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Science

Science - Key Stage 3

Why study Science?

Building on from the key areas from KS2:

  • Living things and their habitats
  • Plants
  • Animals (including humans)
  • Uses of everyday materials
  • Working scientifically
  • Rocks
  • Light
  • Forces and Magnets
  • States of Matter
  • Sound
  • Electricity
  • Properties and changes in materials
  • Earth and Space
  • Evolution and Inheritance

as well as preparing for the next step of study for GCSEs, science in this phase builds on the continuity of learning by enabling our learners to relate their scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and predicting as well as abstract ideas to further develop a firm foundation of knowledge.

Building on from the key areas from KS2:

  • Living things and their habitats
  • Plants
  • Animals (including humans)
  • Uses of everyday materials
  • Working scientifically
  • Rocks
  • Light
  • Forces and Magnets
  • States of Matter
  • Sound
  • Electricity
  • Properties and changes in materials
  • Earth and Space
  • Evolution and Inheritance

as well as preparing for the next step of study for GCSEs, our KS3 science curriculum builds on the continuity of learning by enabling our learners to relate their scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and predicting as well as abstract ideas to further develop a firm foundation of knowledge.

Our KS3 content across Years 7, 8 and 9 is under 10 big idea headings:
 
Forces, Electromagnetism, Energy, Waves, Matter, Reactions, Earth, Organisms, Ecosystems and Genes.
 
Our students will form links between structure and function in living organisms, the particulate model as the key to understanding the properties and interactions of matter in all its forms, and the resources and means of transfer of energy as key determinants of all of these interactions.

Teachers are constantly monitoring the students learning by using low stakes testing at the start of each lesson, using questioning techniques during the lesson, then the lesson is concluded with a final review to ascertain student’s progress from the lesson
 
At the end of each topic there will be an end of topic test which will be used to assess the learning of the students for that topic.  The test outcomes will then be followed up by a progress task which is assigned to each student to address areas of weakness.

We offer a range of external opportunities to broaden our student’s perceptions of science outside of school.  Trips and events are organized throughout the year and have included:

  • STEMfest event at National Marine Aquarium
  • BAE Systems, RAF and Royal Navy Education Programme Roadshow
  • RAF Roadshow
  • ‘Big Bang Event’ at City College, Devonport
  • ‘Big Bang Event’ at Birmingham (TOR)
  • STEM assembly

Students are given a username and password to access the free online text books and resources via www.kerboodle.com

Science - Key Stage 4

Why study Science?

Our Key Stage 4 learners develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiry which help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them, today and for the future.

Science is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.  All of our students are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science to enable them to build upon and deepen scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Our students develop the knowledge to enable them to develop curiosity about the natural world, insight into working scientifically, and appreciation of the relevance of science to their everyday lives, so they:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiry that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them; develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry, problem-solving skills and mathematical skills.

Our Key Stage 4 learners develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiry which help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them, today and for the future.

 

Science is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity.  All of our students are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science to enable them to build upon and deepen scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

 

Our students develop the knowledge to enable them to develop curiosity about the natural world, insight into working scientifically, and appreciation of the relevance of science to their everyday lives, so they:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics;
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiry that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them;

develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry, problem-solving skills and mathematical skills.

Our GCSE study uses the AQA Trilogy specifications for Combined Science and Triple Science (Year 11 only). 

These are designed to build upon and deepen scientific knowledge and understanding as well as practical skills from Key Stage 3 using a range of science topics.

At Key stage 4 students study a breadth of topics throughout Biology, Chemistry and Physics where they continue to develop the necessary investigative and mathematical skills to support their growing scientific knowledge.

Topics include:

BIOLOGY: Cell biology; Organisation; Infection and response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; Ecology

 

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

 

PHYSICS: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; Atomic structure; Waves; Forces; Magnetism and electromagnetism.

Through years 9 and 10 students complete regular formative progress tasks every two to three weeks. These are supported by 6 summative end of unit tests each year. These end of unit tests are based on past GCSE science exam questions.
 
A similar pattern is followed in year 11 but using complete past GCSE papers rather than end of topic tests.
 
