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Science Faculty

Students in Years 7, 8 and 9 follow the National Curriculum based upon the AQA KS3 scheme of work. Students are encouraged to develop scientific skills to gain an understanding of science through inquisition and discovery. This is further encouraged during March, each year, when students take part in British Science Week themed lessons and activities; with the aim of inspiring and celebrating all the sciences and their importance in our everyday lives. As part of each topic, students complete a careers lesson to bring awareness of the variety of jobs that are included under the umbrella term "STEM" and that there is more to science than the traditional roles. Regular assessment is completed throughout the year using end of unit quizzes and longer 6-mark questions in addition to quantitative assessments. These are used to monitor the progress students make and allow for targeted intervention where appropriate.

Students in Year 10 begin studying the AQA GCSE Combined Science ‘Synergy’ scheme of work. This provides students with a broad approach to science helping them to make links between the different branches of the subject. The progress of students is assessed throughout the year with topic tests and two whole year assessments.  Those students who have shown sufficient aptitude for science follow the AQA Separate Sciences curriculum, allowing them to obtain an individual GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students continue to study either Combined Science or Separate Sciences throughout Year 10 and Year 11.  

Some students are selected to complete an Entry Level Certificate in Science. The Entry Level Certificate builds on the core scientific concepts and skills previously taught. The specification is taught to cover the same content as the AQA GCSE Combined Science scheme of work, however it is delivered in a way that will build students' confidence in science. Assessments are completed throughout the course when the students are ready and students will be entered for a Single or Double award.

A brief overview of the topics covered by the faculty

Science

Year 7

Year 8

Year 9

Transition phase

Forces

Organisms

Energy

Matter

Reactions

Genes

Ecosystems

Electricity and magnetism

Earth and Space

Forces

Organisms

Waves

Matter

Energy

Reactions

Genes

Ecosystems

Earth

Biology

Cell Biology

Plants and Photosynthesis

Moving and changing materials

Systems in the human body

Chemistry

Atomic structure and the periodic table

Structure, bonding and the properties of matter

Chemical changes

Energy changes and demands

Physics

Energy

Electricity

Particle model

Waves

Magnetism and electromagnetism

 

Scientific skills in Years 7 and 8

Scientific attitudes

  • Pupils are taught to pay attention to objectivity and concern for accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility
  • Understand that scientific methods and theories develop as earlier explanations are modified to take account of new evidence and ideas, together with the importance of publishing results and peer review
  • Evaluate risks

 

Experimental skills and investigations

  • Students are 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 independent, dependent and control 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 sampling techniques

Analysis and evaluation

  • Apply mathematical concepts and calculate results
  • Present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs
  • Interpret observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data to draw conclusions
  • Present reasoned explanations, including explaining data in relation to predictions and hypotheses
  • Evaluate data, showing awareness of potential sources of random and systematic error
  • Identify further questions arising from their results

Measurement

  • Understand and use SI units and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) chemical nomenclature
  • Use and derive simple equations and carry out appropriate calculations

Undertake basic data analysis including simple statistical techniques

 

Scientific knowledge and skills in Year 9

The principal focus of science teaching in Year 9 is to develop a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in the subject disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Pupils should begin to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding. Examples of these big ideas are the links between structure and function in living organisms, the particulate model as the key to understanding the properties and interactions of matter in all its forms, and the resources and means of transfer of energy as key determinants of all of these interactions. Students are also encouraged to relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations.

