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Science

There are two science options at key stage 4. Approximately half of students will study combined science GCSE which will give them 2 GCSE grades. The other half will study separate biology, chemistry and physics GCSEs which will give them 3 GCSE grades.

Time Allocation:

Triple science students have 7 hours of science per week. They will be taught by a biology teacher, chemistry teacher and physics teacher. Two of the teachers will teach them for 2 hours per week and the third teacher will teach them for 3 hours per week. The 3 hour teacher will spend some extra lesson time working on practical skills and "working scientifically" skills.

Combined science students have 5 hours of science per week. They will be taught by two science teachers; one for 3 hours per week and one for 2 hours per week. The two teachers will share the teaching of the biology, chemistry and physics topics.

Exam Board: AQA

Course Content: Dependent on choice (see below)

“Triple Award” – Separate GCSE Awards in Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

1. Cell biology

2. Organisation

3. Infection and response

4. Bioenergetics

5. Homeostasis and response

6. Inheritance, variation and evolution

7. Ecology

1. Atomic structure and the periodic table

2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

3. Quantitative chemistry

4. Chemical changes

5. Energy changes

6. The rate and extent of chemical change

7. Organic chemistry

8. Chemical analysis

9. Chemistry of the atmosphere

10. Using resources

1. Energy

2. Electricity

3. Particle model of matter

4. Atomic structure

5. Forces

6. Waves

7. Magnetism and electromagnetism

8. Space physics

For more information on the course please use the exam board links below:

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

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

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

“Double Award” - Combined Science (trilogy)

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

1. Cell biology

2. Organisation

3. Infection and response

4. Bioenergetics

5. Homeostasis and response

6. Inheritance, variation and evolution

7. Ecology

1. Atomic structure and the periodic table

2. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

3. Quantitative chemistry

4. Chemical changes

5. Energy changes

6. The rate and extent of chemical change

7. Organic chemistry

8. Chemical analysis

9. Chemistry of the atmosphere

10. Using resources

1. Energy

2. Electricity

3. Particle model of matter

4. Atomic structure

5. Forces

6. Waves

7. Magnetism and electromagnetism

For more information on the course please use the exam board link below:

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

Homework:

Homework is set in line with the published homework timetable and could be based on the following:

  • Researching scientific concepts
  • Processing data
  • Writing practical methods
  • Completing calculations
  • Answering exam questions

Formative Assessment:

Regular testing of students at the end of each topic is undertaken using exam resource material from AQA’s online exampro software. After each assessment pupils will be asked to make full corrections to the exam papers using mark schemes or model answers. They will also be asked to complete "feedback tasks" that have been created to enable the pupils to work on the skills or knowledge that the pupils struggle with in the assessment.

 Summative Assessment:

In the new science specification, that students are now studying, there is no coursework component. In its place, students have to complete a series of "required practicals" that are set by the exam board. These will be assessed in the written papers at the end of the course.

In year 11 triple science students will sit two 1 hour 45 minute exam papers in each of the three sciences. The combined science students will sit six 1 hour 15 minute papers that cover the biology, chemistry and physics topics.

For more details about the assessment structure, please visit the exam board websites above.

The assessment will take place at the end of Year 11

Revision Resources:

The science department have a GoogleDrive account that contains a wide range of revision resources. Please use the Year 11 revision page section of the website or ClassCharts to get this link.

Broadening, widening and deepening:

Students begin their GCSE studies at the start of year 9. We take full advantage of this additional year of key stage 4. Examples include:

Broadening:

  • Students undertake regular practical work that goes above and beyond what is required by the specification. The time gained from an additional year has enabled students to complete class practicals where previously a demonstration would have had to be given. This extra practical work enables them to work on their team-working, problem solving, analysis and evaluation skills, all of which are crucial for the world of work.
  • The increased time has allowed a greater emphasis on pupils planning their own experiments. This means that rather than just following written instructions, pupils are able to apply their "working scientifically" skills to novel contexts. An example is the opportunity for pupils to plan their own plant growth practical to address a research question in class. 

Widening:

  • Students are taught topics that go beyond the specification but enable them to fully understand the world in which we live in. E.g. how heat is transferred through conduction, convection and radiation.
  • Students are given opportunities to discuss and research scientific topics that are outside of the specification. E.g. researching "HeLa cells" to examine the ethics of biological specimens being taken without consent. 

Deepening:

  • The extra practical work that the pupils are able to complete also enables them to gain a deeper insight into how scientific theory works in practice. An example of this would be completing multiple titration practicals in chemistry. By repeating different variations of the same experiment they gain a much deeper understanding of the equipment used, the practical techniques utilised and the way to analyse the measurements that they take.
  • Students are shown numerous demonstrations that reinforce their understanding of physical concepts. For example, in physics the Van de Graaf generator is used multiple times to demonstrate the different properties of static electricity.

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What you will get out of studying Science:

This is an exciting course which allows you the opportunity to explore the world around you. You will cover all aspects of a good science education: evaluating evidence; the implications of science for society; explaining, theorising and modelling in science; and procedural and technical knowledge of science practice.

What skills profile a GCSE Science student should have:

A successful Science student will be curious, well organised, methodical and imaginative. They will have good practical skill, with a desire to solve problems independently, and able to analyse and evaluate their work. They should also have good English and Mathematics skills.

What opportunities will a GCSE in Science lead to:

A Science qualification offers students the ability to develop good science knowledge, understanding and the skills needed for adult life, but they also offer a good basis for further study. The skills gathered throughout the course are numerous and attractive to all employers from a health and safety point of view through to practical, analytical and problem solving abilities. Possible career paths include: Medicine, Dentistry, Design, Politics, Zoology, Engineering, Horticulture, Aeronautics, Teaching, Architecture, Research, Forensic Science, Mechanics........to name only a few!

Famous Scientists include:

Professor Heinz Wolff, Sir David Attenborough, Dr Michael Mosley, Dr Marie Curie, Professor Robert Winston (who has spoken at the school), Professor Brian Cox, Dr Henrietta Leavett, Professor Stephen Hawking, Dr Samit Bose, Albert Einstein.               

For more information, contact Mr J Cronin – Curriculum Leader for Science