaces Core and Additional Science. AQA Trilogy is worth two Science GCSE’s and is graded 9-1. Students study a combination of Biology, Chemistry and Physics over years 10 and 11. They will then sit two exams in each discipline of science to give a total of 6 exams, all worth 16.7% each. A summary of this course can be found here. Triple Science – Students will study separate sciences, AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics in years 9, 10 and 11. At the end of year 11 students will sit two exams in each subject area, each paper counting for 50% of that qualification. Students will receive a separate GCSE grade, graded 9-1, for each science giving 3 GCSEs in total.
Links to the summaries for each of the courses are:
Years 10 and 11:These two years combined, cover the whole of the AQA Science Trilogy specification. Students will have a specialist teacher for each of the three science disciplines to maximise their learning experience. The focus is knowledge retention. Biology requires a large volume of facts and processes to be memorised. Chemistry requires the student to apply fundamentals to different contexts, reactions and uses of materials. Physics requires students to memorise 23 equations across 7 units, as the exam board no longer includes the majority of required equations on a separate equation sheet. Revision is key and the years are set up to review the curriculum in its entirety in the last 4 months of Year 11, that being said the detail needs to be learnt and kept fresh from Year 10 all the way to June of Year 11. All students complete a minimum of combined Science worth two GCSEs. While a small cohort will sit triple science this cohort is selected at the start of Year 11 based upon progress to that point by the Science department.
Assessment at Key Stage 4:
- Mock exams at various points in Years 10 and 11, along with AQA issued end of unit tests from the in house assessment of Key Stage 4 and along with teacher judgement forms, the most likely outcome and current level of progress grades for students. The GCSE itself is formed of 6 papers, two each for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The exams cover half of the curriculum each and there is no coursework element, 100% of the qualification is examination based. For triple science there are extra units which “upgrade” the qualification from combined science worth two GCSE’s to individual sciences where three separate grades are awarded. Grades run from 1-1 to 9-9, to simplify the grading students receive a grade “D” or “B”. For example 4D would be a grade 4, 4B would represent a grade 5-4, where the student is awarded on grade 5 and one grade 4 to form their two Science grades.
- Higher and Foundation papers are available in all the Science GCSE options. The Foundation paper allow students to achieve between grades 1-1 and 5-5. Students are unable to achieve more than a grade 5-5 on these papers as the challenge of the questions does not exceed a grade 5. It is possible to get a U grade on these papers but a very low mark is required to gain a 1-1. For some students this is the best option as the papers contain fewer long answer questions and simpler wording. This allows students to more easily achieve a grade 4 or 5 compared to the higher paper. The higher papers are more complex and allow for grades 4-4 to 9-9, however if a student scores below a grade 4 they will not be awarded a grade and will receive a “U” grade. We only use these papers for students performing at a grade 6 level or better to avoid that possibility. The decision is taken by the class teacher, overseen by head of department and key stage.
Key Stage 5
Overview of the course:OCR Chemistry – The course looks at three main areas; Physical, Organic and Inorganic Chemistry. Physical Chemistry looks at the structure of atoms, bonding and factors effecting reaction rates including mathematical calculations. Inorganic chemistry focuses on specific groups of the periodic table and their properties. Organic chemistry looks at the different groups of chemicals including, alkanes, alcohols, alkenes, carboxylic acids and ketones. Amino acids and DNA is also studied in year 2 of the course allowing links with A-level Biology.
What Will You Study:
Year 12Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
- Practical skills will be assessed in written examinations. During all aspects of the course practical work will be completed and a portfolio of work collated. These experiments will be examined in the terminal exams.
- Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations.
- Amount of substance and acid-base and redox reactions.
- Electrons, bonding and structure.
- The periodic table and periodicity
- Group 2 and halogens
- Qualitative analysis and enthalpy changes
- Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)
- Basic concepts
- Hydrocarbons, alcohols and haloalkanes
- Organic synthesis and analytical techniques (IR and MS)
Year 13:Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements:
- Rates equilibrium and pH
- Transition elements
- Aromatic compounds, carbonyls and acids
- Nitrogen compounds, polymers and synthesis
Assessment:AS Assessment: Two written papers
- Paper 1 – Breadth in Chemistry (70 marks)
- Paper 2 – Depth in Chemistry (70 marks)
- Periodic table, elements and physical chemistry (01) - 100 marks (2 hours 15 minutes)
- Synthesis and analytical techniques (02) - 100 marks (2 hours 15 minutes)
- Unified chemistry (03) - 70 marks (1 hour 30 minutes)
Possible Career Paths:Students will require this A-level for course such as medicine and dentistry. It is also fundamental for biomedical science and other science degrees. The skills obtained are extremely favourable to employers if students wish to pursue employment following A levels.
Overview of the course:AQA Biology AS/A Level – The course takes students into the molecular detail of biological substances and processes such as Photosynthesis, how your body turns DNA code into proteins like enzymes and how these enzymes work. The course also takes a wider view of processes such as ecological development and speciation. A full course summary can be found at http://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/as-and-a-level/biology-7401-7402/specification-at-a-glance
What Will You Study:
What will I study in Year 12?Unit 1 – Biological Molecules
- Carbohydrate, lipid and protein structure.
- DNA structure.
- The role of water and ions.
- Cell structure and function.
- Immune recognition and response.
- Gas exchange.
- Digestion and absorption.
- Mass transport.
- DNA, genes and chromosomes.
- Protein synthesis.
- Biodiversity and adaptations.
What will I study in Year 13?Unit 5 – Energy Transfers of Organisms
- Photosynthesis and Respiration.
- Nutrient Cycles.
- Nervous Control.
- Inheritance and evolution.
- Speciation and Ecosystems.
- Mutations, Cancer and Gene Therapy
Assessment:AS Assessment: Two written papers
- Paper 1 – Any content from units 1-4 (75 marks)
- Paper 2 – Any content from units 1-4 (75 marks)
- Paper 1—Content from Units 1-4 (91 marks) 35% of A level
- Paper 2—Content from units 5-8 (91 marks) 35% of A level
- Paper 3—Content from units 1-8 (78 marks) 30% of A level