Scientific attitudes

  • Pupils are taught to pay attention to objectivity and concern for accuracy, precision, repeatability and reproducibility
  • Understand that scientific methods and theories develop as earlier explanations are modified to take account of new evidence and ideas, together with the importance of publishing results and peer review
  • Evaluate risks

Experimental skills and investigations

  • Students are 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 independent, dependent and control 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 sampling techniques

Analysis and evaluation

  • Apply mathematical concepts and calculate results
  • Present observations and data using appropriate methods, including tables and graphs
  • Interpret observations and data, including identifying patterns and using observations, measurements and data to draw conclusions
  • Present reasoned explanations, including explaining data in relation to predictions and hypotheses
  • Evaluate data, showing awareness of potential sources of random and systematic error
  • Identify further questions arising from their results

Measurement

  • Understand and use SI units and IUPAC (International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry) chemical nomenclature
  • Use and derive simple equations and carry out appropriate calculations

Undertake basic data analysis including simple statistical techniques

Scientific knowledge and skills in Years 10 and 11

Courses currently offered by the faculty

Combined ‘Synergy’ Science

AQA GCSE COMBINED SCIENCE: SYNERGY (8465)

Combined science is divided into two sections.  Each section is delivered by a different teacher. Both sections include topics that draw together and apply key concepts. Examples in Life and environmental sciences include Radiation and risk and The Earth’s atmosphere. In these topics, earlier work on atomic structure, waves and electromagnetic radiation is used to explain the effects of different types of radiation on human tissues and on the climate. An example in Physical sciences is Resources of materials and energy, which introduces life cycle assessment as a way of evaluating the impacts of using materials and energy to manufacture useful products.

Course structure

Life Sciences

  1. Building blocks
    • States of matter
    • Atomic structure
    • Cells in animals and plants
    • Waves

  1. Transport over larger distances
    • Systems in the human body
    • Plants and photosynthesis

  1. Interaction with the environment
    • Lifestyle and health
    • Radiation and risk
    • Preventing, treating and curing diseases

  1. Explaining change
    • The Earth’s atmosphere
    • Ecosystems and biodiversity
    • Inheritance, variation, and evolution. 

Required practical

  • Measuring the density of a solid object and of a liquid
  • Measuring specific heat capacity 
  • Looking at cells 
  • Investigating osmosis in plant 
  • Measuring the speed of ripples and investigating waves on a stretched string
  • Testing absorption and emission of infrared radiation by different surfaces
  • Food tests
  • Measuring reaction times
  • Chromatography and finding Rf values
  • Light intensity and rate of photosynthesis
  • Analysis and purification of water samples
  • Measuring population size and using sampling techniques to investigate the effect of a factor on distribution of a species

The content in life sciences will be assessed in Paper 1 and 2 of the exams at the end of year 11

Physical Sciences

  1. Building blocks
    • The periodic table
    • Chemical quantities

  1. Interactions over small and large distances
    • Forces and energy changes
    • Structure and bonding
    • Magnetism and electromagnetism

  1. Movement and interaction
    • Forces and motion
    • Electricity
    • Acids and alkalis
    • The rate and extent of chemical change
    • Atoms and ion

  1. Guiding spaceship Earth towards a sustainable future
    • Carbon chemistry
    • Resources of materials and energy

Required practical

  • Stretch tests
  • Investigating forces and acceleration
  • Investigating different components
  • How does the resistance of a wire depend on its length?
  • Testing resistors in series and parallel
  • Making a copper salt
  • Making a salt from a metal carbonate
  • Investigating temperature changes
  • Concentration and rate of reaction
  • The effect of pH on the rate of reaction of amylase
  • Investigating the electrolysis of a solution

The content in physical sciences will be assessed in Paper 3 and 4 of the exams at the end of year 11

Exam board specification link

Separate sciences

AQA GCSE BIOLOGY (8461)

The GCSE specification in biology enables students to: 

• develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of biology 

• develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of biology through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments 

• develop their ability to evaluate claims based on biology through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Course structure

Content to be examined in paper 1

  • Cell biology
  • Photosynthesis
  • Moving and changing materials
  • Health matters

Content to be examined in paper 1 although some of this content may appear in paper 2

Content to be examined in paper 2

  • Coordination and control
  • Genetics
  • Variation and evolution
  • Ecology in action

Content to be examined in paper 2 although some of this content may appear in paper 1

Exam board specification link

AQA GCSE CHEMISTRY (8462)

The GCSE specification in chemistry enables students to: 

• develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through chemistry 

• develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments 

• develop their ability to evaluate claims based on chemistry through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Course structure

Content to be examined in paper 1

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Structure, bonding and the properties of matter
  • Chemical quantities and calculations
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes

Content to be examined in paper 1 although some of this content may appear in paper 2

Content to be examined in paper 2

  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Chemical analysis
  • The atmosphere
  • Sustainable development

Content to be examined in paper 2 although some of this content may appear in paper 1

Exam board specification link

AQA GCSE PHYSICS (8463)

GCSE specifications in Physics should enable students to: 

• develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of physics 

• develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of physics 

• develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments 

• develop their ability to evaluate claims based on physics through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Course structure

Content to be examined in paper 1

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure

Content to be examined in paper 1 although some of this content may appear in paper 2

Content to be examined in paper 2

  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Electromagnetism
  • Space

Content to be examined in paper 2 although some of this content may appear in paper 1

Exam board specification link

 

Entry Level Certificate

Entry Level Certificate in Science (5960)

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students submit all components that form the assessment at the end of the course. 

Two Entry Level Certificate Science qualifications are available. 

• Entry Level Certificate (Single Award) 

• Entry Level Certificate (Double Award) 

Students will be entered for either ELC Science – Single Award or ELC Science – Double Award using the appropriate entry code. 

Students will submit a portfolio of work containing the appropriate number of Externally-set assignments (ESAs) and Teacher-devised assignments (TDAs). 

There are three levels of award available: Entry 1, Entry 2 and Entry 3. Entry 3 is the most demanding.

Course structure

Content to be examined in Component 1

  • What the body is made of
  • How the body works 
  • How the body fights disease
  • How the body is coordinated

Content will be examined in the form of a written exam set by AQA and a teacher devised coursework piece. 

Content to be examined in Component 2

  • Feeding relationships between living organisms
  • What determines where particular species live
  • How life developed on Earth

Content will be examined in the form of a written exam set by AQA and a teacher devised coursework piece. 

Content to be examined in Component 3

  • Atoms, elements and compounds
  • Structure and properties
  • Separating mixtures
  • Metals and alloys
  • Polymers

Content will be examined in the form of a written exam set by AQA and a teacher devised coursework piece. 

Content to be examined in Component 4

  • Reactions of acids
  • Energy and rate of reaction
  • Earth’s atmosphere
  • Fuels and human impact
  • Water for drinking

Content will be examined in the form of a written exam set by AQA and a teacher devised coursework piece. 

Content to be examined in Component 5

  • Energy, energy transfers and resources
  • Forces and work
  • Speed and stopping distance
  • Atoms and nuclear radiation
  •  

Content will be examined in the form of a written exam set by AQA and a teacher devised coursework piece. 

Content to be examined in Component 6

  • Electrical current
  • Domestic electricity
  • Magnetism and Electromagnetism
  • Different types of waves
  • Electromagnetic waves

Content will be examined in the form of a written exam set by AQA and a teacher devised coursework piece. 

Exam board specification link


Science Staff

Mrs C Cook

Faculty Leader
ccook@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mrs L Sced

Assistant Faculty Leader
lsced@avonvalleyschool.uk

Miss E Anderson-Howe

Teacher of Science
EAnderson-Howe@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr T Thomas

Assistant Faculty Leader
tthomas@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr A Mushing

Science ITT Tutor
amushing@avovnalleyschool.uk

Mr I Goldthorp

Teacher of Science
igoldthorp@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr G Massey

Teacher of Science
gmassey@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mrs R Spencer-Woodcock

Teacher of Science
rspencer-woodcock@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr M Whitehead

Teacher of Science
mwhitehead@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mrs S Davis

Teacher of Science
sdavis@avonvalleyschool.uk

Ms K Cockerill

Head Technician
kcockerill@avonvalleyschool.uk

Ms M Macdonald

Science Technician
mmacdonald@avonvalleyschool.uk

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