Science

All students study Science at Central Academy. In Science students are given the opportunity to learn about the biological, physical, chemical and technological world. Students will conduct investigations to test out scientific ideas and explanations. As well as increasing scientific knowledge, we aim to develop problem solving skills and the ability to analyse and interpret data. A vast number of careers require a grounding in science. If students want to go on to train as a doctor, vet, chemist, beautician, engineer, farmer, sports trainer, a strong knowledge of at least one of the sciences will be required.

In KS3 we following the United Learning Science curriculum.  The United Learning curriculum for science in Years 7, 8 and 9 is based on the national curriculum for Key Stage 3 science. 

It takes a year-by-year approach to teaching the curriculum in Years 7, 8 and 9.

  • Each year is divided into topics across biology, chemistry and physics, but equally weighted across these three disciplines.
  • Working Scientifically skills are embedded throughout the various units for example; different methods of scientific investigation; different formats for tables of data; bar or line graphs; and so on.

The topics that are taught are in the table below (not necessarily in order):

 

Y7 topics

Y8 topics

Y9 topics

 

 

Biology

Cells, tissues and organs 7BC

Ecological relationships and classification 8BE

Biological systems and processes 9BB

 

Reproduction and

variation 7BR

Digestion and nutrition 8BD

Plants and photosynthesis 9BP

 

 

 

Chemistry

Particles 7CP

Materials and the Earth 8CM

Reactivity 9CR

Chemical reactions 7CC

The periodic table 8CP

Energetics and rates 9CE

 

 

 

Physics

Forces and motion 7PF

Light and space 8PL

Sound waves 9PS

Energy 7PE

Electricity and magnetism 8PE

Forces in action 9PF

Matter 9PM

Working Scientifically - developed as appropriate through all topics

 

 Scientific attitudes WSAT

 Experimental skills and investigations WSSK

 Analysis and evaluation WSAN

 Measurement WSME

Students at KS4 are directed onto the appropriate course for their GCSE qualifications at the end of Year 8. Students will then follow one of two qualification pathways. The GCSE course will begin in the second term of Year 9.

All students follow a course encompassing all three areas of Science:  Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  Depending on suitability, they follow an appropriate course leading to the following qualifications:   

AQA Trilogy Science

This is a Combined Science qualification, which aims to inspire and challenge students of all abilities and aspirations. Assessment for the course takes place at the end of the year and will have the following examinations:  

Biology Topics - Each paper is 1 hr 15 mins – 70 marks (16.7% of the GCSE)

Paper 1: Topics 1-4

Cell biology

Organisation

Infection and response

Bioenergetics

Paper 2: Topics 5-7

Homeostasis and response

Inheritance

Variation & evolution

Ecology

Chemistry Topics

Paper 1: Topics 8-12

Atomic structure and the periodic table

Bonding, structure & properties of matter

Quantitative chemistry

Chemical changes

Energy changes

Paper 2: Topics 13-17

The rate and extent of chemical change

Organic chemistry

Chemical analysis

Chemistry of the atmosphere

Using resources

Physics Topics

Paper 1: Topics 18-21

Energy

Electricity

Particle model of matter

Atomic structure

Paper 2: Topics 22-25

Forces

Waves

Magnetism

Electromagnetism


The specification can be found here:

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/science/specifications/AQA-8464-SP-2016.PDF

AQA Triple Sciences – Biology, Chemistry, Physics

Students following this GCSE pathway will complete three GCSEs (Biology, Chemistry and Physics).  This course provides an excellent step up to further education in any of the three Sciences.

