Science

 

Head of Department: Ms Reddy

 

The Vision of the Department:

Being a scientist – what does this mean? 

“The important thing is to never stop questioning”

  • Albert Einstein

 “Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known”

  •  Carl Sagan

Science at AGFS aims to:

  • Spark enthusiasm and engage students into Science
  • Bridge the gap between each key stage
  • Develop understanding of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics through a logical and progressive order of content
  • Allow students to acquire, investigative, analytical, communication, enquiry and problem solving skills that are vital for all scientists
  • Equip students for their next steps

The AGFS science department will implement this through outstanding:

  • teachers that have a range of experience in each discipline, both in school and in the scientific industry,
  •  a 5 year curriculum that carefully maps out what topics should be taught to ensure logical progression which is inclusive of both theory and practical content,
  • medium term plans and personalised learning checklists (PLC’s) linked to the AQA exam boards specification which guide students on what content they need to know,
  • delivery of required practicals in a safe environment,

 

Key Stage 3 curriculum

The key stage 3 curriculum is underpinned by the AQA GCSE specification, which means students are provided with the foundation knowledge that prepares them for their key stage 4 GCSE Science options.

 

Year 7:

  Content covered What is being assessed in the end of term exam
Term 1 Biology: Cells

Chemistry: Particles and behaviour

Physics: Forces

Animal, plant and specialised cells, parts and functions of the cells, states of matter structure and properties, types of forces and consequences of forces
Term 2 Biology: Structure and function of body systems: gas exchange and breathing

Chemistry: Elements, Mixtures and Compounds

Physics: Sound

Respiratory system structure, function and adaptations, element, mixture and compound definitions, examples and reactions, sound, parts of the ear, how we hear
Term3 Biology: Reproduction in plants and animals

Chemistry: Reactions, acids and alkalis

Physics: Light and Space

Parts of a plant and animal including their functions. Definition of fertilisation and development of a baby. Observations of a reaction, acid and alkali examples and neutralisation. Reflection, refraction and dispersion. Space

 

Year 8:

  Content covered What is being assessed in the end of term exam
Term 1 Biology: Health and lifestyle: drugs and digestion

Chemistry: The periodic Table

Physics: Electricity and Magnetism

Nutrients and their functions. Factors affecting a lifestyle. Drugs and their effects and digestive system parts, their functions and process of digestion
Term 2 Biology: Ecosystem processes, photosynthesis, respiration and interdependence

Chemistry: Separation Techniques

Physics: Energy

Ecosystem definition and examples. Processes that happen in an ecosystem. Photosynthesis process and application. Different type of separation techniques. Types of energy and energy transfers
Term3 Biology: Adaptation and inheritance

Chemistry: Metals, acids and the earth

Physics: Motion and pressure

Different examples of adaptations, definitions of key words linked to inheritance, properties of metals and reactions with of metals and acids. The earth’s structure. Acceleration, deceleration and pressure.

 

KS3 Revision

The science department recommends the following revision techniques:

  • When students find a topic difficult, students should read back through their notes in class and use BBC bitesize and/or you tube videos (fuse school) to go over the content to help consolidate understanding
  • Make flash cards and revision posters if students learn and can remember by doing this
  • Regular self-testing. Students can repeat questions completed in class on a blank sheet of paper or work with friends to test each other. Students can also make up questions/tests themselves and a mark scheme to match it
  • Students should find a memory/revision technique that will help them remember all the key facts they need to know
  • Plan a revision timetable to make sure students go over topics. This should include social down time and also prioritising topics they find difficult
  • Seek a teacher’s help with specific questions of what they need help with

 

Key stage 4 Curriculum

In year 9, students are presented with GCSE options. In Science, students have 2 routes;

Combined Science (2 grades, Biology, Chemistry and Physics covered) or

Triple Science – Biology, Chemistry and Physics (1 grade per Science).