Students will sit PPE’s at the end of year 10 and in February in Year 11. At the end of the course students sit 6 GCSE exams, 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics. For Combined Science this leads to 2 GCSE grades. Triple science leads to 3 GCSE grades (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).

Students will benefit from range of visits and on site speakers including RAF Roadshow; Medical research taster sessions; Science and Technology showcase event; Young Women into STEM and Babcock mentoring scheme.
 
Students also have the opportunities to study and discuss the wider role of science in society. This includes an appreciation of the power and limitations of science and consideration of any ethical issues which may arise.
 
Students will start to explain every day and technological applications of science; evaluate associated personal, social, economic and environmental implications; and make decisions based on the evaluation of evidence and arguments.

Students have a login to Kerboodle which gives them access to online copies of the text books we use, alongside other resources, BBC Bitesize and Seneca learning are other recommended web based resources.
 
We have hard copies of revision guides available to purchase through ParentPay. There are several different versions available so please check with your teacher if you are unsure which version would be the most appropriate. 

Science - Key Stage 5 - BTEC Applied Science

Why study Science?

Our BTEC Applied Science course enable our learners to bring together knowledge and understanding with practical and technical skills from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  This is achieved through learners performing vocational tasks that encourage the development of appropriate vocational behaviours and transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, research and analysis.

Our learners develop the transferable and higher order skills which are valued by higher education providers and employers. For example, when studying Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques, learners will develop laboratory skills, including collaboration and teamwork which support some of the skills learners need to progress to higher education, employment, self-employment or training.

Our BTEC Applied Science course enable our learners to bring together knowledge and understanding with practical and technical skills from Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  This is achieved through learners performing vocational tasks that encourage the development of appropriate vocational behaviours and transferable skills such as communication, teamwork, research and analysis.
 
Our learners develop the transferable and higher order skills, which are valued by higher education providers and employers. For example, when studying Unit 2: Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques, learners will develop laboratory skills, including collaboration and teamwork which support some of the skills learners need to progress to higher education, employment, self-employment or training.

This course uses the EdExcel specification of study. In Year 12 students cover an externally examined unit (unit 1) –The Fundamentals of Science, this covers aspects of Level 3 Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They also complete an internally assessed module (unit 2) – ‘Scientific Practical Techniques’, this teaches them techniques such as preparing standard solutions, titration and chromatography.
 
In Year 13 students cover an externally examined unit (unit 3) – ‘Science Investigation Skills’ and an internally assessed unit (unit 8) – ‘Physiology of Human Body Systems’

Assessment is through externally assessed exams and internally assessed assignments.

You will complete your unit 1 exam at the end of year 12, along with submitting assignments for unit 2. In your 12, you will complete internally assessed assignments for unit 8, as well as preparing for the externally assessed unit 3 which involves completion of a practical in controlled conditions, and an exam paper based upon the practical.

All assignments are based around a scenario involving a local business or organisation. Students have the opportunity to have visits from people working in science and medical industries, such as a physiotherapist to aid the learning in unit 8.

Lunchtime support drop-in sessions are available for both internally and externally assessed units.
 
A revision guide is available; BTEC National Applied Science Revision Guide: (with free online edition) (REVISE BTEC Nationals in Applied Science) Paperback – 2 Sep 2016 by Mr David Brentnall (Author), Ann Fullick (Author).

Science - Key Stage 5 - A Level

Science - A-Level

We study the EdExcel Biology B specification of study.  The course enables our students to demonstrate and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills for each of the topics, which cover fundamental areas of biology, such as cells, biological molecules, transport and classification.

In addition, they will be expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific information, ideas and evidence using their knowledge, understanding and skills.

We study the EdExcel Biology B specification of study.  The course enables our students to demonstrate and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills for each of the topics, which cover fundamental areas of biology, such as cells, biological molecules, transport and classification.

In addition, they will be expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific information, ideas and evidence using their knowledge, understanding and skills.

