Key Stage 3 – Year 7 and 8
The science curriculum in Years 7 and 8 is a bespoke one designed to follow the Science National Curriculum and to ensure that students are inspired to work scientifically and are ‘GCSE-ready’ by the end of Year 8. All students study the same curriculum in 8 lessons every fortnight. They are taught in ability groups to ensure the science syllabus is delivered with the appropriate level of challenge for everyone. The Year 7 curriculum is both exciting and challenging but designed to ensure all students are secure in the core science concepts: cells, energy, forces and particles. Year 8 builds and extends the breadth of scientific skills and understanding of the science core concepts. Students are increasingly expected to apply their scientific understanding to the world in which they live. Key Stage 3 culminates in an inspiring, pupil-led independent project where students apply all their science knowledge, skills and understanding into designing their own planet.
Assessment and Homework
Teachers assess student work in class and books throughout the topic. At the end of the topic students have a formal assessment against Age Related Expectation (Working Towards, Working At, Working Beyond) and take a topic test. Additionally, twice a year (December and June) they take a whole-year application test. Science homework is routinely set weekly on a web-based science programme called EDUCAKE and should take approximately half an hour. In the first term of Year 7, there are 3-topic based project homework on cells, energy and particles to compliment the core curriculum and to inspire and enthuse students in there early study of science.
Key Stage 4 – Year 9-11
All students in Year 9 and the start of Year 10 follow the same science curriculum based on the AQA Combined Science Trilogy GCSE programme of study. They are taught in ability groupings (based on their Key Stage 3 performance) over 9 lessons every fortnight. All students cover the core concepts from each of the topics in the table below. A detailed breakdown of the syllabus is available in the KS4 Curriculum Guide and at the AQA Link here.
|B1 – Cells||B5 - Homeostasis|
|B2 - Organisation||B6 – Inheritance, Variation and Evolution|
|B3 – Infection and Response||B7 - Ecology|
|B4 - Bioenergetics||C6 – Rates and Chemical Change|
|C1 – Atomic Structure||C7 – Organic Chemistry|
|C2 - Bonding||C8 – Chemical Analysis|
|C3 – Quantitative Chemistry||C9 – Chemistry of the Atmosphere|
|C4 – Chemical Changes||C10 – Using Resources|
|C5 – Energy Changes||P5 - Forces|
|P1 - Energy||P6 - Waves|
|P2 - Electricity||P7 - Magnetism|
|P3 – Particle Model|
|P4 – Atomic Structure|
In Year 10 and 11 the majority of students will continue to study the AQA Trilogy Combined Science route which will qualify as 2 GCSE qualifications. However, approximately one third of high-performing students, depending on the year group, will be offered the opportunity to study Triple science which will result in 3 separate GCSEs in biology, chemistry and physics. All students will study the topics in the table above but at varying degrees of depth depending on which qualification and tier of entry they are studying. All students will take 6 exams; a biology, chemistry and physics exam for Paper 1 and a biology, chemistry and physics exam for Paper 2. For those studying the Trilogy route the papers will be 1 hour and 15 minutes and 1 hour 45 minutes for the Triple science route.
Assessment and Homework
Teachers assess student work in class and books throughout the topic. At the end of the topic students have a formal assessment against a Personalised Learning Checklist (PLC) which covers all the knowledge and skills required in the AQA specifications. They will also take a topic test which will give an indicative prediction towards their path to GCSE. Additionally, there will a whole-year application test at the end of Year 9 and in February of Year 10. Year 11 will take a full set of practice Pre Public Examinations in January (Paper 1) and March (Paper 2) in preparation for the GCSEs. Science homework is routinely set weekly on a web-based science programme called EDUCAKE – it designed so that students continually recap topics they will have studied in the previous years and terms. It should take approximately an hour
Students are provided a number of opportunities to inspire and extend their study, interest and love of science. The Science Club (run by Mr Gibbons) runs every Thursday from 3-4 pm and the topics completely depends on what the students wish to do. It culminates in a visit to the National ‘Big Bang’ competition. The Gardening Club (run by Miss Wakeford) also runs every Thursday from 3-4 pm where students get their fingers green growing and selling their plants. Year 7 students have the opportunity to visit the National History Museum and Year 8 students the National Space Centre. Year 9 and 10 students can listen to world leading scientists at the Science Live event in London. From 2019, Key Stage 4 students will also be able to study the Ecology topic by an exciting field trip in Osmington Bay.