Students on a Triple pathway will be examined in the following way:

GCSE Biology (8461) - Each paper is 1 hr 45 mins – 100 marks (50% of the GCSE)

Paper 1: Topics 1-4

Cell biology

Organisation

Infection and response

Bioenergetics

Paper 2: Topics 5-7

Homeostasis and response

Inheritance, variation & evolution

Ecology

GCSE Chemistry (8462) - Each paper is 1 hr 45 mins – 100 marks (50% of the GCSE)

Paper 1: Topics 1-5

Atomic structure and the periodic table

Bonding, structure & properties of matter

Quantitative chemistry

Chemical changes

Energy changes

Paper 2: Topics 6-10

The rate and extent of chemical change

Organic chemistry

Chemical analysis

Chemistry of the atmosphere

Using resources

GCSE Physics (8463) - Each paper is 1 hr 45 mins – 100 marks (50% of the GCSE)

Paper 1: Topics 1-4

Energy

Electricity

Particle model of matter

Atomic structure

Paper 2: Topics

Forces

Waves

Magnetism

Electromagnetism

Space physics

Questions in Paper 2 may draw on an understanding of energy changes and transfers due to heating, mechanical and electrical work and the concept of energy conservation from Energy and Electricity.

The specifications can be found here:

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/biology/specifications/AQA-8461-SP-2016.PDF

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/chemistry/specifications/AQA-8462-SP-2016.PDF

http://filestore.aqa.org.uk/resources/physics/specifications/AQA-8463-SP-2016.PDF

General Information

There is no longer a controlled assessment in either qualification. In place of controlled assessments are required practicals, which students undertake throughout the course.  There are questions relating to these practicals within the exams. More information about the required practicals can be found in the specifications.

All students in KS4 are able to purchase an AQA revision guide at the start of the GCSE course from the Science Department, via Parent Pay. This should be used alongside the resources given to students during their lessons. As well as this, all students are given access to Kerboodle, an AQA online resource containing online textbooks, homework questions and exam style questions. Students will receive their own log in to Kerboodle and can access it at home and school. Finally, knowledge organisers are also available on Kerboodle for all students to access. This is a resource students should use to support the recall of information they have learnt over the whole GCSE course.

Advice on how to revise 

Dos

Don'ts

Turn off mobile phone/leave with parent

Have mobile next to you on the table/desk. BIG distraction.

Silence is best (think of lessons when you are concentrating best!). But some of you will put music on…

If you find yourself singing along to the radio/ your music – turn it off. It is distracting you.

Write quizzes on the content – simple factual recall questions.

Copy out notes, from book or revision guide, or do spider diagrams – very low demand.

Revise for around half an hour at a time. You’ll probably need a break after this length of time (just 5 minutes! Time to check your phone…).

Keep going when you’ve stopped concentrating. You don’t learn the material unless you are thinking about it.

Revise the bits you find hardest first, when your concentration levels are at their best.

Highlight! Doesn’t make you think much, so achieves very little.

Get others to test you (e.g. parents), using your quiz and/or knowledge organiser. This will keep it fresh.

Read it over and over. You’ll retain very little this way.

Test yourself at least five times on each topic. And spread out your tests for the maximum effect.

Cram. Or even try to revise one topic in one day. Your retention will be much worse.

In the Sixth Form we offer a choice of four Sciences courses:

  • A Level Biology
  • A Level Chemistry
  • A Level Physics
  • BTEC in Applied Science

All of the courses use practical work and theory to develop a deeper understanding of the Science specialisms. Completing an A level in one of the courses above aims to increase understanding of the world around us, develops understanding in the role that Science plays in society, as well as improving planning skills, conducting investigations, gathering information and evaluating findings. Science courses enable students to develop confidence, knowledge and skills, as well as finding appreciation in the value of scientific contributions and achievements of people from different cultures. Science A levels form an excellent platform for further education, whether your student would like to continue their studies in Science or move into a different field.

A little bit about each course:

A Level Biology:

The exam board is AQA.  This is a two year course made up of eight units; four units in Year 12 and four units in Year 13.

3.1 Biological molecules (Y12)

3.2 Cells (Y12)

3.3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment (Y12)

3.4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms (Y12)

3.5 Energy transfers in and between organisms (Y13)

3.6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments (Y13)

3.7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems (Y13)

3.8 The control of gene expression (Y13)

There is also a practical component to the course with the compulsory completion of 12 required practical activities, along with a whole range of other practical activities to help students develop an understanding of scientific processes.  These practical activities will not form part of the overall A Level grade but the practical activities have to be passed.  At least 15% of the overall assessment of A-level Biology will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to this practical work.

