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Science

Science impinges more than ever on our lives. Many political issues – energy, health, environment and so forth – have a scientific dimension. How science is applied matters to us all. The important choices shouldn't be made just by scientists; they should be the outcome of wider public debate. But in order for that to happen, we all need a ‘feel’ for the key ideas of science. And, quite apart from their practical uses, these ideas should be part of our common culture.”  - Martin Rees, President of the Royal Society and Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics University of Cambridge.

This is a belief shared by the science department at Idsall, our goal is to ensure as a minimum that all students leave school scientifically literate. We provide a balanced and flexible curriculum which tries to be exciting, relevant and inspiring to provide the opportunities for students to become tomorrow’s scientists.

Science at Key Stage 3

Key Stage 3 Science has been adapted to meet the needs of young and inspiring students while still covering the aims set out by the government. A variety of books are used to help deliver the course including Framework science, the Activate Series and Collins. In Year 7 and 8 there are small assessments throughout each topic and three larger, more extensive formal assessments. These larger formal assessments are summative for the knowledge up to that point i.e. Year 8 formal assessments may contain content learnt in Year 7. The Autumn Term in Year 9 is a continuation of KS3, and this culminates in an end of key stage exam, facilitating the change to GCSE.

The following is an outline of the topics covered throughout KS3. Timings are approximations.

PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS PAGE FOR 2016-17

Year 7

Autumn Term

Acids
Earth and Space
Cells

Spring Term

Forces
Reproduction
Particles

Summer Term

Elements, compounds and mixtures
Reactions
Ecology
Sound

Year 8

Autumn Term

Energy
Earth and Materials
Inheritance

Spring Term

Body
Forces
Periodic Table

Summer Term

Chemical Reactions
Health
Light

Year 9

Autumn Term

Atmosphere
Cellular
Electricity

Spring Term

Exam skills and technique
GCSE curriculum - See combined science at KS4

Summer Term

GCSE curriculum - See combined Science at KS4


Science at Key Stage 4

During Key Stage 4 we provide several routes and courses to match the individual needs and skills of students.  Pupils will follow one of the following courses:

Combined Science (2016 Specification - 9-1 / Pearson / Edexcel)

All pupils who have not chosen or met the entry requirements for the Separate Sciences of Biology, Chemistry and Physics will be taking Combined Science during Years 10 and 11. Combined Science is completed over two years and the examinations are summative at the end of the course.

Combined Science consists of six externally examined papers each accounting for 16.67% of the pupils GCSE grade. These are available at foundation tier and higher tier, all examinations are 1hour and 10 minutes in length, students must complete all assessments in the same tier. 

Combined Science Year 10 & 11 Split by Exam

Paper 1: Biology 1

Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology,
Topic 2 – Cells and control,
Topic 3 – Genetics,
Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification,
Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines

Paper 2: Biology 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology,
Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions,
Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis,
Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals,
Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

Paper 3: Chemistry

Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry,
Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures,
Topic 3 – Chemical changes,
Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria

Paper 4: Chemistry 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry,
Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table,
Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes,
Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science

Paper 5: Physics 1

Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics,
Topic 2 – Motion and forces,
Topic 3 – Conservation of energy,
Topic 4 – Waves,
Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum,
Topic 6 – Radioactivity

Paper 6: Physics 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics,
Topic 8 – Energy - Forces doing work,
Topic 9 – Forces and their effects,
Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits,
Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect,
Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction,
Topic 14 – Particle model,
Topic 15 – Forces and matter.

Separate Sciences, Biology, Chemistry & Physics

All pupils who have and met the entry requirements for Separate Sciences and opt for this Year 9 will be entered onto the Separate Science Programme of Study.

This course will result in three separate GCSE, one for each scientific discipline, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs are completed over two years and the examinations are summative at the end of the course.

Biology, Chemistry and Physics consists of two externally examined papers each, resulting in six papers in total across the three GCSE courses. 

Each exam accounts for 50% of the pupils GCSE grade in that subject (Biology/ Chemistry or Physics). These are available at foundation tier and higher tier, all examinations are 1hour and 45 minutes in length, students must complete all assessments in the same tier for that GCSE (Biology/ Chemistry or Physics).

Separate Sciences Year 10 & 11 Split by Exam 

Biology GCSE: Curriculum Split by Exam.

Paper 1

Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
Topic 2 – Cells and control
Topic 3 – Genetics
Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification
Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines

Paper 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions
Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals
Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

Chemistry GCSE: Curriculum Split by Exam.

Paper 1

Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures
Topic 3 – Chemical changes
Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria
Topic 5 – Separate chemistry 1

Paper 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table
Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes
Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science
Topic 9 – Separate chemistry 2

Physics GCSE: Curriculum Split by Exam.