Advanced Level EdExcel Biology is a linear qualification, which is externally assessed with 3 examinations at the end of year 13.  In conjunction with the exams, students will carry out 16 core practical experiments, which will be assessed internally but will also form part of the external examination.

Paper 1 (1 hour 45 minutes) will examine the following topics:

● Topic 1: Biological Molecules

● Topic 2: Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things

● Topic 3: Classification and Biodiversity

● Topic 4: Exchange and Transport

● Topic 5: Energy for Biological Processes

● Topic 6: Microbiology and Pathogens

● Topic 7: Modern Genetics.

 

Paper 2 ( 1 hour 45 minutes) will examine the following topics:

● Topic 1: Biological Molecules

● Topic 2: Cells, Viruses and Reproduction of Living Things

● Topic 3: Classification and Biodiversity

● Topic 4: Exchange and Transport

● Topic 8: Origins of Genetic Variation

● Topic 9: Control Systems

● Topic 10: Ecosystems.

 

Paper 3 (2 hours 30 minutes) will examine Topics 1−10 as well as questions that target the conceptual and theoretical

understanding of experimental methods.

 

Throughout the 2 year study we also use Low Stake Testing at the start of every lesson to consolidate synoptic and current learning.  We use Progress tests throughout the modules to track student’s strengths and weaknesses as well as at the end of topics students will sit an end of topic test which is composed of past advanced level questioning.

Our students cover ethical topics such as STEM cells, genetic engineering, uses of animals in experiments both in school 9 e.g. optional locust dissection) and for research purposes as well as opportunities to discuss environmental issues such as human impact on the environment.  In addition our students visit “Operation Live” which is a full day of what life would be like being a medical professional from administering anesthetics, to dissecting a brain.  We aim to take students to Wembury beach to experience research activities as part of 2 of their Core practical tasks and when permitted a visit to the Electron microscope unit at the University to supplement Topic 2s work on cytology

We provide our students with two textbooks over the 2 year study programme along with an EdExcel endorsed workbook.  Revision guides are available to purchase through ParentPay.

We also offer lunchtime / afterschool revision sessions in the lead up to their exams.

We follow the OCR B (Salter) specification of study.  The Salters course is designed to link motivational up to date contexts to the key concepts required for A level Chemistry.  Ideas are introduced in a spiral way with topics introduced in an early part of the course reinforced later.  The first two units in year 12 consolidate GCSE knowledge and extend it.  The following 3 units introduce the rest of the key concepts required

This course is context driven so students meet new concepts linked to a real life situation.  In year 12 the topics are Elements of Life, Developing fuels, Atmosphere, Elements from the Sea and What’s in a medicine. 

In year 13 students cover The Chemical Industry, Polymers and Life, Oceans, Developing Metals and Colour by Design.

This course is context driven so students meet new concepts linked to a real life situation.  In year 12 the topics are Elements of Life, Developing fuels, Atmosphere, Elements from the Sea and What’s in a medicine. 

In year 13 students cover The Chemical Industry, Polymers and Life, Oceans, Developing Metals and Colour by Design.

Our impact on the environment is a key context for the course as well as learning what improvements the chemical industry has made and continues to make.  Students will have the opportunity to visit Plymouth university as part of the analytical chemistry completion.

Students have online access to the textbook and other resources via Kerboodle.  Revision guides are available.  Student have access to an online form to share queries with other students / staff.

Our students follow a content-led approach.  This is a flexible approach where the specification is divided into topics, each covering different key concepts of physics. As our learners progress through the course they will build on their knowledge of the laws of Physics, applying their understanding to solve problems on topics ranging from sub-atomic particles to the entire universe as well as cover the Practical Endorsement which develops practical skills.

 

Our learners are taught

  • To develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject and how they relate to each other
  • To develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • To develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • To develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the subject, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • To understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the sciences contribute to the success of the economy and society.

 

The course enables our students to demonstrate and apply the knowledge, understanding and skills for each of the topics, which cover fundamental areas of physics, such as mechanics, materials, electrical circuits, quantum physics and waves

We study the OCR Physics A specification of study.  It is a linear qualification, which is assessed with 3 examinations at the end of year 13. In addition, they will be expected to analyse, interpret and evaluate a range of scientific information, ideas and evidence using their knowledge, understanding and skills.

