Science

Staffing

Mr K Finlinson – Head of Science / Head of Biology

Dr S Ireland – Head of Chemistry

Mr S  St John – Head of Physics

Mrs C Bent – Years  7 and 8 Science Coordinator

Mr M R Brennan

Mr A Dawson

Dr M R Gill

Mr B Harnett

Dr A G McConkey

Mr C Munro

Mrs J E Telford

Mrs R L Vowles

Mr P Wakefield

Mr T Buxton (Technician)

Miss O Oladosu (Technician)

Mrs K Wright (Technician)

Key Stage 3 Curriculum

Our Key Stage 3 Science program of study in Years 7 and 8 uses content from the current National Curriculum which provides a scientific basis on which further ideas can be built and which are chosen for their contextual relevance to students of this age. The course provides students with the opportunity to develop a logical approach to problem solving and an appreciation of how to work safely and scientifically.

CYCLE ONE YEAR 7

We begin the course by looking at safe working within a laboratory. This first cycle then introduces students to the human anatomy through work on the muscular and skeletal system. Students will also look at the particle theory of matter and how mixtures may be separated.

 

CYCLE TWO YEAR 7

The second cycle looks at the chemistry of atoms and elements introducing students to the periodic table. The area of energy types and resources is examined with particular reference to sustainability. Cells as the building blocks of living things are then studied alongside the basic biochemistry of respiration and photosynthesis.

 

CYCLE THREE YEAR 7

The ideas associated with the formation and composition of the Earth and its atmosphere are studied with reference to the impact of human activities. The area of cells is expanded on through the study of human and plant reproduction. Students are introduced to the topic of forces through a variety of practical activities.

 

CYCLE ONE YEAR 8

The maintenance of life is expanded on through the study of food and nutrition. Atoms and molecules are revisited through the study of chemical reactions and the topic of energy is built by studying heat transfers.

 

CYCLE TWO YEAR 8

The biochemistry of respiration is revisited by looking at the need for breathing and efficient gas exchange in larger organisms. The topic of light and the universe provides students with the opportunity to look beyond the Earth and finally the topic of Acid and Alkalis allows students the opportunity to develop further their skills of practical Chemistry and its application to everyday life.

 

CYCLE THREE YEAR 8

Looking at inheritance, variation and evolution allows linking back to work covered on reproduction and how living things are more likely to survive and reproduce if they possess adaptations to their environment. The study of sound enables students to look at why sounds are different, the perception of sound by animals and compare the travelling of sound to that of light. The topic of electricity and magnetism provides a solid basis on which they may build as they revisit these topics as part of their GCSE Physics course.

 

 

Key Stage 4 Curriculum

The Key Stage 4 science curriculum is taught as three distinct subjects each leading to a separate GCSE qualification. All students take all three sciences. The courses are taught over three years, Year 9 to Year 11. The decision to start our courses in Year 9 allows time for classes to make links beyond the confines of the specifications.

 

GCSE Biology

Why study Biology at GCSE?

The study of Biology allows the development of an understanding of living things and the logical sequence of life processes. It enables students to understand how their body works and so understand the positive impact of good health and the effects of disease on life forms. It allows students to see the importance of biological systems globally and the impact of human activities on these systems.

Seven broad areas of Biology make up the course content: 1.Cell biology, 2.Organisation, 3.Infection and response, 4.Bioenergetics, 5.Homeostasis and response, 6.Inheritance, variation and evolution and 7.Ecology. The sequencing of allowed topics to be studied in a way that allowed progression over the three years in terms of both complexity of content and in development opportunities for experimental technique. Students are also required to have studied ten required practical activities to help develop understanding through hands-on experience.

GCSE Biology Assessment Summary: 2 x 1 hour 45 min papers. Paper 1 topics 1-4 (50%), Paper 2 topics 5-7 (50%). Exam Board AQA

 

 

 

GCSE Chemistry

Why study Chemistry at GCSE?

