Science

Purpose of study:
The principal focus of science teaching in Key Stage 3 is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students should begin to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding. Examples of these big ideas are the 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. They should be encouraged to relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations.

Students should understand that science is about working objectively, modifying explanations to take account of new evidence and ideas and subjecting results to peer review. Students should decide on the appropriate type of scientific enquiry to undertake to answer their own questions and develop a deeper understanding of factors to be taken into account when collecting, recording and processing data. They should evaluate their results and identify further questions arising from them.

‘Working scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Teachers should feel free to choose examples that serve a variety of purposes, from showing how scientific ideas have developed historically to reflecting modern developments in science.

Students should develop their use of scientific vocabulary, including the use of scientific nomenclature and units and mathematical representations.

Working scientifically
Through the content across all three disciplines, students should be taught to:

Scientific attitudes:

  • pay attention to objectivity and concern for accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility
  • understand that scientific methods and theories develop as earlier explanations are modified to take account of new evidence and ideas, together with the importance of publishing results and peer review
  • evaluate risks

Experimental skills and investigations:

  • ask questions and develop a line of enquiry based on observations of the real world, alongside prior knowledge and experience
  • make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding
  • select, plan and carry out the most appropriate types of scientific enquiries to test predictions, including identifying independent, dependent and control variables
  • use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during fieldwork and laboratory work, paying attention to health and safety
  • make and record observations and measurements using a range of methods for different investigations; and evaluate the reliability of methods and suggest possible improvements
  • apply sampling techniques

Analysis and evaluation:

  • apply mathematical concepts and calculate results
  • present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs
  • interpret observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data to draw conclusions
  • present reasoned explanations, including explaining data in relation to predictions and hypotheses
  • evaluate data, showing awareness of potential sources of random and systematic error
  • identify further questions arising from their results

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will my child learn about in Science this year?
Students will be taught a range of scientific topics in year 7 to bridge the gap between key stage two and key stage three. The following are taught throughout year 7:

Organisms
The structure of cells using a microscope and the role of different parts of a cell. In addition how cells become organ systems.

Genes
The life cycle of a human, the changes that occur during puberty and the process of reproduction. Describe environmental changes that occur in plants and animals and identifying inherited and environmental features.

Reactions
The different reactions that can occur between substances. This will include reactions between metals and oxygen, also metals and acids. This topic will give students the opportunity to construct word equations for reactions.

Identify substances as acids, alkaline or neutral. Make their own indicators using red cabbage. Explore a range of different indicators such as litmus and universal indicators.

Matter
Identify objects as solids, liquids and gases. Explain how an object can change state and produce a melting curve for ice/chocolate. The topic will also include ways in which substances are separated.

Energy

Identifies why our body needs energy and fuel and looks at where animals get their food from. The topic covers common appliances that are run on electricity. Also within this topic pupils will study; the force of gravity, air resistance, water resistance and friction.

Electromagnets
Construct series and parallel circuits, explain the changes in bulb brightness and current readings in circuits. This topic will also include components in a circuit and how we can use electricity to do different jobs. The topic will also explain electric charges and shocks.

Earth

Explain why we get day/night and seasons. Identify the different planets in the solar system. In addition describe briefly what is in the universe. This topic will also look at rock formation linking it to the rock cycle.

Ecosystem

Looks at the environment and how this gives us things we need to live, such as: food, water and shelter. The topic explains how we share our environment with different types of animals and plants. The ecosystem looks at the life cycle of a flowering plant including reproductive parts of a plant.

Forces

This topic is about the links between the Moon orbiting the Earth and a falling object on Earth. The topic will also explain forces, how they rise and how they change the motion of an object. The topic will look at speed and how to tell a story with a graph.

Waves

Explain waves and speed of sound and light using a thunderstorm. It will link sound and hearing and how this is affected by pitch and loudness. Light will be explained using a variety of materials to explain how light behaves.

What type of homework will be set?
All students will receive homework weekly. This can be in the form of completing a worksheet which either reinforces or further enhances the learning done in class. Furthermore homework tasks include revision for an upcoming test. Some topics lend themselves to an extended project homework task that students would continue to complete at home alongside the learning done in class.

How will my child be assessed in Science?
All students are assessed approximately every six weeks, on topics that they have covered in class. This ensures assessment of learning over time.  They would then be given an opportunity to reflect on their learning and any misconceptions are addressed, before moving onto the next learning cycle. Students will also be tested half termly/termly on all topics covered over that time to ensure that the learning has been embedded. Furthermore at the end of the year all of the topics listed above are assessed in the ‘end of year exam.’

How can I support my child’s learning at home?
Science contains a lot of abstract ideas and keywords therefore you could support your child by testing their learning. This could be done in the form of flashcards or students writing out answers to pre-made questions.

