Science

“I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious”
Albert Einstein

“The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas”
Linus Pauling

Key Stage 3

In Years 7 and 8 pupils follow a course based on the National Curriculum and adapted to prepare Test Valley pupils for the GCSE courses they will eventually follow.

The overall learning goals are the ‘Working Scientifically’ skills combined with the concepts from the new KS3 National Curriculum. Activities are designed to challenge pupils not only to secure their motivation, but to push them to achieve beyond what they might with more routine tasks. They need to think more deeply and consequently gain a greater sense of achievement.

Scientists use a structured enquiry process to answer questions. Pupils are therefore taught to develop their enquiry skills by researching questions practically and through the use of ICT. This approach helps pupils take ownership of their learning, enabling them to build on their understanding through experience and reflection.

Topics covered in Year 7 are:

  • Forensics (Particles, Chemical patterns and the use of evidence)
  • Cook! (Chemical reactions, energy transfer, particles and models)
  • Extinction (Classification, Habitats and Adaptations)
  • Electromancer (Electricity and magnetism and planning)
  • A&E (Cells, reproduction and technology)
  • Alien (Space and forces, analysis and reasoning).

Topics covered in Year 8 are:

  • Nviz (Energy transfer and resources and theories)
  • Live and Kicking (Cells, drugs and use of evidence)
  • Catastrophe (Geology and earth science)
  • Pyrotechnics (Particles, chemical reactions and patterns)
  • Species at War (Microbes, food webs and models)
  • Studio Magic (Waves, communication and reasoning).

In Year 9 pupils will continue to develop their scientific enquiry skills, but will also start a GCSE transition unit.

Key Stage 4 (Current Year 9/10)

Subject GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy)
Examination Board AQA
Specification 8464
Assessment 100% Examination (6 papers)
English Baccalaureate Yes

What will pupils learn on this course?

Pupils will continue to follow the 3 broad areas of study:

  • Biology – Cells; Organisation; Infection; Bioenergetics; Control and regulation of internal environment; Inheritance; Ecology and key ideas.
  • Chemistry – Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table; Structure, bonding and properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Energy changes; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; Using chemical resources and key ideas.
  • Physics – Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; Atomic structure; Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism and Key ideas.

Pupils will also be encouraged to develop of knowledge and understanding in science with through opportunities for working scientifically. Working scientifically is the sum of all the activities that scientists do.

How will pupils be assessed on this course?

Pupils will complete six, one-hour fifteen minute examinations. There will be two exams for each of the sciences. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas. All six exams will have equal weighting and contribute towards a double GCSE outcome for science.

What kind of work will pupils need to do outside of lessons?

  • Home learning will be set weekly.
  • Many resources are available on Moodle to support pupils’ learning.
  • Due to the large volume of material covered, pupils will need to build up a revision folder over the year in preparation for the examinations.
  • Complete practice papers available on Moodle.
  • Watch scientific programmes on TV to improve their general scientific knowledge.

What could pupils go on to do at the end of the course?

If a B grade or above in this subject is gained, pupils will be able to study any ‘A’ level Science at college, including Environmental Science and Psychology. Pupils may go on to BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science. Pupils may choose not to go on into a science career, but a high grade will indicate to future employers that the pupil possesses good problem solving skills.

Subject Separate Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
Examination Board AQA
Specification 8461, 8462, 8463
Assessment 100% Examination (6 papers)
English Baccalaureate Yes

What do pupils need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

Pupils will need to be exceeding their age related expectations in Science by the end of Year 9. Students will need to commit to the additional workload associated with the triple science course.

Is this course suitable?

If pupils are interested in studying Science in more depth, then this course is particularly suitable. Pupils need to have an interest in the world around them and how it works. They will need to be curious and constantly asking the question why.

What will pupils learn on this course?

You will follow the modules set out in combined science route but Studying the separate sciences means you will cover more content than GCSE Combined Science.

How will pupils be assessed on this course?

Pupils will complete six, one-hour forty-five minute examinations. There will be two exams for each of the sciences. All six exams will have equal weighting and contribute towards three GCSEs, one in each of the sciences.

What kind of work will pupils need to do outside of lessons?

