Cockburn John Charles Academy

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:

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

Reproduction
The life cycle of a human, the changes that occur during puberty and the process of reproduction.

Variation and classification
Classifying organisms according to their features, creating a classification key and identifying inherited and environmental features.

Acids and alkalis
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.

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.

States of matter
Identify objects as solids, liquids and gases. Explain how an object can change state and produce a melting curve for ice/chocolate.

Energy
Identify renewable and non-renewable energy sources for producing electricity. Describe how humans get their energy and which foods contain most energy

Electricity
Construct series and parallel circuits, explain the changes in bulb brightness and current readings in circuits. Explain how energy is produced

Solar system and the Earth’s Climate
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. Describe how and why the climate is changing on the Earth and the consequences for this.

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 every six weeks, on two 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 once they have completed four of the topics mentioned above 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 3

Year 8

What will my child learn about in Science this year?
Students will be taught a range of scientific topics in year 8 to bridge the gap between key stage two and key stage three. The following are taught throughout year 8:

Digestion
Understand the role of different organs and enzymes in the digestive system

Respiration
Explain the need for cells to respire so that we can continue to ‘work.’ Explain the difference between aerobic (with oxygen) and anaerobic (without oxygen) respiration

Microbes
The dangers of viruses, bacteria and fungi (microbes).  The uses of bacteria and fungi. Explain how to stop/prevent the spread of disease

Elements and compounds.
Explore the structure of the periodic table and how it was constructed by the scientist-Mendeleev. Identify substances as compound, element or mixture. Construct simple formulae for compounds (e.g. CO2)

Heat
Explore the different ways of preventing heat loss in the home using the process of conduction, convection and radiation.

Light
Construct light ray diagrams for refraction (bending light), reflection (mirrors) and dispersion (making rainbows).  Understand how cameras work.

Sound
Understand the danger involved in exposing the ear to loud sounds frequently. Shown what a sound wave looks like on an oscilloscope and identify the pitch and volume of different sounds.

Reactions
Learn that although metals react in a similar way with oxygen, water and acids, some react more readily than others. Establish and use a reactivity series for metals. Represent chemical reactions by word and/or symbol equations

Inheritance and variation
Understand that characteristics are inherited and how this is used in selective breeding. Why selective breeding is important. About variations arising from environmental differences.

Forces
Identify the origin of friction, air resistance, up thrust and weight and describe situations in which these forces act. Distinguish between mass and weight. Identify situations in which forces are balanced and unbalanced

Electromagnets
Investigate factors affecting the strength of an electromagnet. Explain the working of a number of devices that use magnets and electromagnets

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 every six weeks, on a topic that they have covered in class.  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 once they have completed four of the topics mentioned above to ensure that the learning has not 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 in 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 should be 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

Curricula at Key Stage 4 should comprise approximately equal proportions of biology, chemistry and physics. The relevant mathematical skills required are covered in the programme of study for mathematics and should be 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 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 and informing students of the role of science in understanding the causes of and solutions to some of the challenges facing society.

The scope and nature of their study should be broad, coherent, practical and rigorous, so that students are inspired and challenged by the subject and its achievements.

Year 9

What will my child learn in science?
During Year 9 students will be preparing to sit their AQA Trilogy 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, digestion, circulation, cancer and its affects, photosynthesis and metabolism.

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 and the uses/production of electricity.

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 twice a week in all topics listed above over the academic year.  They will have a ‘mid-topic’ test mid-way through their learning and an End of Unit test at the end of the content.  The cycle lasts for approximately 6 weeks with each topic taught.  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).

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 Bioenergetics topics.

In Chemistry, students will study quantitative chemistry, chemical changes, energy changes, the rate and extent of chemical change and the chemistry of the atmosphere.

In Physics, students will study forces, waves and magnetism, electricity, particle model of matter and the atomic structure.

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 twice a week in all topics listed above over the academic year.  They will have a ‘mid-topic’ test mid-way through their learning and an End of Unit test at the end of the content.  The cycle lasts for approximately 6 weeks with each topic taught.  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).

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 in the last two terms of the year 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 twice a week in all topics listed above over the academic year.  They will have a ‘mid-topic’ test mid-way through their learning and an End of Unit test at the end of the content.  The cycle lasts for approximately 6 weeks with each topic taught.  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).

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.