Science

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 ‘Combined Science’ Trilogy GCSE course in January.

Year 10 and 11, students will sit regular module tests at the end of each module of work in all three science disciplines.  Year 10 students will also sit an end of Year 10 mock exam and Year 11 students will sit a mock GCSE exam close to Christmas which will inform teaching staff whether a student should sit the foundation or higher tier papers. The grades from these examinations and tests will be used to determine the student ‘current working level’ on Go4Schools.  Students should revised for all examinations and tests in the same way they would for any examination.  Only with students thoroughly preparing for these assessments 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 11.

The separate 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 Combined ‘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 formal 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 either of the two science courses.  Students are, however, required to complete a series of assessed practical tasks carried out in lesson time.

Year 11 students will follow AQA Combined Science: Trilogy or GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics started in Year 10.

Course codes:

  • AQA Combined Science: Trilogy 8464
  • Biology 8461
  • Chemistry 8462
  • Physics 8463

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 Separate Science course which results in a separate GCSE for Biology, Physics and Chemistry.

Methods of assessment:- For the Combined Science: Trilogy course there are six papers – two biology, two chemistry and two physics.  Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from these distinct topic areas:-

  • They are offered in Foundation and Higher Tiers
  • Uses structured questions (there is no choice of questions)
  • Assesses the quality of written communication
  • Each paper is of equal length and is worth equal marks.

Each of the six examination papers is worth 16.7% of the GCSE grade, each having 70 marks and is 1 hour and 15 minutes long.

For the Separate Science GCSE, there are two papers for each science subject – two biology, two chemistry and two physics.  Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas:-

  • They are offered in Foundation and Higher Tiers
  • Uses structured questions (there is no choice of questions)
  • Assesses the quality of written communication
  • Each paper is of equal length and is worth equal marks.

 

Each of the two examination papers is worth 50% of the GCSE grade for that particular science subject, each having 100 marks and is 1 hour and 45 minutes long.

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 AQA website. 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