 

A higher attaining student will be able to opt for the Triple Science option assuming it does not clash with another option in that block. The Science department will also help guide students to choose an option that is best suitable for them. On average 60% of students are on route with the Triple Science course. The Science department is extremely proud of this, as on average the national norm for this route is 20%. 

 

Year 9:

  Content covered What is being assessed in the end of term exam
Term 1 Biology: Bioenergetics and plant tissues

Chemistry: Atomic structure, bonding and energy changes

Physics: Energy

Respiration, photosynthesis, transpiration, cross section of a leaf, xylem and phloem.

Structure of at atom, charges, mass, 3 types of bonding (structure, description and properties), endo and exothermic reactions and reaction profiles.

Energy systems, types of stores, conservation of energy, calculations of energy, power and efficiency.

Term 2 Biology: Genetics and Evolution

Chemistry: Rates of reaction and chemical analysis

Physics: Electricity

Using genetic diagrams, selective breeding, genetic engineering, cloning, theories of evolution and classification.

Rates of reactions, factors affecting it and investigating it. Tests for oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide and chlorine.

Circuit diagrams, charge, current, voltage, resistance, series and parallel circuits and domestic uses.

Term3 Biology : Infection and Response

Chemistry: Chemistry and the atmosphere and using resources

Physics: Particle model and atomic structure

Diseases, symptoms and causes and the immune system (monoclonal antibodies). How did the early atmosphere form and how is it different today. How is oxygen and carbon dioxide increased and decreased in the world and resources used with it’s effects

 

Year 10:

  Topics What is being assessed in the end of term exam.

Development of the atom, structure of the atom, density, changes of state and particle motion.

Term 1 Biology: Cell Biology, meiosis, asexual reproduction and DNA and digestive system

Chemistry: Quantitative chemistry and energy changes

Physics: Particle Model and Radioactivity

 

Structure of DNA, cell cycles, types of cells, cellular transports, microscopes and digestive system.

How do you calculate relative formula mass (Mr), percentage composition, mass, moles and concentration. What is a reversible reaction and how do you explain it?

Specific heat capacity and latent heat. Decay, half life, background radiation, nuclear fusion and fission.

Term 2 Biology: Homeostasis and nervous system

Chemistry: Chemical changes, rates of reaction and organic chemistry

Physics: Forces and Waves (Combined) Space (Triple)

How is glucose, temperature, ions and water controlled? Brain, eye and reflexes.

Describing and explaining energy changes during a reactions and describing and explaining polymerisation and functional groups. Waves - Scalers, vectors, contact and non contact forces, gravity and resultant forces. Space – red shift, satellites, stars and the solar system.

Term3 Biology: Ecology

Chemistry: Chemical analysis and using resources

Physics: Forces

Food chains, webs, sampling and food security.

How do you carry out different instrumental techniques and read the results? How do you assess the life cycle of a product?

Distance, speed, time, acceleration, Newton Laws, stopping distance and momentum

 

By the end of Y10 students would have been taught all of the content for their GCSE science exams.

In the GCSE papers, the topics are tested in 2 papers which include:

Combined Science:

 

Biology:

Paper 1

Paper 2

Cell biology, organisation, infection and response and bioenergetics Homeostasis and response, inheritance, variation, evolution and ecology

 

Chemistry:

 

Paper 1

Paper 2

Atomic structure, periodic table, bonding structure, properties of matter; quantitative chemistry, chemical changes and energy changes The rate and extent of chemical change, organic chemistry, chemical analysis, chemistry of the atmosphere and using resources

 

Physics:

Paper 1

Paper 2

Energy, electricity, particle model of matter and atomic structure Forces, waves, magnetism and electromagnetism and space physics

 

Triple Science:

 

Biology:

 

Paper 1

Paper 2

Cell biology, organisation, infection and response and bioenergetics Homeostasis and response, inheritance, variation, evolution and ecology

 

Chemistry:

Paper 1

Paper 2

Atomic structure, periodic table, bonding structure, properties of matter; quantitative chemistry, chemical changes and energy changes The rate and extent of chemical change, organic chemistry, chemical analysis, chemistry of the atmosphere and using resources

 

Physics:

 

Paper 1

Paper 2

Energy, electricity, particle model of matter and atomic structure Forces, waves, magnetism and electromagnetism and space physics

 

Year 11:

  Topics What is being assessed in the end of term exam
Term 1 Revision of Paper 1 Topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics Paper 1 and Paper 2 Topics
Term 2 Revision of Paper 2 Topics in Biology, Chemistry and Physics
Term3 Public GCSE Exams (Student revise ‘hot’ topics and topics they find challenging to prepare them for their exams

KS4 Revision

Students should map out a revision timetable that allocated different subjects to times and ensure this includes social down time away from game consoles and mobile phones. Students have to contend with learning a lot of facts and concepts in science and therefore need to find a technique that allows them to remember facts. This may include:

 

  • Students should support their learning in class by bringing their revision guides to class. The department recommends AQA Biology, Chemistry and Physics Collins revision guides or AQA Combined Science revision guide (depending on the course they do). These can be purchased at reception, amazon or any book shop
  • Re-writing notes in a manner that suits them. This can include flashcards, posters, handwritten notes, typed up notes or mind maps
  • Students should track the content covered. The specification is on the AQA website (https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse). They can check the lesson in their books and tick off each topic done. They can then make a list of topics they do not fully understand and ensure they go over them as independent learning. Use BBC Bitesize, your revision guide, exercise book and you tube videos to go over the topic and secure understanding. Make notes, cover them up and see if you can remember the key points without looking.
  • Students need to regularly re-visit these topics they find difficult to help them remember. This should be mapped out in their revision timetable.
  • Students should practice applying the concept they learn to practice exam questions. This can be done by practicing questions attempted in class on a different piece of paper or using LogOn Science (students have their logon details) and practice exam questions online. Students can also practice specimen and past papers available on the AQA website ((https://www.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse)

 

Feedback

 

Feedback in science is given through a variety of ways including:

  • and driving high standards of presentation: 

Ambition and careers

Careers permeate through lessons and feature on read now activities and through medium term plans and PLC’s. Additionally, in order to support pupils’ understanding of the job a scientific qualification can lead to, the science department has a dedicated member of staff who is the representative of STEAM (working toward achieving outstanding education in science, technology, engineering, the Arts and mathematics). This project provides a range of opportunities such as inviting STEM ambassadors and other professionals in the industry to work with students. They are able to give students an insight into their education in science and career progression. Students are able to speak with ambassadors individually and ask questions about their education and career with the intention to open pupils understanding of careers and pathways post-16. Currently our department is partnered with JP Morgan and a selected group of year 9 students will be participating in “Schools challenge”. We also have links with the Royal Society, Formula 1 and Imperial College London.

 

Enrichment and Drop Down Days

In school, science specific enrichment opportunities currently include drop down days:

 

  • Yr 7 - Science Museum – to allow students to become aware of topical issues in science and discover science through a different medium
  • Yr 8 – Space Day – to consolidate understanding of space knowledge, evaluate ideas and theories whilst becoming aware of topical issues
  • Yr 9 – Ecology Day – to explore different methods of measuring the distribution of species
  • Yr 10 – Forensics Day – to develop techniques and consolidate experimental methods used to analyse forensic samples and reinforce links between each science discipline
  • Yr 11 – Walking Talking Mocks – to develop scientific exam techniques to prepare for all future Science exams. This will also allow students to develop assessment tactics for their future and succeed

On Wednesday afternoon’s the department also offer a Science enrichment club (P4 and P5) for Y7-9 where students complete a variety of experiments such as making plastic milk and chromatography trolls. They also develop leadership skills by leading experiments with local primary schools. There is a particular focus on promoting chemistry experiments as the Royal Society of Chemistry issued a grant to AGFS to promote chemistry to primary schools.