The study of Chemistry develops understanding and awareness of how and why a wide range of chemical reactions occur from combustion of fossil fuels to reactions of the halogens. The course is builds on the skills and understanding from KS3.  The study of chemistry also develops student’s wider understanding of how chemistry contributes to life in the 21st century from climate change to development of new technologies and medicines.

The broad areas of the course are 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. The course is structured to develop in complexity and skills over the three years with a focus on experimental techniques through the required practical element of the course. At the end of the GCSE course students are equipped with both the knowledge and practical skills needed to progress to further study post 16.

GCSE Chemistry Assessment Summary: 2 x 1 hour 45 min papers. Paper 1 topics 1-5 (50%), Paper 2 topics 6-10 (50%). Exam Board AQA

 

 

 

GCSE Physics

Why study Physics at GCSE?

 

The study of Physics enables us to understand the world around us, from the inconceivably small to the incomprehensibly large. What are atoms made of? How is energy transferred and conserved? How do sound waves and light travel? What is radioactivity? If you’re curious about how things work, GCSE Physics opens up a whole world of exploration.

 

Eight broad areas of Physics make up the course content: 1.Energy, 2.Electricity, 3.The Particle Model of Matter, 4.Atomic Structure, 5.Forces, 6.Waves 7.Magnetism and Electromagnetism  and 8.Space Physics. The sequence of teaching has been planned in such a way that it allows progression over the three years in terms of both complexity of content and application of understanding to new concepts. Students are also required to have studied ten required practical activities to help develop understanding through hands-on experience.

GCSE Physics Assessment Summary: 2 x 1 hour 45 min papers. Paper 1 topics 1-4 (50%), Paper 2 topics 5-7 (50%). Exam Board: AQA.

 

 

 

 

Key Stage 5 Curriculum

The School is able to offer all three science subjects at A Level. Students may opt to take any of these sciences if they support their future plans and they are able to satisfy the entry requirements.

GCE BIOLOGY

Why study Biology at A Level?

Biology at A Level is the window onto the fascinating world of micro-organisms, plants, ecosystems, humans and other animals. The human genome has been sequenced and we know the complete arrangement of the three thousand million bases that make up human DNA. In Kenya 350 people die every day from AIDS. South East Asia the skies are dark with smoke as the last Bornean rainforests are burned to grow oil palms. Biologists are concerned with all these issues. Biologists try to gain an understanding of some of the fundamental aspects of life itself. The skills developed and knowledge acquired through the study of biology are useful in their own right as well as being transferable to many associated subjects at a higher level.

Features of the course:

In Year 12 students will build on their knowledge of many of the themes covered at GCSE. Key topics include cell structure, variation, basic biochemistry and exchange and transport. In Year 13 students will develop their biological skills further as they study energy transfers, responses to changes in their internal and external environments and genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems.

Students are also required to complete twelve required practicals. The skills and competencies acquired through their completion lead to a separate practical endorsement qualification alongside the main A Level Grade.

Assessment Summary: Paper 1: 2 hour examination (35%), Paper 2: 2 hour examination (35%), Paper 3: 2 hour examination (30%).

Entry Requirements: Grade 7 GCSE Biology plus Grade 6 GCSE Chemistry or Grade 7,7 in GCSE Dual Science.

Careers

There are those subjects that are very obviously connected with biology such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary science, physiotherapy and occupational therapy. There are, however, many other courses and careers where having an A-Level in biology would be useful with the fastest growing areas being those of genetics, biotechnology and sports science.

 

 

GCE CHEMISTRY

Why study Chemistry at A Level?

Chemistry is known as the ‘central science’ and brings all aspects of the physical sciences together. It contributes to our everyday lives including foods you eat, the air you breathe and the cleaning chemicals you use. Chemists aim to understand the reasons why chemical reactions occur and how to develop more efficient and environmentally friendly approaches to some of society’s big challenges such as renewable energy and the supply and design of pharmaceutical drugs and vaccines. The skills developed in the study of chemistry at A level are not just theoretical a strong emphasis is placed on developing students practical and data analysis skills which are transferable to any further study of science post 18. Chemistry is intrinsically linked to the study of biology and physics, and complements both of these A levels well with many students studying both chemistry and one of these at A level.