 

Year 8

What will my child learn about in Science this year?

Students will be studying the brand new AQA GCSE accredited course for KS3 during 2019-2020. We are extremely excited to be launching this scheme of work this year based on the success of the New Year 7 Scheme of work which was implemented in the department last year.

Students will be taught a range of Biology, Chemistry and Physics which build on last year’s topics, further preparing students with the skills and knowledge needed for success at GCSE next year.

Forces

Understanding how pushes and pulls affect the world around us. Explaining and modelling physics in everyday life including concepts such as; drag, friction, elastic energy, pressure in solids and modelling terminal velocity using parachutes.

Electromagnets

What causes something to be magnetic or magnetised? How can we investigate the strength of bar magnets and electromagnets? What are some of the everyday applications of magnets and how do we use them? Additionally, students will study the right hand rule which explains how electricity is used to create magnetic fields from GCSE.

Energy

Students will describe and explain how energy is transferred and conserved in its many different forms, from work done to energy transfers in chemical reactions. Students will also use Physics equations from GCSE to get to grips early with Maths in Science; a large percentage of the new AQA GCSE course. This topic will also offer the opportunity to investigate classic concepts of heat transfer; conduction, convection and radiation.

Waves

How is energy transferred? How does energy and information move through the air without us being able to see it? What is a wave and how can we model and describe their behaviour? All questions which students will be able to answer in preparation for Physics GCSE. Students will also understand the electromagnetic spectrum, dangers of radiation and uses of waves in our everyday lives.

Matter

Within this topic students begin to further understand atoms, elements and compounds. They will understand the extraordinary things that chemical elements do and the reason why all things react in Chemistry; the explosive and volatile Alkali Metals, the Salt-forming Halogens and the Inert Noble Gases.

Reactions

Further building on their knowledge of the reactivity of the groups of the periodic table, students will develop practical skills through investigating more chemical reactions. Thermal decomposition, Combustion reactions and investigating how energy is released and absorbed in Chemical reactions called ‘exothermic’ and ‘endothermic’ form the main parts of this topic.

Earth

What effect are humans having on the atmosphere around us? What are we doing about it? How will the world change in the next 100 years? How will we live a sustainable future in order for future generations to live in a world which is one worth living in? Huge questions we are posed with as a species that will be discussed in this topic.

Organisms

This topic includes the study of the human Lungs, and how they are adapted for gas exchange. Drugs, alcohol and smoking and their adverse and harmful effects on the human body will also be studied, so that students are encouraged to think critically about choices that people make. Food groups, nutrition and the consequences of an unbalanced diet on the digestive system and human health are also included in the content.

Ecosystems

How do humans respire and gain energy from the food we eat? How is Biotechnology being used to solve modern problems and to mimic Biological systems at their best? How do plants obtain their energy? How can we think and analyse this process critically to better understand and describe it?

Genes

Who are we? Where do we come from? What is our place in this world and how did our ancestors evolve? Where does our DNA come from and how does it set us apart? A fascinating topic where students will get to study the work of famous scientists such as Darwin, Franklin, Watson and Crick and the importance of peer assessment and collaboration in the scientific method.

What type of homework will be set?

All students will receive homework weekly. This can be in the form of completing a worksheet which either reinforces or further enhances the learning done in class. Furthermore homework tasks include revision for an upcoming test. Some topics lend themselves to an extended project homework task that students would continue to complete at home alongside the learning done in class.

How will my child be assessed in Science?

All students are assessed at the end of each topic to ensure assessment of learning over time. They would then be given an opportunity to reflect on their learning and any misconceptions are addressed, before moving onto the next learning cycle. Students will also be tested termly on all topics covered over that time to ensure that the learning has been embedded. Furthermore at the end of the year all of the topics listed above are assessed in the ‘end of year exam.’

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

Science contains a lot of abstract ideas and keywords therefore you could support your child by testing their learning. This could be done in the form of flashcards or students writing out answers to pre-made questions

 

Key Stage 4

Teaching of the sciences in Key Stage 4 continues with the process of building upon and deepening scientific knowledge and the understanding of ideas developed in earlier key stages; in the subject disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

For some students, studying the sciences in Key Stage 4 provides the platform for more advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. For others, it will be their last formal study of subjects that provide the foundations for understanding the natural world and will enhance their lives in an increasingly technological society.

