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Science

“The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious—the fundamental emotion which stands at the cradle of true art and true science. “          Albert Einstein

At St James’ we strive to deliver a high-quality science education which provides the foundations for unlocking the mysteries of the universe through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics.

Science has led to major changes in society and underpins much of modern living.  It is essential to sustainable global prosperity and all pupils need to learn key aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science.

Our teaching programme builds al body of knowledge and concepts which encourages students to develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about naturally occurring phenomena and realise the importance of rational explanation. 

 

KEY STAGE 3

The Science department have created an exciting and engaging program of study which has been developed to meet the needs of recent changes within the National Curriculum. This includes an array of practicals to embed the scientific skills which are required throughout KS4 and KS5.

Our schemes of work are delivered in modular form, with 3 units being covered each half term. After each topic, an assessment is completed and there are regular landmark assessments to allow effective tracking of progress.   The programme has been arranged so that the study of biology, chemistry and physics is rotated.

Once a week, after school, we also offer STEM Club, to enhance the science experience with topics not covered by the curriculum. This includes activities such as dissection, making fossils, designing space craft and learning about life on the International Space Station.

Year 7 Programme of Study

Autumn Term

Working in a Lab  (Safety and the  bunsen burner)
Cells tissues and organs (Microscopes, animal and plant cells, organs and technology)

Elements, Atoms and Compounds

Particles and Behaviour (Particle model, states of matter, melting, freezing and boiling, diffusion and gas pressure)

Forces (Squashing and stretching, drag and friction, contact and non contact forces, balanced and unbalanced forces)

Spring Term

Structure and Function of Body Systems (Gas exchange, breathing, skeleton, movement - joints and muscles)

Sound (Waves, sound and energy transfer, loudness and pitch, detecting sound and echoes and ultrasound)

Chemical Reactions (Word equations, burning fuels, thermal decomposition, conservation of mass, exothermic and endothermic reactions)

Light (Reflection, refraction, the eye and the camera, and colour)

Summer Term

Acids and Alkalis (Acids, alkalis, indicators and pH, neutralisation and making salts)

Body Systems and Reproduction

Space (The night sky, the solar system, the earth and the moon)

 

Year 8 Programme of Study

Autumn Term

Periodic Table  (metals and non-metals, groups and periods, the elements of group 1, group 7 and group 0)
Separation techniques (mixtures, solutions, solubility, filtration, evaporation, distillation and chromatography)

Motion and pressure  (speed, motion graphs, pressure in gases, liquids and solids and turning forces)

Health and Lifestyle (nutrients, food tests, unhealthy diet, digestive system, bacteria and enzymes, drugs, alcohol and smoking)

Energy (food and fuels, energy and temperature, energy transfers, energy resources, power, work and machines)

Spring Term

Ecosystems (photosynthesis, leaves, plant minerals, chemosynthesis, aerobic respiration, anaerobic respiration, food chains and webs, disruption to food chains and ecosystems)

Adaptation and Inheritance (competition and adaptation, adapting to change, variation, continuous and discontinuous variation, inheritance, natural selection and extinction)

Metals and acids (acids and metals, metals and oxygen, metals and water, metal displacement reactions, extracting metals, ceramics, polymers and composites)

Summer Term

Electricity and magnetism (charging up, circuits and current, potential difference, series and parallel circuits, resistance, magnets and electromagnets)

The Earth (the earth and its atmosphere, the carbon cycle, climate change and recycling)

 

Year 9

In year 9 students build on the work from years 7 and 8 and begin the challenge of studying GCSE Core Science.    The course followed is the AQA specification. Click here for further details.

The course is structured as a rolling programme which encompasses biology, chemistry and physics whilst embedding “working scientifically” within each discipline.

To facilitate challenge, the students are grouped according to ability. 

Student progress is assessed formally with end of topic tests.  There are also Landmark assessments each half term.  Using results from the assessments and key stage 2 prior attainment data judgements are made to direct students to the separate sciences or combined science at key stage 4.

 

KEY STAGE 4

 

Students continue with the GCSE course commenced in Year 9.

All students study either:- GCSE Double Science (GCSE Core Science in Year 10 and GCSE Additional Science in Y11) or GCSE Triple Science (GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry, GCSE Physics).

As in year 9, the learning is structured in such a way that biology, chemistry and physics are taught in rotation. Controlled Assessments (ISAs) take place in Years 10 and 11. This part of the course contributes 25% of the GCSE grade. Students may proceed on to A-level from GCSE Double Science or GCSE Triple Science.

Students are tested after each topic, and a Landmark assessment is held at each half-term.

 

ASSESSMENT AT KEY STAGES 3 & 4

There is an emphasis on formative assessment. Teachers provide effective, relevant and timely feedback to students, both orally and in writing. Our marking policy is very stringent and serves the purposes of valuing students’ learning, helping to diagnose areas for development or next steps, and evaluating how well the learner has understood the task. It creates a dialogue with the learner, through which feedback is exchanged and questions asked; the learner is actively involved in the process.