Students are taught in mixed ability groups. They follow a scheme of work that introduces the Science National Curriculum for Key Stage 3 by developing key ideas and enhancing practical and problem solving skills.
The topics covered are:
- Cells and Systems
- Atoms, Particles and Behaviour of Matter
- Introduction to Chemical Reactions
- Forces and Pressure
Assessment is done formatively, assessing both knowledge and skills and through the use of topic tests which have specific National Curriculum levels associated with each grade. Scientific Investigation is embedded in to the topics and students are given opportunities to develop their skills in planning and carrying out practical investigations. All teaching takes place in fully equipped laboratories by specialist staff. At the start of the year students learn safety rules for the laboratory that they must subsequently follow.
Students follow a scheme of work that builds on what is taught in Year 7. Key ideas are developed and extended. Students complete the KS3 curriculum in Year 8, which allows them to start preparation for their GCSEs a year early, hence high ability students can be extended at an earlier stage.
The topics covered in Year 8 are:
- Plants, Photosynthesis and Respiration
- Genetics and Evolution
- Elements, Mixtures and Compounds
- Reactions of Metals
- Earth and Space
- Electricty and Magnetism
Assessment is done formatively and using topic tests. Scientific Investigation is embedded in to the topics to give the students background for the ISA Controlled Assessment section of GCSE Science. All teaching takes place in fully equipped laboratories by specialist staff.
The GCSE Science curriculum is taught and assessed using the AQA GCSE Science programme. This is split into two routes:
Route 1: Dual award
Dual award is a combination of Biology, Chemistry and Physics modules and the students will gain two GCSEs after studying this for three years. It is split into two sections, Core Science and Additional Science.
The Core Science section for this current year has three examinable modules;
Coordination and control
Interdependence and adaptation
Metals from rocks
Fuels from oils
Chemicals from alkenes
Using plant oils
Earth and atmosphere
Energy and efficiency
All students will complete the AQA GCSE Core Science qualification by sitting three 1 hour exams at the end of Year 10. These modules are externally marked and give the students 75% of their first Science GCSE grade.
The Investigative Skills Assessment (ISA) is coursework which will also be completed and internally marked during Year 10. This is worth the final 25% of the first GCSE Science grade. This is a very large proportion of the grade and it is essential for student success that this is completed to the highest standard possible.
Year 11 students who have successfully completed Core Science, go on to study the Additional Science award.
The Additional Science section for this current year has three examinable modules;
Organisms and their environment
Organisms changing over time
Atoms, elements and compounds
Forces and motion
Nuclear fission and fusion
All students will complete the AQA GCSE Additional Science qualification by sitting three 1 hour exams at the end of Year 11. These modules are externally marked and give the students 75% of their first Science GCSE grade.
The Investigative Skills Assessment (ISA) is coursework which will also be completed and internally marked during Year 11. This is worth the final 25% of the first GCSE Science grade. This is a very large proportion of the grade and it is essential for student success that this is completed to the highest standard possible.
Route 2: Triple Award GCSE
Students taking the Triple Award will gain GCSEs in the three separate subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. They will cover the course outlined above but will also study a further three modules during their studies.
The Further section for this current year has three examinable modules;
Humans and the environment
Energy from reactions
Identifying and analysing substances
Alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters
Medical applications of physics
Lenses and light
Making things work
Keeping things moving
Triple Science students will complete nine exams for each subject at the end of Year 11; three for Biology, three for Chemistry and three for Physics. Each set of 3 exams contributes towards 75% of the specific GCSE course.
They will also have to complete three Investigative Skills Assessments (ISAs) worth the remaining 25% of each GCSE.
Year 11 BTEC
Some Year 11 students are currently following BTEC Applied Science instead of following a GCSE science course.
In Year 10 they completed the BTEC Level 2 Principles of Applied Science course and this year they will do the BTEC Level 2 Application of Science course. Each course enables the students to achieve the equivalent of one GCSE grade A* – C.
Units 1 to 4 make up the BTEC Level 2 Principles of Applied Science course.
Unit 1: Principles of Science.
Unit 2: Chemistry and Our Earth.
Unit 3: Energy and Our Universe.
Unit 4: Biology and Our Environment
Units 5 to 8 make up the BTEC Level 2 Application of Science course.
Unit 5: Applications of Chemical Substances.
Unit 6: Applications of Physical Science.
Unit 7: Health Applications of Life Science.
Unit 8: Scientific Skills.
Units 1 and 8 are externally assessed via 2 one hour written exams. The other six units are internally assessed on evidence produced by each student throughout the course that demonstrates their knowledge and understanding of the subject content.
This evidence is centred on the outcomes of assignments that are both investigative and practically based. This evidence can be in the form of posters, practical reports, videos, teacher witness statements, models, role play, articles for journals, press releases, observations from practical tasks etc.
This course encourages the students to develop their scientific skills in a vocational context. Students take part in different scenarios which simulate the work place, such as employment as an assistant practitioner or technician. The BTEC courses employ an engaging practical based learning style which provides opportunities for students of all abilities to meet their potential. Students are given short term tasks which are assessed on their completion.
In order to achieve the minimum grade ‘pass’ (C equivalent), all of the pass grading criteria must be met. In order to achieve an A* equivalent, students will have to achieve distinction grades for the majority of tasks set.
A Level Science
Biology Year 12
There are three AS units in Year 12:
Unit 1 Biology and Disease (exam 1h 15m, 33% of total AS marks). This includes pathogenic and lifestyle diseases, digestion and biological molecules, exchange molecules, heart and lung function and immunology.
