The Science faculty has created a bespoke scheme of work drawing from a variety of different disciplines to ensure pupils are fully prepared for the challenges of GCSE and have the cultural capital to engage in the world of science around them. Science explains how everything works within the world around us and within our own bodies, and our aim is to ensure that students can go some way into explaining how things work by using their scientific knowledge and understand the application of science in the real world.
The topics for each year group are identified below. Pupils will complete at least two of these topics per half term in their science lessons, with a series of short tests and synoptic assessments ensuring topics are assessed regularly. Within lessons, we emphasise the need to be able to apply knowledge to practical situations. The experiments carried out in class focus on the skills needed at GCSE using a range of different techniques and apparatus to obtain and analyse results. The teaching of mathematical skills also plays an integral role in the understanding of science and this is regularly taught and practiced in class. As the subject of science is very conceptual, we aim to deliver the content by using models and experiments which help students visualise the invisible.
To begin with students look at cells as the basic building block of life and how these differ within the natural world. Students then continue the concept of ‘all things small’ in the chemistry topic of solids, liquids and gases and how these can be represented within the particle model. Electricity covers how basic circuits are arranged and what causes electrical components, such as a light bulb to work. Atoms, elements and molecules explores how elements found in the periodic table can be formed and arranged differently to make a brand new substance. Revisiting the previous work done in cells, we look at how different animals reproduce, the adaptations of sex cells and gestation periods. Returning to chemistry, we explore how acids and alkalis are used in the everyday world but also how they can be dangerous. We look at their uses and how to correctly measure pH. Linking with PE, the topic fit and healthy looks at how we move and how drugs can affect our body systems. This follows onto the physics topic of forces and how different objects interact to cause motion and change in direction or speed. Returning to chemistry once more, links with the previous topics of particle theory and atoms and elements we look at a range of different separating techniques that are used in industry to form a desirable product. In the final half term, the physics topics of energy and sound are studied and the different mechanisms of how sound and energy are transferred. Ecosystems completes year 7 looking at the interactions within nature of both plants and animals and how each depend on each other for survival.
In year 8, most of the topics covered expand on previously taught concepts from year 7 with the addition of some new areas. Students begin by studying the different nutrient groups and balanced diets. Within chemistry in year 7 students are made aware of a small range of different elements, however we have discovered over 100 elements on earth and these are studied within the periodic table topic. Students learn how the table is arranged and look at the work of Mendeleev and the patterns he observed. This follows on to the next topic of materials and their uses and how the properties of a combination of elements can be exploited in the real world to serve a wide range of functions from making clothes to designing a rocket. The physics topic of light looks at the how it is created, transmitted and interacts with matter often producing unusual results. Expanding on from the year 7 topic of fit and healthy, and again linking with PE, the topic of breathing and respiration looks at all living organisms and how they respond to stimulus to stay alive but also how the by-products of some reactions in substances can be used to make food such as bread. Linking with geography, the topic of rocks is studied which looks at how a range of different rocks are created on earth and how earth tectonics is shaping the world around us. Returning to biology, in year 7 pupils looked at how animals reproduced, this time we will look at plant reproduction and how this can lead to variations in plants found around the world. The topic of microbes focuses on the microscopic world of disease and how this can cause illness but also how the body can fight and protect us from becoming ill. Earth and space teaches students how objects such as stars and planets interact leading to seasons, different length of days and years and how we have created satellites on earth to help us in modern day life.
In the final half term, the chemistry topic of combustion looks at the advantages and disadvantages associated with using fuels and what is needed to replace this finite resource to maintain our quality of life. The final topic of fluids focuses on how we can design objects to travel through air and water efficiently including what is done in sports science to make athletes successful and in industry to design efficient automobiles.
Within year 9, the pupils complete their key stage 3 topic areas and transition onto GCSE after Christmas. The biology topic of growing our food develops the year 8 topic of food and nutrition with the emphasis of how famers maximise the growing potential of their crops through use of modern technology. Genetics and evolution adds to the basic concepts of cells but looks more at DNA and how this varies within a species to produce a range of different characteristics. Within chemistry, the topic of reactivity explores how substances can displace each other due to their position within the periodic table and why elements such as gold are found in pure form in rocks. The final physics topic explores in more depth the relationship between forces and motion and how this can be analysed mathematically in both equation form and from graphs.
We aim to develop enquiring minds within our young people and a natural curiosity for the world of science around them. It is the intention that students will develop a love for science and a desire to want to know more at GCSE and beyond. We aim to ensure that students have a well-rounded science knowledge that will set them up for the transition into GCSE whilst also ensuring they are able to apply their knowledge to the conceptually demanding exam style questions.