Features of the course:

At the beginning of the A level course students first encounter the more advanced nuclear model of the atom  forming the base knowledge from which to develop  in depth knowledge in inorganic chemistry of the reactions of group 2 and 7 transition metals and elements in period 3 as well as structure and bonding and redox chemistry. In Physical chemistry students cover a wide range of chemistry calculations and their applications to  a range of equilibrium constants, kinetics and pH. The organic chemistry section of the course expands knowledge from GCSE extending into mechanisms, biochemistry, organic synthesis and analsysis.

Students are also required to complete twelve required practicals. The skills and competencies acquired through their completion lead to a separate practical endorsement qualification alongside the main A Level Grade.

Assessment Summary: Paper 1: 2 hour examination (35%), Paper 2: 2 hour examination (35%), Paper 3: 2 hour examination (30%).

Entry Requirements: Grade 7 GCSE Chemistry plus Grade 6 GCSE Maths or Grade 7,7 in GCSE Dual Science.

Careers

Chemistry is a core A level subject for many careers such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, pharmacy, veterinary science and chemical engineering, and pharmacology. There are, however, many other courses and careers where having an A-Level in chemistry would support further progression including biochemistry,  materials science, oceanography, biological science, nutrition and dietetics, radiography, environmental sciences, new and renewable energy.

 

 

GCE PHYSICS

Why study Physics at A Level?

Physics at A Level is ideal if you:

Are keen to understand how things work, through topics such as energy, radioactivity, electricity, motion and forces.

Like exploring ‘big ideas’ that explain our world and universe.

Enjoy working scientifically: making predictions, testing theories and evaluating and communicating your findings.

Would like to build your observational, analytical and problem-solving skills, to improve your employability.

Features of the course:

Each of the two years consists of four theory units, but practical work is woven into the course. In Year 12 the major topic areas are particles & radiation, waves, mechanics & materials and electricity. Year 13 sees the introduction of the more mathematically-demanding topics of further mechanics & thermal physics, fields & their consequences, nuclear physics and medical physics

During the two years, there are a dozen compulsory practical activities that may be assessed in the written examinations. In addition to this, there is an entirely separate practical endorsement, based on demonstration of core practical competencies. Students are taught how to make measurements of a range of quantities including length, current, potential difference and temperature. They will develop an awareness of the nature of measurement errors and of their numerical treatment.

Assessment Summary: Paper 1: 2 hour examination (34%), Paper 2: 2 hour examination (34%), Paper 3: 2 hour examination (32%).

Entry Requirements: Grade 7 GCSE Physics (or Grade 7,7 in GCSE Dual Science) plus Grade 6 GCSE Maths.

 

Careers

Physics develops a unique skill set, well suited to a diverse range of careers in fields such as biotechnology, astronomy, meteorology, medicine, astrophysics, radiography, nanotechnology, climate science, engineering, computer science, journalism, architecture and teaching.  According to the Institute of Physics, graduates with a physics degree earn more due to their highly transferable and valued skill set.

 

 

 

Extra-Curricular

The department provides many opportunities for students beyond the curriculum. Our Electronics Club which runs on a Wednesday lunchtime is very popular with students across all key stages but is particularly well supported by Years 7 to 9. In recent years our pupils have participated through the University of Cumbria variety of scientific experiences including the Salter’s Chemistry Festival and the Royal Society of Biology Festival. In addition we have entered teams for the Top of the Bench competition and the University of Cambridge, Chemistry Challenge. Recently the Head of Chemistry organised a very successful trip to Boston, USA where students visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, The Robert Koch Cancer Research Unit and the Plasma Fusion Centre.