All external exams are at the Year 13 and comprise of the following:

Paper 1

+

Paper 2

+

Paper 3

What's assessed

Any content from topics 1–  4, including relevant practical skills

What's assessed

Any content from topics 5 – 8, including relevant practical skills

What's assessed

Any content from topics 1– 8, including relevant practical skills

Assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     91 marks

     35% of A-level

Assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     91 marks

     35% of A-level

Assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     78 marks

     30% of A-level

Questions

     76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions

     15 marks: extended response questions

Questions

     76 marks: a mixture of short and long answer questions

     15 marks: comprehension question

Questions

     38 marks: structured questions, including practical techniques

     15 marks: critical analysis of given experimental data

     25 marks: one essay from a choice of two titles















10% of the overall assessment of A-level Biology will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above.

External AS Biology exams are taken at the end of Year 12.  This allows a thorough assessment of progress so far and means that if students do drop the subject at the end of Year 12 they will have some points to go towards their UCAS points total when applying for Higher Education courses.

Link to A Level Biology Specification

A Level Chemistry

The exam board is AQA.  This is a two year course made up of the following units.

Year 12

3.1 Physical Chemistry

3.1.1 Atomic structure

3.1.2 Amount of substance

3.1.3 Bonding

3.1.4 Energetics

3.1.5 Kinetics

3.1.6 Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc

3.1.7 Oxidation, reduction and redox equations

3.2 Inorganic Chemistry

3.2.1 Periodicity

3.2.2 Group 2, the alkaline earth metals

3.2.3 Group 7(17), the halogens

3.3 Organic Chemistry

3.3.1 Introduction to organic chemistry

3.3.2 Alkanes

3.3.3 Halogenoalkanes

3.3.4 Alkenes

3.3.5 Alcohols

3.3.6 Organic analysis

 

Year 13

3.1.8 Thermodynamics (Yr13)

3.1.9 Rate equations (Yr13))

3.1.10 Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems (Yr13)

3.1.11 Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells (Yr13)

3.1.12 Acids and bases (Yr13)

3.2.4 Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides (Yr13)

3.2.5 Transition metals (Yr13)

3.2.6 Reactions of ions in aqueous solution (Yr13)

3.3.7 Optical isomerism (Yr13)

3.3.8 Aldehydes and ketones (Yr13)

3.3.9 Carboxylic acids and derivatives (Yr13)

3.3.10 Aromatic chemistry (Yr13)

3.3.11 Amines (Yr13)

3.3.12 Polymers (Yr13)

3.3.13 Amino acids, proteins and DNA (Yr13)

3.3.14 Organic synthesis (Yr13)

3.3.15 Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (Yr13)

3.3.16 Chromatography (Yr13)


There is also a practical component to the course with the compulsory completion of 12 required practical activities, along with a whole range of other practical activities to help students develop an understanding of scientific processes.  These practical activities will not form part of the overall A Level grade but the practical activities have to be passed.  At least 15% of the overall assessment of A-level Chemistry will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to this practical work.

All external exams are at the Year 13 and comprise of the following:

Paper 1

+

Paper 2

+

Paper 3

What's assessed

     Relevant Physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.1 to 3.1.4, 3.1.6 to

3.1.8 and 3.1.10 to 3.1.12)

     Inorganic chemistry

(Section 3.2)

     Relevant practical skills

What's assessed

     Relevant Physical chemistry topics (sections 3.1.2 to 3.1.6 and 3.1.9)

     Organic chemistry 

(Section 3.3)

     Relevant practical skills

What's assessed

     Any content

     Any practical skills

How it’s assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     105 marks

     35% of A-level

How it’s assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     105 marks

     35% of A-level

How it’s assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     90 marks

     30% of A-level

Questions

105 marks of short and long

answer questions

Questions

105 marks of short and long

answer questions

Questions

40 marks of questions on practical techniques and data analysis.

