The KS3 units taught have been written by the science department to cover the key content that will then be built on through GCSE. The units focus on the core knowledge as well as the core skills that are important in science – developing and conducting scientific investigations, applying mathematics to scenarios and building scientific vocabulary
The following units are completed in year 7:
1. How alive are you? This covers the key differences between animals, plants and single-celled organisms.
2. How to stay alive? This unit covers diet, health and how organisms stay alive.
3. How life is made? This unit covers the basics of the human reproductive system.
4. How do fireworks work? This covers the core ideas of atoms, elements, compounds and how they interact to be used in reactions.
5. Chemistry of the home – this involves the reactions that students might see around them in the home and in everyday life.
6. What makes a good buggy? This unit includes basic forces acting on objects and how these forces interact to move objects.
7. How energy travels – this covers sound and light travel as well as how we hear and see.
8. Energy in the world – this unit involves the different stores of energy in the world and how we can use resources to produce electricity.
The following units are completed in year 8:
1. Improving on life – content includes how organisms are able to release energy and improve themselves
2. Designing life – this unit looks at genetics and evolution
3. How life interacts – this unit covers the core information about how organisms interact with other living organisms as well as the non-living factors around them
4. Kitchen chemistry – this investigates all the chemistry involved in cooking and chemical reactions that take place in the kitchen
5. Chemistry of the future – this unit encourages students to investigate new ways that chemistry can be used to solve problems in the world
6. How do we use electricity? This unit covers the basics of electricity, magnetism and electromagnets
7. Our place in the Universe is the unit that looks at space and the phenomena within the Universe
8. Forces and Motion – delves more deeply into forces and how they interact as well as speed and buoyancy.
Year 9 students start the year (terms 1 & 2) by completing a bespoke course aimed at encouraging independent thinking where there is no right or wrong answer, but an answer that relies on their explanation and using reasoning to back it up. The Build Your Own Organism course is designed to revisit some of the key concepts but in a way that links them together to start comparing organisms and using evidence to justify which is best and why, depending on the conditions.
After this, year 9 students complete the first 3 units of GCSE:
B1 – Cell Biology
C1 – Atomic structure and the periodic table
P1 – Energy
GCSE content is started in year to allow for the content to be covered at a slightly slower pace to ensure retention and understanding. These units are the building blocks of the remainder of the GCSE course.
Students will be embarking on one of two pathways currently available: AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy or AQA GCSE Separate Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics). As such, all students will be aiming to gain either two or three GCSE qualifications in Science. Full details of course content and assessment is available from the AQA website. Links to specific pathways are listed below.
Pathway 1: AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy – students will gain two GCSE qualifications at the end of Y11. All exams will take place in May/June of Y11. Students will sit six exams – 2 biology, 2 chemistry and 2 physics – each 1hr 15 mins in length. Students will complete a range of required practicals as guided by the exam board, as well as completing a more formal written assessment at the end of each unit of work. The units of work for Combined Science: Trilogy are to be found following this link:
Pathway 2: Biology + Chemistry + Physics – Students will gain three GCSE qualifications at the end of Y11. All exams will take place in May/June of Y11. Students will sit six exams – 2 biology, 2 chemistry and 2 physics – each 1hr 45 mins in length. Students will complete a range of required practicals as guided by the exam board, as well as completing a more formal written assessment at the end of each unit of work. The units of work for each of the Sciences are to be found following these links:
Students are able to study a combination of Biology, Chemistry or Physics at AS/A2 level. The application and entry process into the sixth form is managed by the sixth form team, so they will be best placed to advise students on entry requirements and subject combinations. We also host a scheduled sixth form open evening each year. However, feel free to discuss post 16 education in the Sciences with your teachers at any time. There will also be A-Level subject taster sessions provided to Y10 students throughout the year and these sessions will enable students to work with current Y12 and 13 students. All A-Level students also have the opportunity to work with younger students in the school to support Science as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineernig and Maths) Ambassadors. This is a highly worthwhile pursuit and is also a great opportunity enhance university applications through providing a service to others.
This course follows the AQA specification, which can be found using this link: Biology - 7401, 7402
This course follows the AQA specification, which can be found using this link: Chemistry - 7404, 7405
This course follows the AQA specification, which can be found using this link: Physics - 7407, 7408