Science

Mission Statement

Studying science is key to being able to understand the world around you from the miniscule to the massive! The importance of science knowledge, both in and outside the curriculum, has become more evident during the turbulent 2020.

Regardless of pathway, students’ knowledge and skills will be developed to enable them to become adept scientists – students who are able to problem solve and eloquently discuss the world they live in.

The Four Pillars

Skill

Science is the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment. We foster curiosity in our students, and teach them to generate hypotheses and systematically gather evidence. Scientists can solve problems logically, apply reasoning, work both in a team and independently and can communicate their ideas clearly. Due to the cross disciplinary nature of the subject: students will continue to hone both their literacy and mathematical skills.

Character

The study of science aims to develop systematic and logical thought to enable students to explain observations and solve problems. This will mean that students will need to develop resilience as they are exposed to increasingly more difficult and complicated concepts as they progress through their science career in school. Science also allows for students to evaluate cause and effect and determine the implications beyond the scientific theory they understand. The ability to listen to opposing views and create rational arguments is vital to students developing the ability to empathise with others.

Experiences

Every student will have the opportunity to take part in a variety of science related activities with a particular emphasis on practical investigation and the conclusions that can be drawn from it. They will be encouraged to question how the world works and to use their scientific knowledge to find explanations. We take pride on ensuring that students lessons are developed to relate their applications both in and outside the curriculum – for example in industry.

Criticality

Scientific thinking involves applying scepticism to ideas and forming testable hypotheses. This type of thinking can lead to experiments, and it can help people develop skills for determining whether something they hear or see is true. Scientists are trained to only trust what is supported by evidence, so scientific thought requires not believing something unless it is supported with proof. Science, however, also requires creativity, so scientific thinking includes determining means of testing specific ideas to prove them true or false. In many cases, people who think in a scientific manner are able to devise experiments to test hypotheses to determine which, if any, are true.

Overview of Year 7 and 8

Topic Breakdowns

Year 7 Year 8
Biology Topics Cells and Organisation Health and the Human Body
Reproduction Inheritance and Evolution
Photosynthesis Ecosystems and Interference
Chemistry Topics States of Matter and Separating Mixtures Materials and Recycling
Atoms and the Periodic Table Acids and Alkalis
Chemical reactions Earth and the Atmosphere
Physics topics Forces, Motion and Pressure Energy
Sound Electricity and Magnetism
Light Space

Working Scientifically

These skills should be embedded throughout the programme of study across all three disciplines.

Scientific Attitudes Experimental skills and investigation Analysis and Evaluation Measurement

Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each half term.

Year 9

Regardless of pathway chosen, students will all begin their specialism year covering the same content to ensure they have both retained the knowledge required from previous years, but also to allow students to add depth to their understanding of those concepts. This will create a secure foundation to allow students to build on later in years 10 and 11.

All students will begin the year by completing a practical skills unit to enhance students’ knowledge. This is due to the required practical component of both pathways which are both engaging and rigorous. Ensuring retention of practical skills, focusing on the how and why, is key to students building confidence moving forward.

Key fundamentals covered in both pathways:

Biology

Cells

How the body works

The cardiovascular system

Non communicable disease

Chemistry

Atomic structure

Types of bonding

The periodic table

Endothermic and exothermic reactions

Physics

Practical skills unit

Energy transfers

Atomic structure

Radioactivity

Density and the particle model

As students progress throughout year 9, different pathways will diverge on a topic by topic basis.

Parents can find more information on the specific topics covered in each unit by looking at the learning overviews that are stuck into students’ books at the start of each half term.

Overview of Years 10 and 11

BIOLOGY PHYSICS CHEMISTRY
  • Cell biology
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology
  • Forces
  • Energy
  • Waves
  • Electricity
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Space (Separate Science students only)

 

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

 

Y10:

  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Electricity
  • Forces
  • Rate and extent of chemical change
  • Quantitave chemistry
  • Chemical changes

Y11:

  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space (separate science only)
  • Chemical analysis
  • Using resources
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere

Science is a content-based curriculum, which means students need to learn and recall key terminology, then make links between topic areas. In each lesson, new content is introduced, and previous content interleaved. The figure below shows what happens to memory over time.

Therefore, both pathways are designed around a spiral curriculum – this means that students will periodically revisit and build on concepts, adding additional layers of difficulty as students progress. This allows us to ensure that students retain information and also allows us to remedy any weaknesses in study understanding.

In the terminal examinations, students will sit 6 examination papers: two in each science which differ in length.

Combined science trilogy papers 1 hour 15 minutes

Separate science papers 1 hour 45 minutes

Biology Paper 1

  • Cell biology
  • Infection and response
  • Bio energetics

Biology Paper 2

  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
    Ecology

Chemistry Paper 1

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Structure, bonding and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes

Chemistry Paper 2

  • Rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical Analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Physics Paper 1

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure

Physics Paper 2

  • Forces
  • Waves
    Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space (separate physics only)

Further information on both pathways is available from the qualification website:

Separate Science

Biology https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461

Chemistry https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462

Physics https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463

Combined Science Trilogy https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/combined-science-trilogy-8464

Extra-curricular opportunities

Opportunities change each year, based on developments in science and notable discoveries/events/anniversaries.

  • Big Bang Fair
  • RSC Top of the Bench – 2020 regional finalists!
  • Visits from guest speakers
  • STEM club
  • GCSE Science Live!
  • British Science Week