Science

Why is Science Important?

  • Science is important because it gives you a realistic insight into the environment around you.
  • Science is important because it explains how everything works.
  • Science is important because it challenges both old ideas and new ones.
  • Science is important because it pushes the boundaries of creation and invention.
  • Science is important because it brings together all the other aspects of the curriculum.
  • Science is important because it is fun.

Seven Good Reasons for Studying Science

  • Study of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
  • Captivates the imagination.
  • Interesting facts about the world around you.
  • Exciting experiments that promote innovative thinking.
  • Never underestimate what you will learn in Science.
  • Concentrates on new technologies.
  • Encourages the development of useful Science based skills as well as other cross-curricular skills.

Key Stage 3

Course content:

  Year 7 Year 8
Biology 1. Cells 1. Health and Lifestyle
  2. Structure and Function of Body Systems 2. Ecosystem Processes
  3. Reproduction 3. Adaptation and Inheritance
Chemistry 1. Particles and their Behaviour 1. The Periodic Table
  2. Elements, Atoms and Compounds 2. Separation Techniques
  3. Reactions 3. Metals and Acids
  4. Acids and Alkalis 4. The Earth
Physics 1. Forces 1. Electricity and Magnetism
  2. Sound 2. Energy
  3. Light 3. Motion and Pressue
  4. Space  

The department follows the 'Activate' and 'Kerboodle Online' course, which is published by Oxford University Press.

Assessment

All Year 7 pupils will sit a 'base-line' assessment exam in the first half term. This is comprised of two exam papers. This is used to establish the students' current working levels in Science and will be used in conjunction with their KS2 English and Maths SAT results. The pupils are then assessed throughout Year 7 and Year 8, in a variety of ways, including SAT style questions, online tests and using 'Assessment for Learning' materials which encourage pupils to take responsibility for their own learning, assessment and progress. There will be an end of year exam for both Year 7 and Year 8 pupils.

 

Key Stage 4 Legacy GCSE Science Specifications for students certificating in 2017

The existing Year 11 cohort will be the last year group to study the GCSE legacy specifications through 'OCR-Twenty First Century Science', an innovative suite of GCSE Science courses which offers the relevance and flexibility that today's pupils require.

  • Some pupils will take Biology, Chemistry and Physics as distinct GCSE courses. These pupils began these courses in Year 9 and certificate in these courses in Year 11 with 3 GCSEs. Each of these courses is comprised of 25% controlled assessment coursework and 75% externally examined work.
  • Most pupils will take GCSE Core Science (which incorporates elements from Biology, Chemistry and Physics). The pupils began this course in Year 9 and will certificate in this course in Year 11 with 1 GCSE. They will be assessed internally through controlled assessment coursework (25%) and externally through examinations (75%). The same pupils will also study GCSE Additional Science (which incorporates additional elements of Biology, Chemistry and Physics). The pupils began this course in Year 10 and certificate in this course in Year 11 with 1 GCSE. They will be assessed internally through controlled coursework (25%) and externally through examinations (75%). Consequently, the majority of pupils will gain 2 GCSEs in Science.
  • A small number of pupils will spread the workload in Science over the three year GCSE course from Year 9 to Year 11. These students will follow the Core Science programme as outlined above and will certificate in Year 11 with 1 GCSE in Science.

Some key points about Science

  • Both Science courses aim to develop scientific numeracy and literacy for all pupils.
  • Science teaches both key Science explanations, and an understanding of the nature of Science.
  • Pupils should be prepared to engage with scientific debate and decision making in their daily lives.
  • The curriculum must also prepare the next generation of professional scientists.
  • OCR - Twenty First Century Science provides students seeking this route with a firm basis for future study through Additional Science and through Separate Science.

OCR 21st Century Core Science

The course aims to develop scientific literacy. There are two main strands:

  • Key Science explanations which help us to make sense of our lives.
  • Ideas about Science which show 'How Science works'.

This course views Science from the perspective of a member of the public and is taught in the context of topics of current and cultural interest.

OCR 21st Century Additional Science

Additional Science features Science for scientists. It prepares pupils for progression to study AS and A2-levels in the Sciences; by giving more emphasis and space to more fundamental ideas in the Sciences, it provides a stimulating preparation for more advanced study.

OCR 21st Century Separate Science

The truly academic route for pupils wanting to study Science at 'A2 level' and beyond. Pupils study Biology, Chemistry and Physics and will gain 3 GCSE grades.

AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy 

Key Stage 4 New GCSE Science Specifications for students certificating in 2018 and beyond

  • The existing Year 10 cohort will be the first year group to study the new GCSE specifications through AQA Science, an innovative suite of GCSE Science courses which offers the relevance that today's students require.
  • Combined Science Trilogy and Separate Science courses in Biology, Chemistry and Physics aim to provide a suite of Science qualifications for Key Stage 4 – to suit students of all abilities and all aspirations. The nature of the course and the delivery of the subject content and ‘required practicals’ ensures enough flexibility to co-teach and to move students between courses.

Why have we changed exam boards from OCR to AQA Science?

The revised Science specifications and GCSE exams have given the Science department an opportunity to teach from an exam board that offer straightforward exams, so students can give straightforward answers and achieve the best possible outcomes. AQA are offering improved question papers that:

  • use more straightforward language and fewer words so they’re easier to understand;
  • have fewer contexts so students don’t get confused;
  • have questions that increase in difficulty so students feel confident;
  • have been written with our GCSE Maths and A-level Science teams, so students have consistency between content and questions.

AQA GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy 

Assessment

There are six papers: Two Biology, two Chemistry and two Physics. Each of the papers will assess knowledge and understanding from distinct topic areas. It is essential to note that the students are assessed by terminal examinations at the end of Year 11 and that there is no coursework or internal assessment methods.

Biology Paper 1

What's assessed

Biology topics 1–4: Cell Biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks
  • 16.7% of GCSE 

Questions

Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Biology Paper 2 

What's assessed

Biology topics 5–7: Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks
  • 16.7% of GCSE 

Questions

Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Chemistry Paper 1

What's assessed

Chemistry topics 8–12: Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the

properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry; Chemical changes; and Energy changes.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks
  • 16.7% of GCSE

Questions

Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Chemistry Paper 2

What's assessed

Chemistry topics 13–17: The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical

analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks
  • 16.7% of GCSE 

Questions

Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Physics Paper 1

What's assessed

Physics topics 18–21: Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks
  • 16.7% of GCSE 

Questions

Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Physics Paper 2

What's assessed

Physics topics 22–24: Forces; Waves; and Magnetism and electromagnetism

How it's assessed

  • Written exam: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Foundation and Higher Tier
  • 70 marks
  • 16.7% of GCSE 

Questions

Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer, and open response.

Science Subject Content

Biology 

  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology

Chemistry

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

Physics

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism

 

What college courses or careers can I pursue at the end of my Science GCSE?

  • Forensic Scientist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Engineer
  • Nurse
  • Doctor
  • Chemist
  • Teacher
  • Radiographer
  • Architect
  • Dietician
  • Marine Biologist
  • Paramedic
  • Ecologist
  • Veterinary Science
  • Pharmacist
  • Biochemist
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Electrical Engineer

If you wish to find out more information about GCSE Science, talk to any teacher within the Tanfield Science Department or consult the Tanfield School Careers Advisor.


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