Homework will be set weekly. However, coverage of the subject content is fast in Triple Science so pupils will need to work independently outside of lessons to consolidate and develop their understanding. It is expected that they will watch scientific programmes and read around the subject widely to increase their general subject knowledge. They will also need to build a revision folder over the year in preparation for the examinations. Many resources are available on Moodle to support learning including practice papers.

What could pupils go on to do at the end of the course?

It is likely that pupils would move on to study ‘A’ Level sciences. In order to move on to science ‘A’ levels and a science degree, at least a B grade in all three subjects would need to be achieved.

Current Year 11

Subject Combined Science
Examination Board Edexcel
Specification 1SC0
Assessment 100% Examination (6 papers)
English Baccalaureate Yes

What will pupils learn on this course?

Pupils will continue to follow the 3 broad areas of study:

  • Biology – The Building Blocks of Cells; Organisms and Energy and Common Systems.
  • Chemistry – Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table; Ionic Compounds and Analysis; Covalent Compounds and Separation Techniques; Groups in the Periodic Table; Chemical Reactions and Quantitative Chemistry.
  • Physics – (Static and Current Electricity; Controlling and Using Electric Current; Motion and Forces; Momentum, Energy, Work and Power; Nuclear Fission and Nuclear Fusion and Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Radioactive Materials.

Pupils will further develop their ‘How Science Works’ skills including making their own hypotheses.

How will pupils be assessed on this course?

Pupils will complete six, one-hour ten minute examinations. There will be two exams for each of the sciences. All six exams will have equal weighting and contribute towards a double GCSE outcome for science.

What kind of work will pupils need to do outside of lessons?

  • Home learning will be set weekly.
  • Many resources are available on Moodle to support pupils’ learning.
  • Due to the large volume of material covered, pupils will need to build up a revision folder over the year in preparation for the examinations.
  • Complete practice papers available on Moodle.
  • Watch scientific programmes on TV to improve their general scientific knowledge.

What could pupils go on to do at the end of the course?

If a B grade or above in this subject is gained, pupils will be able to study any ‘A’ level Science at college, including Environmental Science and Psychology. Pupils may go on to BTEC Level 3 in Applied Science. Pupils may choose not to go on into a science career, but a high grade will indicate to future employers that the pupil possesses good problem solving skills.

Subject Separate Science (Biology, Chemistry and Physics)
Examination Board Edexcel
Specification 1BI0, 1CH0, 1PH0
Assessment 100% Examination (6 papers)
English Baccalaureate Yes

What do pupils need to know or be able to do before taking this course?

Pupils will need to be exceeding their age related expectations in Science by the end of Year 9.

Is this course suitable?

If pupils are interested in studying Science in more depth, then this course is particularly suitable. Pupils need to have an interest in the world around them and how it works. They will need to be curious and constantly asking the question why.

What will pupils learn on this course?

You will follow the modules set out in Science and Additional Science. After completing these modules, you will study the following extension units.

  • Using Biology – Control Systems, Behaviour and Biotechnology
  • Chemistry in Action – Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis, Electrolytic Processes, Gases and Equilibria and Organic Chemistry
  • Applications of Physics – Medical Physics, Radioactivity and Particle theory and its Applications

How will pupils be assessed on this course?

Pupils will complete six, one-hour forty-five minute examinations. There will be two exams for each of the sciences. All six exams will have equal weighting and contribute towards three GCSEs, one in each of the sciences.

What kind of work will pupils need to do outside of lessons?

Homework will be set weekly. However, coverage of the subject content is fast in Triple Science so pupils will need to work independently outside of lessons to consolidate and develop their understanding. It is expected that they will watch scientific programmes and read around the subject widely to increase their general subject knowledge. They will also need to build a revision folder over the year in preparation for the examinations. Many resources are available on Moodle to support learning including practice papers.

What could pupils go on to do at the end of the course?

It is likely that pupils would move on to study ‘A’ Level sciences. In order to move on to science ‘A’ levels and a science degree, at least a B grade in all three subjects would need to be achieved.

Additional Information

A limited supply of revision guides/workbooks are available to purchase from the department: KS3 revision guide (£3); GCSE Combined Science revision guide (£6); GCSE Combined Science workbook (£6); Biology GCSE revision guide (£3); Chemistry GCSE revision guide (£3); Physics GCSE revision guide (£3).