Key Stage 4

In January of Year 9, students start the GCSE course. Effectively, Key Stage 4 starts here for students in Science. Students will sit an end of KS3 examination in December of Year 9 which allows groups to be set for the start of the AQA Trilogy GCSE course in January.

Year 10 and 11, students will sit mock examinations in November and during the Spring term. The grades from these examinations will be used to determine the student ‘current working level’ on Go4Schools. Students should revise for mock examinations in the same way they would for any examination. Only with students thoroughly preparing for mocks can students, parents and teaching staff accurately gauge where difficulties with the course content exist.

Year 10 students will follow the AQA Trilogy course. This means a decision on whether a student will take the ‘single’ or ‘double’ award can be taken later in Year 10.

Single award involves the separate study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, culminating in the award of a GCSE in each discipline (graded at 1 to 9).

Double award (AQA ‘Trilogy’ course) again involves the study of all three disciplines, but the final examinations result in the award of two GCSE grades for Science.

All examinations in Science will be at the end of Year 11, which means that pupils will have to remember, and be able to use, all the content taught for the GCSE course together with key ideas taught at KS3. There will no longer be any coursework component in the award of GCSE Science grades.

Year 11 students will follow OCR Gateway B Core and Additional, OCR Gateway Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Course codes:

  • Core Science J261
  • Additional Science J262
  • Biology B (J263)
  • Chemistry B (J264)
  • Physics B (J265)

Course Content:-  This qualification identifies the activities and experiences learners will come across in everyday life, and links these to scientific ideas and their implications for society. It provides the opportunity to acquire the scientific skills, knowledge and understanding necessary for life as a citizen. Higher ability pupils will be recommended to sit the Triple Science course which results in a separate GCSE for Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Methods of assessment:- For Core and Additional, two written exams, assessed externally by OCR, each of which:

  • Is offered in Foundation and Higher Tiers
  • Uses structured questions (there is no choice of questions)
  • Assesses the quality of written communication

The ‘2’ and ‘4’ series examinations also includes a 10 mark data response section which assesses AO3 (analyse and evaluate evidence, make reasoned judgements and draw conclusions based on evidence)

Together the examination papers make up 75% of the marks with a further 25% being based on a controlled assessment split into three parts. The controlled assessment is assessed by teachers, internally standardised and then externally moderated by OCR.

Triple Science students will sit exams in the ‘1,2,3’ units for Biology, Chemistry and Physics at the end of Year 11 worth 35% of the total mark. They will also sit examinations in the ‘4,5,6’ units for all three subjects, also at the end of Year 11, worth 40% of the marks.

Triple Science students will submit a separate coursework piece for Biology, Chemistry and Physics worth 25% of the marks during Year 11.

Additional Textbooks and Supporting Materials:- Revision guides appropriate to the course and examination workbooks will be ordered by the department based on requests from parents to ensure that students are revising from the correct texts.

Past papers and mark schemes are available, free of charge, on the OCR/AQA websites. Students will be shown how to access this material as part of their Science lessons.

Key Stage 3

Course based around the Hodder “Dynamic learning” response to the new National Curriculum.

Year 7:

Entry examination based on the KS2 SAT examination. Levels used to inform grouping of students. Students then study each of the topics listed below.

Progress is tracked through end of topic tests and ‘Badger’ level assessed tasks. ‘Badger’ tasks give students criteria relating to a scientific concept which students respond to using models, posters or essays. Levels are recorded on to Go4Schools and are open for parents/carers to view.

Biology topics: Cells and tissues / Animal reproduction / Plant reproduction / Environment and adaptation / Variation and classification

Chemistry topics: Particles / Atoms and elements /  Acids and alkalis / Pure and impure / substances

Physics topics: Energy transfers / Forces and effects / Electricity / Energy resources

Year 8:

Groups reviewed on the basis of Year 7 tracking data and MiDYIS score.

Biology topics: Photosynthesis / Food and digestion / Lungs and gas exchange / Respiration / Muscles and bones

Chemistry topics: Simple chemical reactions / Compounds / Periodic table / Extracting metals / Reactions of acids

Physics topics: Magnets and electromagnets / Motion / Domestic and static electricity / Waves and sound / Light

Year 9:

Groups reviewed on the basis of Year 8 tracking data and MiDYIS score.

Biology topics: Inheritance and evolution / Drugs and health / microbes /

Chemistry topics: Describing reactions / Earth and atmosphere / Innovative materials

Physics topics: Application of forces / Heat transfer / Exploring space