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Charles Darwin School

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Science

Course Overview

Science is a core subject delivered across all three key stages. In the KS3 years topics are taught from each of the three science areas, biology, chemistry and physics. The yearly teaching programmes for years 7 and 8 are organised into units of differing lengths. They each provide strong links with the key stage science National Curriculum. Pupils are also able to develop their scientific investigation skills through class experiments linked into the topic of study. Interwoven into all investigation are opportunities to develop student’s analytical and evaluative skills and develop their understanding of scientific techniques.

Science is delivered, successfully, at GCSE and four specialist sciences at A level. Within all courses high quality teaching, access to a wide range of resources, strong subject knowledge and a passionate delivery ensures we are able to facilitate a high level of learning. There are also various opportunities for trips that facilitate learning and give pupils the chance to see how science is used within society.
 

 Key stage 3 science

Each year will study the topics listed below, with each group/set following a slightly different order. Three to four weeks are spent on each topic.

Year 7 topics
Cells—the building blocks of life
Eating, drinking and breathing
Getting the energy the body needs
Mixing, dissolving and separating
Elements, compounds & reactions
Forces and their effects
Exploring contact and non contact forces
Energy transfers and sound
Year 8 topics
Looking at plants and ecosystems
Variation for survival
Our health and the effect of drugs
Explaining Chemical changes
Explaining physical changes
Obtaining useful materials
Using our earth sustainably
Magnetism and electricity
Motion on earth and in space
Waves and energy transfer

Note:  The Year 8 programme will continue into the autumn/spring terms of Year 9 following by a spring term assessment. Year 9 then move onto Key Stage 4 Science in the summer term.

Assessment
There will be short tests on each topic throughout Key Stage 3. Year 7  & 8 will sit Christmas, Easter  and end of year exams (June) using SAT-style questions.

 GCSE

AQA science double award – pupils will study 2 units each for chemistry, physics and biology disciplines; additionally 2 practical assessments will be undertaken.

AQA triple award - pupils will study 3 units each for chemistry, physics and biology disciplines; additionally 3 practical assessments will be undertaken.

pupils studying under the new GCSE Science curriculum to be assessed from summer 2018 are taking the following courses:

AQA Combined Science: Trilogy

Pupils will study two units for each biology, chemistry and physics disciplines. There is no coursework and the assessment is evenly spread across six 1 hour 15 minute papers.

 

AQA Separate Sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Physics

Pupils will study two units containing extra content beyond the Combined course for each Biology, Chemistry and Physics subject. There is no coursework and the assessment is evenly spread across two 1 hour 45 minute papers in each of the three subjects that they are working towards.

 A Level

A level courses/topics
New A level courses are being introduced for science disciplines for examination from summer 2016.

AQA Biology

1 year course (AS qualification): Specification 7401
Module 1 – Biological Molecules
Module 2 – Cells
Module 3 – Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Module 4 – Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Modules 1-4 are assessed through 2 examinations.

2 year course (A-level biology A): Specification 7402
Module 1 – Biological Molecules
Module 2 – Cells
Module 3 – Organisms exchange substances with their environment
Module 4 – Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
Module 5 – Energy transfers in and between organisms
Module 6 – Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
Module 7 – Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
Module 8 – The control of gene expression
A level practical endorsement
Modules 1-8 are assessed through 3 examinations.
The A level practical endorsement is continuously assessed over the 2 year course.


OCR Chemistry

1 year course (AS qualification): Specification H032
Module 1 – Development of practical skills
Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
Modules 1-4 are assessed through 2 examinations.
2 year course (A-level chemistry A): Specification H432
Module 1 – Development of practical skills
Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis
A level practical endorsement
Modules 1-6 are assessed through 3 examinations.
The A level practical endorsement is continuously assessed over the 2 year course.

OCR Physics

1 year course (AS qualification): Specification H156
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in physics
Module 2 – Foundations of physics
Module 3 – Forces and motion
Module 4 – Electrons, waves and photons
Modules 1-4 are assessed through 2 examinations.
2 year course (A-level chemistry A): Specification H556
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in physics
Module 2 – Foundations of physics
Module 3 – Forces and motion
Module 4 – Electrons, waves and photons
Module 5 – Newtonian world and astrophysics
Module 6 – Particles and medical physics
A level practical endorsement
Modules 1-6 are assessed through 3 examinations.
The A level practical endorsement is continuously assessed over the 2 year course.