In Year 12:

Module 1: Development of practical skills (this forms part of every teaching module throughout the course.)

Module 2: Fundamentals of physics.

  • Quantities and Units
  • Derived units
  • Scalar and Vector quantities
  • Adding and resolving vectors

Module 3: Forces and Motion

  • Motion – speed, velocity, acceleration, free fall, projectiles, car stopping distances.
  • Forces in action – mass, weight, centre of mass, drag and terminal velocity, moments, couples and torques, density, pressure, Archimedes principle.
  • Work, energy and power – Work done, conservation of energy, kinetic and gravitational potential energy, power and efficiency.
  • Materials – springs and Hooke’s law, elastic potential energy, deforming materials, stress-strain and Young’s modulus.

Module 4: Electrons, Waves and Photons

  • Charge and current – charge, current, Kirchoff’s first Law, mean drift velocity.
  • Energy, power and resistance – potential difference and EMF, resistance, I-V characteristics, diodes, resistance and resistivity, the thermistor, the LDR, Electrical Energy and power, paying for electricity.
  • Electrical circuits – Kirchoff’s laws and circuits, combining resistors, internal resistance, Potential divider and sensor circuits.
  • Waves – wave properties, reflection, refraction and refractive index, total internal reflection, diffraction, polarisation, Intensity, superposition and interference, stationary waves and harmonics.
  • Quantum Physics – the photon model, photoelectric effect, wave particle duality

In Year 13:

Module 5: Newtonian world and Astrophysics

  • Thermal Physics – temperature, solids, liquids and gases, internal energy, specific heat capacity and specific latent heat.
  • Ideal Gases – kinetic theory of gases, gas laws, root mean squared speed and the Boltzmann constant.
  • Circular motion – angular velocity and acceleration, centripetal forces
  • Oscillations – oscillations, SHM, damping and driving, and resonance.
  • Gravitational Fields – Newton’s law of gravitation, gravitational field strength, Kepler’s Laws, satellites, gravitational potential and gravitational potential energy.
  • Stars – Objects in the universe, lifecycle of stars, Hertzsprung-Russell diagrams, spectra and analysing starlight, stellar luminosity.
  • Cosmology – Astronomical distance, the Doppler effect, Hubble’s law, The big bang theory and evolution of a universe.

Module 6: Particles and Medical Physics

  • Capacitance – capacitors, energy stored by capacitors, charging and discharging capacitors, uses of capacitors.
  • Electric fields – electric fields, Coulomb’s law, charged particles in uniform fields, electric potential and energy.
  • Magnetic fields – Magnetic fields, charged particles in magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction, Faraday’s and Lenz’s laws, Transformers.
  • Particle Physics – The nucleus and alpha particle scattering, Antiparticles, hadrons and leptons, quarks, beta decay.
  • Radioactivity – nuclear decay equations, half-life and activity, radioactive decay, modelling radioactive decay, radioactive dating.
  • Nuclear physics – Einstein’s equation, binding energy, nuclear fission and fusion.
  • Medical Imaging – X-rays and their interaction with matter, Cat scans, The gamma camera, PET scans, ultrasound and acoustic impedance, Doppler imaging, MRI.

Low stakes testing at the start of each lesson allows staff to monitor the ability of students to recall key facts and definitions. Summary questions are set regularly for home learning in order to continually monitor student understanding.

At the end of each topic, students will have an assessment consisting of past exam questions in order to assess their progress.

Internal Exams are completed in June/July of Y12 and again in January of Y13.

All content is examined in three external exam papers in May/June of Y13.

Year 12 students have the opportunity to get involved in the Engineering Excellence scheme, which involves working with local engineering companies in order to design and build something to solve a particular problem. Students then present their ideas and are judged by a judging panel and other teams.

STEM ambassadors come in from the local hospital in order to show students some of their imaging equipment and technology.

Students are given a username and password to access online text books and resources via www.kerboodle.com

Each year group has a dedicated drop in session where they can came and ask for support when it is needed.