Paper 1

Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
Topic 2 – Motion and forces
Topic 3 – Conservation of energy
Topic 4 – Waves
Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
Topic 6 – Radioactivity
Topic 7 – Astronomy

Paper 2

Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
Topic 8 – Energy - Forces doing work
Topic 9 – Forces and their effects
Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits
Topic 11 – Static electricity
Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect
Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction
Topic 14 – Particle model
Topic 15 – Forces and matter

Additional Science - Year 11 only

All pupils who have not chosen or met the entry requirements for Triple Science will be taking Additional Science in Year 11. This course will result in one GCSE grade in addition to the Core Science GCSE grade that our pupils will already have received in Year 10.

When studying Additional Science pupils will complete units in Biology (25% of the GCSE – 1 hour examination) Chemistry (25% of the GCSE – 1 hour examination) and Physics (25% of the GCSE – 1 hour examination) as well as completing practical coursework (25% of the GCSE). This results in the second, separate GCSE science grade at the end of Year 11.

The course is therefore split into 3 main modules and coursework as follows

 1.     B2 – The Components of Life, Biology.

a. Topic 1: The building blocks of cells.
b. Topic 2: Organisms and energy.
c. Topic 3: Common Systems.

2.     C2 – Discovering Chemistry, Chemistry.

a. Topic 1: Atomic structure and the periodic table.
b. Topic 2: Ionic compounds and analysis.
c. Topic 3: Covalent compounds and separation techniques.
d. Topic 4: Groups in the periodic table.
e. Topic 5: Chemical reactions.
f.  Topic 6: Quantitative chemistry.

 3.     P2 – Physics for your future, Physics.

a. Topic1: Static and current electricity.
b. Topic 2: Controlling and using electric currents.
c. Topic 3: Motions and forces.
d. Topic 4: Momentum, energy, work and power.
e. Topic 5: Nuclear fission and nuclear fusion.
f.  Topic 6: Benefits and drawbacks of using radioactive materials.

Each Additional Science Group will have two teachers and each of these topics are taught independently of each other (the order of teaching for Biology, Chemistry and Physics changes depending on the teachers delivering the curriculum and the number of groups the curriculum is being delivered to.

Triple Science as part of one of the option block choices

All pupils who have and met the entry requirements for Triple Science will be entered onto the Triple Science Programme of Study.

This course will result in three separate GCSE, one for each scientific discipline, Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

When studying Core Science pupils will complete units in Biology (75% of the Biology GCSE – 3 hours of examinations) Chemistry (75% of the Chemistry GCSE – 3 hours of examinations) and Physics (75% of the Physics GCSE – 3 hours of examinations) as well as completing practical coursework in each subject (25% of each GCSE). This results in three GCSE grades, one for the Biology GCSE, one for the Chemistry GCSE and one for the Physics GCSE.

All examinations are terminal and therefore sat at the end of Year 11.

The course is therefore split into the 3 GCSE subjects and taught by 3 separate science teachers.

Pupils complete all the units listed for Core and Additional Science as above and will have further modules to complete listed below:

Triple Science Further Modules

1.   B3 – Using Biology, Biology.

a. Topic 1: Control Systems.
b. Topic 2: Behaviour.
c. Topic 3: Biotechnology.

2.    C3 – Chemistry in action, Chemistry.

a. Topic 1: Qualitative analysis.
b. Topic 2: Quantitative analysis.
c. Topic 3: Electrolytic processes.
d. Topic 4: Gases, equilibria and ammonia.
e. Topic 5: Organic Chemistry.

3.    P3 – Applications of Physics, Physics.

a. Topic 1: Radiation in treatment and medicine.
b. Topic 2: X-rays and ECGs.
c. Topic 3: Production, uses and risks of ionising radiation and radioactive sources.
d. Topic 4: Motion of particles.
e. Topic 5: Kinetic theory and gases.

As each GCSE is taught by a separate teacher each of these topics are taught in sequence of each other, however teaching time is dictated by timetabling. 
 

Science at Key Stage 5

The sciences have been very popular and successful at sixth form level and we currently offer the following courses.

Biology AS and A2 OCR exam board

Our aim in Biology is to develop knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject through practical skills and awareness of different learning techniques. This is to promote interest and enthusiasm in the subject not only as an academic discipline but as a way of thinking, developing enthusiasm and a drive to take the subject further.

Biology - Year 12

Unit 1: Development of Practical Skills in Biology

Practical skills assessed in a written examination and the practical endorsement.

Unit 2: Foundations in Biology

Cell Structure;  Biological Molecules;  Nucleotides & Nucleic Acids;  Enzymes;

Biological Membranes;  Cell Division, Diversity & Organisation.     

Unit 3: Exchange and Transport

Exchange Surfaces;  Transport in Animals;  Transport in Plants.

Unit 4: Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease

Communicable Diseases, Disease Prevention and the Immune System;

Biodiversity;  Classification & Evolution.

Autumn 1

Cell Structure
Biological Molecules

Autumn 2

Nucleic Acids, Enzymes, Biological Membranes, Cell Division

Spring 1

Exchange Surface & Breathing
Transport In Animals

Spring 2

Transport in Plants

Summer 1

Communicable Diseases
Biodiversity

Summer 2

Classification and Evolution

Biology - Year 13

Unit 5: Communication, Homeostasis & Energy

Communication & Homeostasis;  Excretion as an Example of Homeostatic Control;  Neuronal Communication;  Hormonal Communication;  Plant & Animal Responses;  Photosynthesis;  Respiration.  