AQA Applied Science

A-level Applied Science offers students the chance to concentrate on some of the vocational aspects of Science. As well as being ideal for students seeking a broad background in Science, it also suits those entering this vocational area for the first time.

A-level Applied Science is a good choice for students considering higher education in any Science-based course, including: Biochemical Sciences, Chemistry, Food Technology, Human Physiology, Nursing, Sports Science, Materials Science, and Medical Physics.

AS GCE  (3 Units)

UNIT 1 - Investigating Science at Work (coursework unit )
• The types of organisation which use science
• How science is used in organisations
• How health and safety regulations are used in the workplace
• How the organisation impacts on the local community

UNIT 2 - Energy Transfer Systems* (exam unit)
• The structure and function of the circulatory and respiratory systems
• How to find out about physiological status through monitoring
• The process of respiration
• Ethical issues relating to monitoring, diagnosis and treatment of the circulatory and respiratory systems Imaging methods used in monitoring and diagnosis
• Applications of energy transfer

UNIT 3 - Finding out about substances (Coursework Unit)
• How to obtain and prepare samples for analysis
• Qualitative chemical analysis
• Volumetric analysis
• Chromatographic techniques
• Colorimetric techniques
• Energy changes that take place when substances react

Advanced Level GCE  (3 AS  and an additional 3 A2 Units)

UNIT 1 - Investigating Science at Work
UNIT 2 - Energy Transfer Systems*
UNIT 3 - Finding out about substances

Plus

UNIT 7 - Planning and Carrying out a Scientific Investigation (coursework Unit)
• How to plan an investigation
• How to carry out the investigation
• Recording and processing the data obtained
• Evaluating and drawing conclusions from the investigation
• Presenting the outcomes of the investigation

UNIT 14 - The Healthy Body (exam unit)
How basic homeostatic mechanisms maintain a healthy body

Cellular respiration

How to monitor concentrations of substances in the blood
• blood pH
• oxygen saturation
• blood glucose
How a healthy diet helps to maintain a healthy body

Monitoring the levels of cholesterol, vitamins and minerals in the body

The structure and function of the digestive system
 
UNIT 16 - Ecology, Conservation and Recycling (coursework Unit)

This unit involves a residential field trip to Norfolk to investigate the ecology of sand dunes and the impact of humans on the environment

The type and populations of organisms that live in a habitat
The relationships of organisms with their physical and biological environment
Environmental change and damage
Managing conservation
Recycling materials

 FAQ

Q. Why choose the subject?  

  • Core subject that encompasses topics from all 3 disciplines of science
  • Enables pupils to develop their investigative skills
  • Specific science route is matched to pupils’ ability and learning style
  • Pupils gain a greater understanding of how science influences the world around them
  • Pupils discover interests in specific scientific fields
  • A level opportunities enable a more in depth study of specific science (biology, chemistry or physics) or a combination of the three (applied science)
  • Allows for advance to further education or career opportunities in science based industries.

Q. Can I study towards three separate science GCSes in bBiology, Chemistry and Physics?
A. Assessments through year 7 and 8 will identify those pupils who are given the opportunity to follow the triple science route.

Q. What grades do I need to study sciences at A-level?
A. You must achieve a Grade B or above to study biology, chemistry or physics at A level. The applied science pre-requisite is a Grade C or above.

Q. Are experiments completed in every lesson?
A. Teachers aim to use as much practical work as they can that can be linked in with specific topics. However, not all experiments are viable within the constraints of the school laboratory. In this instance we do use clips or interactive displays to support pupils learning.

Q. Will I dissect a frog?
A. At the moment, pupils do not dissect whole organisms at KS3/4. They do have the opportunity to examine the structure of the eye or specific organs within the body like the heart and kidneys. Pupils are always encouraged to participate in practical work but more squeamish pupils can be excused with their teachers’ permission.

Q. Do I have to study science?
A. Science is a core subject along with English and Maths therefore all pupils need to complete the subject up to GCSE level.

Q. Who will teach me? 
A. Miss H Candy, Mr S Culver, Mr D Davis, Mr A Doig, Miss F Evans, Miss A Jones, Mrs G Jones, Mr R Jones, Mrs F Lussier-Foy, Mrs K Mackay, Dr R Piercy, Miss K Sampson and Mr S Tilley,

 useful links