20 marks of questions testing across the specification

30 marks of multiple choice questions

Overall, at least 20% of the marks in assessments for chemistry will require the use of mathematical skills. These skills will be applied in the context of chemistry and will be at least the standard of higher tier GCSE Mathematics.

 

External AS Chemistry exams are taken at the end of Year 12.  This allows a thorough assessment of progress so far and means that if students do drop the subject at the end of Year 12 they will have some points to go towards their UCAS points total when applying for Higher Education courses.

Link to A Level Chemistry specification

A Level Physics

The exam board is AQA.  This is a two year course made up of nine units; five units in Year 12 and four units in Year 13:

                            Year 12

                          Year 13

1        Measurements and their errors

2        Particles and radiation

3        Waves

4        Mechanics and materials

5        Electricity

    

6.  Further mechanics and thermal physics   7.  Fields and their consequences

8.  Nuclear physics

Plus one of these options:

9.  Astrophysics

10.  Medical physics
11.  Engineering physics
12.  Turning points in physics
13.  Electronics


There is also a practical component to the course with the compulsory completion of 12 required practical activities, along with a whole range of other practical activities to help students develop an understanding of scientific processes.  These practical activities will not form part of the overall A Level grade but the practical activities have to be passed.  At least 15% of the overall assessment of A-level Physics will assess knowledge, skills and understanding in relation to this practical work.

All external exams are at the Year 13 and comprise of the following:

Paper 1

+

Paper 2

+

Paper 3

What's assessed

Sections 1 – 5 and 6.1

(Periodic motion)

What's assessed

Sections 6.2 

(Thermal Physics), 7 and 8

Assumed knowledge from

sections 1 to 6.1

What's assessed

Section A: Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis

Section B: Students enter for one of sections 9, 10, 11, 12 or 13

Assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     85 marks

     34% of A-level

Assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     85 marks

     34% of A-level

Assessed

     written exam: 2 hours

     80 marks

     32% of A-level

Questions

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Questions

60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content.

Questions

45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis.

35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.


Overall, 40% of the overall assessment of AS Physics will contain mathematical skills equivalent to Level 2 or above.

External AS Physics exams are taken at the end of Year 12.  This allows a thorough assessment of progress so far and means that if students do drop the subject at the end of Year 12 they will have some points to go towards their UCAS points total when applying for Higher Education courses.

Link to A Level Physics specification


BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Applied Science

The exam board is Pearson.

This is a two year course made up of four units of which 3 are mandatory (83% of the course) and one is chosen from a list of options (17% of the course).  The optional unit studied is Unit 8 – Physiology of Human Body systems.   

 

Unit 1 and 3 are externally assessed (58% of the course)

Units 2 and 8 are internally assessed.

 

The course has 360 Guided learning hours over two years and is equivalent in size to one

A Level:


                         Year 12

                            Year 13 

 

Unit 1 Principles and Applications of science (90 hours) –externally assessed in a written exam.

 

Unit 2 Practical Scientific Procedures and techniques. (90 hours) – Internally assessed.

 

 

Unit 3 Science investigation skills

(120 hours)– external assessment.

 

Science practical skills will be taught, then assessed as follows:

Part A allows learners to complete the practical investigation and obtain results required for Part B

Part B is a written task worth 60 marks taken in exam conditions and using the data from Part A.

 

Unit 8 Physiology of Human body Systems

(60 hours) – internally assessed

 


The grades awarded range from ‘Pass’, ‘Merit’, ‘Distinction’ to ‘Distinction*’.  To be awarded the minimum  pass grade both the Unit 1 and Unit 3 external assessments have to be passed and all the ‘Pass’ sections of units 2 and 8 have to be successfully completed.

Link to BTECH Level 3 Extended Studies in Applied Science

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