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, is becoming more evident as we are starting to tackle environmental and health issues of the current times.

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.

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. 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. The science curriculum links closely in many areas with the RSHE curriculum and allows content covered in RSHE to be further explored. 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. 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

The Science curriculum is currently transitioning back to a traditional 3 year Key Stage Three Curriculum which will invest time in ensuring a secure base of knowledge and skills for future scientists. The information below details what the students in each current year group will study in 2021 – 2022 but will be adapted in coming years to continue to meet national guidelines.

Knowledge Organisers

Please see below knowledge organisers which contain the key information we would like students to know on the topics this year.

Topic Breakdowns

Year 7Year 8Biology Topics7.1 Life8.1 Health and Diet
7.2 What are we made of?8.2 Respiration and Movement
7.3 You are what you eat8.3 Ecology
7.4 From Food to Energy
Chemistry Topics7.1 Particles8.1 The Periodic Table
7.2 Elements, Mixtures and Compounds8.2 Separating Mixtures
7.3 Simple Chemical reactions8.3 Acids and AlkalisPhysics topics7.1 Energy8.1 Energy
7.2 Forces8.2 Density and Matter
7.3 Motion8.3 Waves

Working Scientifically

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

Scientific AttitudesExperimental skills and investigationAnalysis and EvaluationMeasurement

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

All students will study the same pathway in year 9 which will secure and strengthen prior knowledge and develop students for future science studies.

Key fundamentals covered in both pathways:

Biology

  • Cells
  • How the body works
  • The cardiovascular system
  • Non communicable disease

Chemistry

  • Earth and atmosphere
  • Atomic structure
  • The periodic table

Physics

  • Energy transfers
  • Atomic structure
  • Radioactivity
  • Energy resources and the environment

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 or using the Moodle platform.

Overview of Years 10 and 11

BIOLOGYPHYSICSCHEMISTRY

  • Non-Communicable Disease
  • Communicable Diseases
  • Plant Biology
  • 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:

  • Non-communicable disease
  • Infection and response
  • Plant Biology
  • Humans and the Environment
  • Energy Stores
  • Forces
  • Rate and extent of chemical change
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Organic chemistry

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
  • Bioenergetics

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 – We were 2021 regional finalists!
  • Visits from guest speakers
  • STEM club
  • GCSE Science Live!
  • British Science Week