Unit 2 The Variety of Living Organisms (exam 1h 45m, 46% of total AS marks). This includes DNA structure and replication, variation and diversity, classification and evolution.
Unit 3 Practical and Investigative Skills (External 20% of total AS marks). This includes investigating biological problems, implementing practical skills, data collection and analysis.
Practical work throughout Units 1 and 2 provide opportunities to develop skills required for Unit 3. Past exam questions are used throughout the course for formative assessment, for students to assess their own learning, and to provide opportunities for developing A Level exam technique.
Biology Year 13
There are three modules in Year 13 two written papers and one practical
Unit 4: Populations and the Environment (1.5hr paper) of which was covered on the Field Course and includes ecosystems, energy flow, nutrient cycles, respiration and photosynthesis.
which covers respiration, photosynthesis, homeostasis, nervous system, muscles, inheritance, variation, evolution and classification.
Unit 5: Control in Cells & Organisms (2.15 hr paper) This includes homoeostasis, nerves, muscle contraction, genetics and DNA technology. The final paper includes a significant synoptic element which expects that students have a thorough knowledge of both Year 12 and Year 13 material. Students should revise accordingly.
Unit 6 Practical and Investigative Skills (external assessment 10% of total A2 marks). This includes investigating biological problems, implementing practical skills, data collection and analysis.
Chemistry Year 12 [AQA Specification 1421]
AS Chemistry is broken down into two module areas:
- Foundation Chemistry (Unit 1)
- Chemistry in Action (Unit 2)
Each teaching group is taught by two members of staff. Unit 1 is completed around the end of the first term leaving the remaining time for Unit 2. Both modules are made up of Physical, Inorganic and Organic components. At the end of the course there are two written papers, one for each unit.
Practical skills are developed throughout the course through experimental work. Competence in Practical Skills is assessed in an Externally Marked Assessed Unit (EMPA) worth up to 20 % of the overall AS.
Chemistry Year 13 [AQA Specification 2421]
A2 Chemistry is broken down into two taught module areas:
- Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry (Unit 4)
- Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry (Unit 5)
Each teaching group is taught by two members of staff. The teaching of Unit 4 is split between the two teachers and completed around the end of the first term. Unit 5 is then covered in the remaining time. At the end of the course there are two written papers, one for each unit.
As for AS Chemistry practical skills are developed throughout the course through experimental work. Competence in Practical Skills is assessed in an Externally Marked Assessed Unit (EMPA) and is worth up to 10 % of the overall A2. When combined with the AS EMPA the practical assessment contributes up to 20 % of the overall A2.
In Year 12 students follow the Advancing Physics AS course, based on the OCR specification supported by the Institute of Physics and OUP. The course is organised in a series of topics, which teaches the underlying Physics concepts in the context of their relevance to applications in engineering and business. These topics include:
Communications (imaging, sensing and signalling)
Materials (testing material properties and the structure of materials)
Wave and Quantum Behaviour (waves, light and photons)
Space and Time (position, speed, acceleration, and the mechanics of motion)
Knowledge is tested in final exams, which account for 80% of the total marks. Coursework consists of two tasks: a practical project on instrumentation and measurement and a presentation on the properties and uses of a material. These account for the remaining 20% of the marks.
Physics Year 13
In Year 13 students follow the Advancing Physics A2 course, based on the OCR specification supported by the Institute of Physics and OUP. The course is a series of topics, which teach underlying physics concepts in the context of engineering and scientific research. These topics include:
Models and Rules (exponential decay, oscillations, motion of planets, the properties of the Universe)
Matter in Extremes (kinetic theory of gases, thermodynamics, temperature)
Fields (electromagnetic machines, electric and gravitational fields)
Fundamental Particles (atoms, the nucleus, electrons, radiation)
Advances in Physics (case studies on applications of physics)
Final exams account for 80% of the total marks. Coursework (20%) consists of: a practical project on an aspect of physics chosen by the student; a written report which extends the student’s knowledge and understanding beyond the basic syllabus.
Psychology Year 12
At AS Level, candidates will develop a broad knowledge and understanding of the core areas of Psychology through a range of topics (social, cognitive, developmental, biological and individual differences), chosen for their accessibility and popularity.
Subject content of PSYA1 includes:
The study of Cognitive psychology including the study of Memory and Eyewitness testimony.
The study of developmental psychology and early social development: Attachments and the effects of day care.
Subject content of PSYA2 includes:
The study of Biological Psychology: Stress, Factors affecting stress and Stress management. The study of Social psychology: Conformity, Obedience and Independent behaviour.
The study of Individual differences: Defining and Explaining Abnormality and the treatment of psychopathology.
Psychology Year 13
A2 Psychology encourages candidates to develop skills of analysis, interpretation and evaluation in relation to theory, empirical studies and methods of research in Psychology. Candidates also develop an understanding of ethical issues in Psychology, including the ethical implications of psychological research.
In PSYA3 candidates develop an understanding of different areas of Psychology, including the core areas of:
The study of Biological rhythms and Sleep: Biological rhythms, Theories of Sleep and Sleep Disorders.
The study of Cognitive Development: The Development of Thinking, The development of moral understanding and The development of social cognition.
The study of Aggression: Social psychological explanations of Aggression, Biological explanations of Aggression and Evolution of Human Aggression
In PSYA4 candidates also develop an understanding of different areas of Psychopathology and Psychology in Action including: The study of Addiction, The Study of Schizophrenia and The Application of the Scientific Method in research.
The A2 course enables candidates to explore and understand the relationship between psychological knowledge, theories and methodology and their relationship to social, cultural, scientific and contemporary issues. Candidates also design and report psychological investigations, interpret and analyse data.