Unit 6: Genetics, Evolution & Ecosystems

Cellular Control;  Patterns of Inheritance;  Manipulating Genomes;  Cloning & Biotechnology;  Ecosystems;  Populations & Sustainability.

Autumn 1

Homeostasis & Communication
Photosynthesis

Autumn 2

Plant & Animal Responses
Respiration

Spring 1

Cellular Control, Inheritance
Manipulating Genomes

Spring 2

Cloning & Biotechnology
Ecosystems, Population

Summer 1

Examinations

Summer 2

Chemistry AS and A2 OCR A

Chemistry A is designed to be taught by a content led approach. The course is flexible with the specification divided up into topics, each covering different key concepts in chemistry. The topics range from the Periodic Table & Energy to Organic Chemistry & Analysis. Teaching of practical skills is integrated with the theoretical topics & assessed both through written papers and for A level only, the Practical Endorsement.

Chemistry - Year 12

1.    Development of Practical Skills
2.    Foundation in Chemistry
3.    Periodic Table & Energy
4.    Core Organic Chemistry

Autumn 1

Atoms, Compounds, Molecules and Equations
Amounts of Substance

Autumn 2

Acid-Base and Redox Reactions
Electrons, Bonding and Structure

Spring 1

The Periodic Table and Periodicity
Group 2 and the Halogens
Qualitative Analysis

Spring 2

Enthalpy Changes
Basic Concepts in Organic Chemistry
Hydrocarbons

Summer 1

Reaction Rates and Equilibrium (Qualitative)
Alcohols and Haloalkanes
Organic Synthesis
Analytical Techniques

Summer 2

Revision
Exams
Reaction Rates and Equilibrium (Quantitive)
Aromatic Compounds

Chemistry - Year 13

5.    Physical Chemistry
6.    Organic Chemistry & Analysis
7.    Practical Endorsement

Autumn 1

Carbonyl Compounds
pH and Buffers

Autumn 2

Enthalpy, Entropy and Free Energy
Carboxylic Acids and Esters

Spring 1

Redox and Electrode Potentials
Nitrogen Compounds

Spring 2

Polymers
Transition Elements

Summer 1

Organic Synthesis
Chromatography and Spectroscopy (NMR)

Summer 2

Revision
Exams

Physics AS and A2 AQA / Edexcel

This information is for the Edexcel course taught from September 2015. The course is designed so that you are able to –

  • Progress smoothly from previous GCSE studies in Physics.
  • Develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the principles and applications of Physics.
  • Gain hands-on practical skills and data analysis skills.
  • Appreciate How Science Works and its relevance beyond the laboratory.

Investigative and practical skills are developed throughout the course are and examined indirectly in the theory papers. In addition, at A2 Level pupils receive a practical endorsement that they have demonstrated competence in a range of core skills.

Physics - Year 12

Concepts include: - Mechanics, Electricity, Waves, Materials and the Dual Nature of Light. These are taught in a context led approach and are examined in two papers at the end of Year 12.

Autumn Term

‘Mechanics’ and ‘Waves’

Spring Term

‘Electricity’ and ‘Materials’

Summer 1

Revision

Summer 2

‘Astrophysics’ and ‘Particle Physics’

Physics - Year 13

Concepts include: - Further Mechanics, Fields, Nuclear and Particle Physics, Thermodynamics, Space, Radiation, Fields and Oscillations. These are examined, along with knowledge of the AS content, in 3 papers at the end of Year 13.

Autumn 1

‘Further Mechanics’ and ‘Thermal Physics’  

Autumn 2

‘Electric Fields’ and ‘Radiation’

Spring 1

‘Magnetic Fields’ and ‘Gravitational Fields’

Spring 2

‘Nuclear Physics’ and ‘Oscillations’

Summer 1

Consolidation

Summer 2

BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Science (Year 13 Only)

The BTEC Subsidiary Diploma is comprised of three core units that all pupils will study and a further three specialised units which have to be taken from many different optional units. It is designed to provide highly flexible work-related practical qualification in a range of vocational sectors. The course covers all aspects of science and is not limited to a specific science subject – students will cover aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics in the compulsory units. This gives pupils the knowledge, understanding and skills that they need to prepare for employment or further study.

BTEC Science Year 12

Students will cover the 3 Compulsory units:

Unit 1: Fundamentals of science
Unit 2: Working in the Science Industry
Unit 4: Scientific practical techniques.

BTEC Science Year 13

Students can choose as a group three further specialised units from a range of units available.

e.g. Physiology of human body systems, Genetics and genetic engineering, Criminology, Microbiological techniques etc.

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For further advice or to find out more about the Science curriculum at Idsall School, please contact Mr M Middleton.

Updated September 2016