Science is changing our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students should be taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. They should be helped to appreciate the achievements of science in showing how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a number of key ideas relating to the sciences which are inter-linked, and which are of universal application. These key ideas include:

  • the use of conceptual models and theories to make sense of the observed diversity of natural phenomena
  • the assumption that every effect has one or more cause
  • that change is driven by interactions between different objects and systems
  • that many such interactions occur over a distance and over time
  • that science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation, observation, theory development and review
  • that quantitative analysis is a central element both of many theories and of scientific methods of inquiry

The sciences are taught in ways that ensure students have 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 that students:

  • 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, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other environments
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively

The curriculum at Key Stage 4 comprises of approximately equal proportions of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The relevant mathematical skills required are covered in the programme of study for mathematics and are embedded in the science context.

‘Working scientifically’ is described separately at the beginning of the programme of study, but must always be taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study. Teachers choose examples that serve a variety of purposes, from showing how scientific ideas have developed historically, to reflecting modern developments in science.

Year 9

What will my child learn in science?
During Year 9 students will be preparing to sit their AQA Trilogy combined Science 9-1 qualification.  Lessons will focus on delivering the required content of Biology, Chemistry and Physics through theory based lessons.  Other aspects of the skills, knowledge and understanding of How Science Works will be better developed through investigative work.

Over the course of Year 9, Biology will focus on topics including cell biology, organisation in the human body, infection and response, and bioenergetics. In Chemistry, students will study the periodic table, its layout and history, atomic structure, chemical changes and electrolysis. In Physics, content covered will include energy, power, efficiency of machinery, renewable energy, the uses/production of electricity, density and radiation.

What type of homework will be set?
Homework will be allocated at least once a week to all students and will be drawing on their knowledge of the most recent exam content studied and their ability to apply this content.  Tasks such as recall homework, keyword definitions, past exam paper questions and research opportunities will be set to enhance their knowledge and skills in these areas.  Support can be found from their class teachers.

How will my child be assessed in science?
Students will be assessed at the end of each topic with End of Unit assessment. Each of these is graded and returned allowing students developmental time to progress should those topics turn up again in future exams (Red for Reflection time). Twice throughout the year pupils will sit a PPE, (pre public examination) to review long term recall and prepare for the external examinations in year 11.

Year 10

What will me child learn in science?
In Year 10, students continue to study the AQA Trilogy Specification.  Students will deepen and develop their investigative skills through a series of relevant and engaging practical based activities with complement the theory aspect of their learning.

In Biology, students will study DNA, Inheritance, Homeostasis and Response and  evolution. In Chemistry, students will study the rate and extent of chemical change, organic chemistry, chemical analysis, chemistry of the atmosphere and the use of resources. In Physics, students will study forces, waves and magnetism.

What type of homework will be set?
Homework will be allocated at least once a week to all students and will be drawing on their knowledge of the most recent exam content studied and their ability to apply this content.  Tasks such as recall homework, keyword definitions, past exam paper questions and research opportunities will be set to enhance their knowledge and skills in these areas.  Support can be found from their class teachers, but also in the provided resources on FROG to help them complete work effectively and efficiently.

How will my child be assessed in science?

Students will be assessed at the end of each topic with End of Unit assessment. Each of these is graded and returned allowing students developmental time to progress should those topics turn up again in future exams (Red for Reflection time). Twice throughout the year pupils will sit a PPE, (pre public examination) to review long term recall and prepare for the external examinations in year 11.

Year 11

What will me child learn in science?
Students will continue to study a range of subjects across the sciences.  This will build on their previous GCSE knowledge from Years 9 and 10.  A significant part of the year will be spent on developing and improving their exam techniques in preparation for their exams at the end of this course.  Session 7 revision will be supplied at least once a week to support this, and improve their knowledge and confidence in the exams.

What type of homework will be set?
Homework will be allocated at least once a week to all students and will be drawing on their knowledge of the most recent exam content studied and their ability to apply this content.  Tasks such as recall homework, keyword definitions, past exam paper questions and research opportunities will be set to enhance their knowledge and skills in these areas.  Support can be found from their class teachers, but also in the provided online resources to help them complete work effectively and efficiently.

How will my child be assessed in science?

Students will be assessed at the end of each topic with End of Unit assessment. Each of these is graded and returned allowing students developmental time to progress should those topics turn up again in future exams (Red for Reflection time). Twice throughout the year pupils will sit a PPE, (pre public examination) to review long term recall and prepare for the external examinations at the end of the year.


What can my child move onto within Science?
99% of jobs on the career market involve some form of Science.  It is a massive agenda for the Government, and has been for several years, that we raise the profile of this subject as well as Technology and Maths (STEM agenda) as we currently have lots of career opportunities in the UK which require these subjects, but students without the relevant skills and qualifications to fill the required uptake.  Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Science, Research, Economists and just to name a few popular areas.  However, even a field such as Hairdressing needs some scientific knowledge to be successful.  Physics is the widest field where the job market has plenty of opportunities, yet the fewest candidates to fill.  Science is the future for all of us and is one of the most crucial subjects to study because of this.