All teachers teach an integrated Science curriculum in Key Stage 3, and each has a specialism that they teach in Key Stage 4 and the Sixth Form.
Key Stage 3
In Year 7, pupils are taught science for 6 periods a fortnight and all classes are mixed ability. One of these periods is a CASE lesson, (cognitive acceleration through science education) where pupils learn different practical and thinking skills in a variety of science contexts. In Year 8 students are again taught in mixed ability groups for 6 periods a fortnight. In year 9, the most able scientists are placed in 2 groups, with the remainder of pupils taught in mixed ability sets.
Science is taught using a detailed scheme of work, written specifically for Bishop Luffa pupils, based on the national curriculum programme of study for KS3 science. The scientific content of the KS3 scheme of work includes –
- Energy, electricity and forces
- Chemical and material behavior
- Organisms, behavior and health
- The environment, earth and the universe.
This content is divided into a number of short topics, normally 6 per term. In addition to the scientific content, pupils are taught a number of key concepts and processes. These include –
- Scientific thinking
- Using scientific models to explain phenomena and creative thinking to develop these models to generate and test theories.
- Critically analyse and evaluate data from experimentation and observations.
- The applications and implications of science, including technological development and the ethical implications of applying scientific discoveries.
- Cultural understanding and the collaborative approach to the work of scientists.
The scheme of work places a large emphasis on “how science works”, where pupils cover the key process of the scientific method, which include –
- Practical and enquiry skills
- Critically understanding evidence
- Methods of communicating scientific data and issues.
Key Stage 4
Year 10 Science - There are a number of different pathways on offer at Key Stage 4, all of which follow the AQA exam board suite of science GCSEs.
This comprises of 2 separate GCSE courses, Core Science and Additional Science. The Core Science GCSE is the minimum requirement to meet the national curriculum expectations for science. The Additional Science course covers a wider range of scientific concepts and skills. Both courses are taught by subject specialists, and are examined at the end of the course with a series of exams in biology, chemistry and physics. These are available at both higher and foundation tiers. Pupils also complete an investigative skills assessment (ISA) for each GCSE.
Biology – Keeping healthy, Control and coordination, Drugs, Interdependence and adaptation, Energy and biomass in food chains, Waste materials from plants and animals, Genetic variation and its control, Evolution.
Chemistry – The fundamental ideas in chemistry, Limestone and building materials, Metals and their uses, Crude oil and fuels, Other useful substances from crude oil, Plant oils and their uses, Changes in the Earth and its atmosphere.
Physics – The transfer of energy by heating processes, Energy and efficiency, The usefulness of electrical appliances, Methods we use to generate electricity, The use of waves for communication.
Biology – Cells and simple cell transport, Tissues organs and systems, Photosynthesis, Organisms and their environment, Proteins and their uses, Aerobic and anaerobic respiration, Cell division and inheritance, Speciation.
Chemistry – Structure and bonding, How structure influences properties, Atomic structure, analysis and quantitative chemistry, Rates of reactions, Exothermic and endothermic reactions, Acids, bases and salts, Electrolysis.
Physics – Forces and their effects, The kinetic energy of objects, Currents in electrical circuits, Using mains electricity safely, Radioactivity, Nuclear fission and fusion.
Pupils gain a separate GCSE in biology, chemistry and physics. This is an option subject, and is suitable for the most able science pupils. Pupils will cover the content from the core and additional science GCSEs. The additional content covered is –
Biology – Movement of molecules in and out of cells, Transport systems in animals and plants, Homeostasis, Humans and their environment.
Chemistry – The periodic table, Water, Calculating and explaining energy changes, Further analysis and quantitative chemistry, The production of ammonia, Alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters.
Physics – Medical applications of physics, Using physics to make things work, Keeping things moving.
This course covers the national curriculum expectations and provides a single GCSE in core science. All 3 pathways have “how science works” concepts integrated into the schemes of work.
How science works
This is embedded within the schemes of work for all science GCSE courses.
“How science works” aims to explain the scientific method and how scientists work. Science attempts to explain the world in which we live. It provides technologies that have had a great impact on our society and the environment. Pupils try to explain phenomena and solve problems using evidence. Pupils are taught to understand that data used as evidence must be repeatable, reproducible and valid, as only then can appropriate conclusions be made. Pupils design investigations so that patterns and relationships between variables may be identified. They make measurements by selecting and using instruments effectively. They are taught to present and represent data, to identify patterns and relationships and make suitable conclusions. Pupils also consider the social aspects of science and the limitations of scientific evidence.
For further details on the exam specifications follow the links below: