Science

 

Extra-Curricular Activities

  • Year 7 STEM day or trip
  • Year 7 Animals adaptations workshop
  • Year 8 STEM day and chick project
  • Year 9 Chemistry at work day
  • Year 12 Biology Field trip
  • All years British Science week

Key Stage 3

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 3?

The KS3 Science curriculum aims to ensure that all students develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Students will begin to develop an understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them. We aim to equip students with the scientific skills required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future using a purpose built bespoke scheme of work based upon the DfE National Curriculum Programme of Study.

Students will be able to describe associated processes and key characteristics in common language, but they should also be familiar with, and use, technical terminology accurately and precisely. They should build up an extended specialist vocabulary.

Experimental skills and investigations are also an integral part of the KS3 Science experience and all students, through subject content, will be encouraged to:
Ask questions and develop a line of enquiry based on observations of the real world, alongside prior knowledge and experience.
Make predictions using scientific knowledge and understanding select, plan and carry out the most appropriate types of scientific enquiries to test predictions, including identifying variables.
Use appropriate techniques, apparatus, and materials during fieldwork and laboratory work, paying attention to health and safety
Make and record observations and measurements using a range of methods for different investigations; and evaluate the reliability of methods and suggest possible improvements
Apply mathematical concepts, complete calculations using SI units and present data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs
Interpret observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data to draw conclusions

Each student at John Colet begins their 5 year Science journey along six key conceptual pathways which flow through all topics and across biology, chemistry and physics disciplines. The key concepts are in the science disciplines are;
Biology: Cells, Life Sciences
Chemistry: Atoms, Earth Sciences
Physics: Energy and Forces.

Year 7

  • Cells - animal and plant cells, tissues, organs and organ systems
  • Life Science - microbes, disease and defence, smoking and alcohol
  • Atoms - atoms, elements, compounds, mixtures and separating techniques
  • Earth Sciences - layers of the Earth, mining and extraction
  • Energy - stores
  • Forces - types of force and key examples

Year 8

  • Cells - respiration and photosynthesis
  • Life Science - fertilisation, growth and development, adolescence, food chains and webs, carbon cycle
  • Atoms - periods and groups in the Periodic table, patterns and trends in the Periodic table, electron structure, acids and alkalis, pH scale, chemical formulae
  • Earth Sciences - atmosphere and changes in the atmosphere, the Moon, the Solar System
  • Energy - Kinetic energy, gravitational energy, electricity, light, sound
  • Forces - balanced and unbalanced, density, work done, power

Why is it delivered in this way?

The principal focus of our science teaching at Key Stage 3 is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in an engaging and exciting way. It is vitally important that our students develop a secure understanding of key concepts in order to progress to the next stage, to prevent the build up of misconceptions and to encourage understanding of higher order content.

The six key conceptual pathways common to all topics facilitate students to begin to make connections between biology, chemistry and physics subject areas and become confident in the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding. The six key skills needed to excel in the subject underpin each of the concepts and flow throughout KS3 and into KS4 and 5.

Students will undertake a number of required practicals, take part in science in context activities and have opportunities to apply their knowledge to the outside world. The KS3 scheme aims to develop students who can use, apply and practically approach any scientific problem.

Key Stage 4
Course Titles

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 4?

Teaching in the sciences at Key Stage 4 continues with the process of building upon and
deepening scientific knowledge and understanding of ideas developed in the earlier Key Stages.
The 5 year Science journey continues along the six key conceptual pathways and maintains the flow throughout the KS4 topics and linkage across all three biology, chemistry and physics disciplines.

Students will be guided to appreciate how the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural
world can be described in terms of a small number of key ideas relating to the sciences which are both inter-linked, and are of universal application. These are relevant in different ways and with different emphases in the three discipline subjects and as part of combined science course. The key ideas include:

  • the use of conceptual models and theories to make sense of the observed diversity of natural phenomena
  • the assumption that every effect has one or more cause
  • that change is driven by differences between different objects and systems when they interact
  • that many such interactions occur over a distance and over time without direct contact
  • that science progresses through a cycle of hypothesis, practical experimentation, observation, theory development and review
  • that quantitative analysis is a central element both of many theories and of scientific methods of inquiry.

Throughout the content across all three disciplines, students will also have the opportunity to complete the required practical element of the GCSE course. This includes choice and use of appropriate laboratory apparatus for a variety of experimental problem-solving and/or enquiry-based activities, be encouraged to consider health and safety issues and to develop understanding and first-hand experience of:
1. Scientific thinking
2. Experimental skills and strategies
3. Analysis and evaluation
4. Vocabulary, units, symbols and nomenclature

The Science GCSE curriculum is a purpose built scheme of work, organised and developed through the six key central concepts of Cells, Life Sciences, Atoms, Earth Sciences, Energy and Forces. We follow the AQA Combined Science Trilogy, Biology, Chemistry and Physics Specifications which are based upon the DfE National Curriculum Programme of Study. It comprises approximately equal proportions of all three discipline content and skills, and imbeds the relevant mathematical skills required. ‘Working scientifically’ is taught through and clearly related to substantive science content in the programme of study.

Year 9

  • Cells - Cell structure, Transport and digestion
  • Life Science - Communicable diseases, Heart and Lifestyle
  • Atoms - Periodic Table, Purity, Rates of reaction, Metal reactivity, Calculations
  • Earth Sciences - Earth’s Atmosphere
  • Energy - Atomic structure, Waves, EM spectrum, Energy transferred by heating, Particle model
  • Forces - Space, Pressure

Year 10

  • Cells- Cells, Plant tissues, Bioenergetics
  • Life Science - Reproduction, Variation, Adaptation, Ecosystems, Biodiversity, Food production
  • Atoms - Bonding, Nanoscience
  • Earth Sciences - Life Cycle Assessment, Fuels and Food stocks
  • Energy - Energy Stores, Global energy, Electricity, Domestic Uses, Statics
  • Forces - Forces 1, Moments Gears and Levers

Year 11

  • Cells - Nervous system, Homeostasis, Revision programme
  • Life Science - Revision programme
  • Atoms - Chemical cells, Calculations, Ion tests, Gas tests, Revision programme
  • Earth Sciences - Organic chemistry, Using Materials, Revision Programme
  • Energy - Magnetism , Motor effect, Revision Programme
  • Forces - Forces 2, Motion, Revision Programme

Why is it delivered in this way?

The sciences are taught in a way that ensures students have the knowledge to enable them to develop curiosity about the natural world, insight into working scientifically, and appreciation of the relevance of science to their everyday lives. Students are encouraged to apply their understanding from KS3 to new contexts in KS4. They will develop new skills for analysing information to explain concepts and form connections between the understanding they have in other topic areas.

The scope and nature of their study is broad, coherent, practical and rigorous, so
that students are inspired and challenged. Our aim is that all students have access to aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science which will enable them to participate and contribute to society. The subject content and required practicals in the Trilogy, Biology, Chemistry and Physics GCSEs have been organised so we have the flexibility to co-teach and move students between courses to best suit their needs.

Scaffolding is inherent in the design of the curriculum due to the order of the topics. Students have the opportunity to revisit key understanding at regular intervals so topics are introduced at KS3 and built on at KS4. Topics are ordered to provide “flavour” for students as one topic will provide the basis of knowledge for the next to ensure skills can develop throughout the curriculum.

For some students, studying the sciences in key stage 4 provides the platform for more
advanced studies, establishing the basis for a wide range of careers. For others, it will be
their last formal study of subjects that provide the foundations for understanding the
natural world and will enhance their lives in an increasingly technological society. Our Science curriculum is specifically designed and organised to be flexible, interesting and relevant to all types of students.

Sixth Form

Biology
Course title: AQA GCE A Level Biology (7402), AQA-7401-7402-SP-2015.PDF

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 5?

The A-level biology curriculum is a stepping stone to future study and builds on the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired at GCSE. At John Colet we aim to inspire students, nurture a passion for Biology and lay the groundwork for further study in courses such as the biological sciences and medicine.

Students will

  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for the biology, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how biology contribute to the success of the economy and society

A level biology is underpinned by three Assessment Objectives:

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures
AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures in a theoretical and practical context
AO3: Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information

The assessment of practical skills is a compulsory requirement of the course and includes a minimum of 12 practical activities to be carried out by each student will be assessed against Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC). The CPAC are based on the requirements of the subject content requirements published by the Department for Education, and define the minimum standard required for the achievement of a pass. Each student will keep an appropriate record of their practical work, including their assessed practical activities.

Year 12

  • Biological Molecules
  • Cells
  • Organisms exchange substances with their environment
  • Genetic information and relationships between organisms

Year 13

  • Energy transfers in and between organisms
  • Organisms’ responses to change in their internal and external environment
  • Genetic populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • The control of gene expression

Why is it delivered in this way?

The A Level biology course is taught in a way that ensures students who choose to complete the advanced course are already familiar with the AQA specification ensuring the terminology, resources and exam style experienced throughout their GCSE studies aid in the transition.

The subject content is relevant to real world experiences, engaging for learners and interesting to teach, and is presented in a straightforward way. Scaffolding is inherent in the design of the curriculum due to the order of the topics and students have many opportunities to revisit key understanding at GCSE to help build on prior knowledge.
Students are encouraged to develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of the subject, how they relate to each other and understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how biology contributes to the success of the economy and society.

Chemistry
Course title: AQA GCE A Level Chemistry (7405), AQA-7404-7405-SP-2015.PDF

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 5?
The A level chemistry curriculum is a transition to further study and enhances the practical skills and deepens the understanding of concepts learnt at GCSE. We aim to provoke a fascination in Chemistry to inspire our students to study the chemical sciences further.

Students will

  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for chemistry, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of chemistry and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how chemistry contributes to the success of the economy and society
  • use theories, models and ideas to develop scientific explanations
  • use knowledge and understanding to pose scientific questions, define scientific problems, present scientific arguments and scientific ideas
  • use appropriate methodology, including information and communication technology (ICT), to answer scientific questions and solve scientific problems.

A level chemistry is underpinned by three Assessment Objectives:

AO1: Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures.
AO2: Apply knowledge and understanding of scientific ideas, processes, techniques and procedures when handling qualitative and quantitative data
AO3: Analyse, interpret and evaluate scientific information, ideas and evidence, including in relation to issues, to develop and refine practical design and procedures.

Practical work is at the heart of chemistry and the assessment of practical skills is a compulsory requirement of the course. A minimum of 12 practical activities will be carried out by each student against Common Practical Assessment Criteria (CPAC). Some are highly structured approaches that develop key techniques and others allow opportunities for students to develop investigative approaches, carry out experimental and investigative activities, including appropriate risk management, in a range of contexts The CPAC are based on the requirements of the subject content requirements published by the Department for Education, and define the minimum standard required for the achievement of a pass. Each student will keep an appropriate record of their practical work, including their assessed practical activities.

Year 12

  • Physical chemistry: Atomic structure, Amount of substance, Bonding, Energetics, Kinetics,
  • Chemical equilibria, Le Chatelier’s principle and Kc, Oxidation, reduction and redox equations
  • Inorganic chemistry: Periodicity, Group 2 the alkaline earth metals, Group 7(17) the halogens
  • Organic chemistry: Introduction to organic chemistry, Alkanes, Halogenoalkanes, Alkenes, Alcohols, Organic analysis

Year 13

  • Physical chemistry: Thermodynamics, Rate equations, Equilibrium constant Kp for homogeneous systems, Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, Acids and bases
  • Inorganic chemistry: Properties of Period 3 elements and their oxides , Transition metals, Reactions of ions in aqueous solution
  • Organic chemistry: Optical isomerism, Aldehydes and ketones, Carboxylic acids and derivatives, Aromatic chemistry, Amines, Polymers, Amino acids, proteins and DNA, Organic synthesis, Nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, Chromatography

Why is it delivered in this way?

The course begins with the fundamental elements of Chemistry that students need to access the higher level concepts in the A level course. The fundamentals build on the understanding gained at GCSE and corrects and misconceptions students may have carried through.
The order of the topics taught is designed to revisit concepts a number of times, increasing the depth of understanding at each stage. We are conscious of the need to continually review theories to allow pupils to succeed in a challenging curriculum.

 Physics

 Course title: AQA GCE A Level Physics (7408)

What are the knowledge and skills that students will gain over Key Stage 5?

Year 12
Mechanics and Materials, Waves, Particles and Radiation, Electricity, Nuclear Physics
Year 13
Further Mechanics and Thermal Physics, Fields and their Consequences, Option Topic

Students will

  • develop their interest in and enthusiasm for physics, including developing an interest in further study and careers associated with the subject
  • develop essential knowledge and understanding of different areas of physics and how they relate to each other
  • develop and demonstrate a deep appreciation of the skills, knowledge and understanding of scientific methods
  • develop competence and confidence in a variety of practical, mathematical and problem solving skills
  • understand how society makes decisions about scientific issues and how the physics contribute to the success of the economy and society
  • use theories, models and ideas to develop scientific explanations
  • carry out experimental and investigative activities, including appropriate risk management, in a range of contexts
  • analyse and interpret data to provide evidence, recognising correlations and causal relationships
  • evaluate methodology, evidence and data, and resolve conflicting evidence
  • know that scientific knowledge and understanding develops over time
  • communicate information and ideas in appropriate ways using appropriate terminology
  • consider applications and implications of science and evaluate their associated benefits and risks

Why is it delivered in this way?

The topics are taught in such a way to initially build on topics covered in Key Stage 4 starting with Waves and Mechanics. As well as increased depth of knowledge in these areas students will face increasingly demanding mathematical challenge in applying their understanding of physical phenomena. Subsequent topics include Electricity and Particle and Nuclear Physics which will introduce new areas to the students. Required practicals will be integrated at the relevant points.

In Year 13 the level of demand increases with Further Mechanics and Fields illustrates how models can be applied across the different areas of gravitational, electric and magnetic fields. Students will then follow one of four options based partially on student preference - Astrophysics, Medical physics, Turning points in physics, Engineering physics, Electronics.

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