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Science

Head of Department/Faculty

Mrs Sarah Holmes
Head of Science
sholmes@commonweal.co.uk

Overview

Science is a cornerstone of medicine, technology and engineering. It lies behind the eradication of smallpox, development of malarial treatment and TB vaccination.  Formula One cars and jet airliners, TV and 4G would not exist without this vital subject. Science is based on research and empirical evidence, and informs debates on Genetic engineering, space and evolution.  Following a career in biology, chemistry or physics makes you eminently employable.  An understanding of science allows you to make informed decisions about health, risk and lifestyle.  As Edwin Hubble said: Equipped with his five senses, man explores the universe around him and calls the adventure Science.

In lessons students can expect to take part in a range of practical activities, some in groups and some individually, from extracting copper from its ore, to hair-raising experiences with the Van der Graaf generator through to heart dissections.  The theoretical part of the course gives a grounding in analysis of data and graphs and knowledge of all three sciences.

Tops Tips to do well in Science

  1. Learn the key words and their meanings.

    There will be regular key word meaning tests!

  2. Learn the physics equations and how to rearrange them.

    There is a list of 19 physics equations to be memorised in every science room.

  3. Use the revision guide and workbook.

    The CGP guides are available from the science department at half their retail price.

  4. Consolidate your learning after every Science lesson by reading back through your exercise book and referring to your revision guide.

    If you are not sure about anything ask your teacher for help.

  5. Respond to the Even Better If/red dot comments in your exercise book.

    Students who read and respond to teacher feedback progress faster in science. The Green pen of power is useful for student comments!

The Curriculum

We run a 2 and a half year KS3 curriculum across years 7, 8 and part of 9.  Students study Science for 6 hours per fortnight and cover an equal amount of Chemistry, Biology and Physics. An end of KS3 exam is sat in year 9 which is used to inform the triple Science selection process alongside overall average grades.

At KS4 students study for the Pearson Edexcel GCSE (9–1) in Combined Science which consists of six externally examined papers. These are available at foundation tier and higher tier.

https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/sciences-2016.html

6 x written examinations: each one is 1 hour and 10 minutes and worth 16.67% of the qualification. 60 marks.

Biology 1

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 2 – Cells and control
  • Topic 3 – Genetics
  • Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification
  • Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines

Chemistry 1

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
  • Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures
  • Topic 3 – Chemical changes
  • Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria

Physics 1

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
  • Topic 2 – Motion and forces
  • Topic 3 – Conservation of
    energy
  • Topic 4 – Waves
  • Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
  • Topic 6 – Radioactivity

Biology 2

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
  • Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions
  • Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis,
  • Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals
  • Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

Chemistry 2

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
  • Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table
  • Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes
  • Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science

Physics 2

  • Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
  • Topic 8 – Energy – Forces doing work
  • Topic 9 – Forces and their effects
  • Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits
  • Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect
  • Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction
  • Topic 14 – Particle model
  • Topic 15 – Forces and matter

Assessment overview

A mixture of different question styles, including multiple-choice questions, short answer questions, calculations and extended open-response questions.

Calculators may be used in the examination.

Selected students are given the opportunity to study for the Pearson Edexcel (9-1) in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Details can be found on the Edexcel website: https://qualifications.pearson.com/en/qualifications/edexcel-gcses/sciences-2016.html

Independent learning

  • Knowledge tests. Most year groups will have to learn key events, significant people and key words for knowledge tests throughout the year.
  • Home learning projects. Most year groups will have mini-projects to create/improve/learn to benefit your class experience and/or end of term assessments.
  • Mastery and improvements.
  • Active Learn tasks.

Enrichment and trip possibilities

  • STEM club
  • Science week 12-16th march 2018
  • Big Bang event
  • Trip to University of Bristol Medical Faculty
  • GCSE Science Live for KS4
  • Bath University trip for Year 12 chemistry (C6)
  • Biology field trip to Wales (C6)
  • Spectroscopy in a suitcase (C6)
  • Biology trip to Swindon College for Autopsy (C6)

Teachers in the Faculty

  • Ms S Holmes – Head of Science Faculty
  • Miss D Gingell – KS3-4 Transition
  • Mrs P Long – KS2-3 Transition
  • Mr C Drew
  • Mrs E Travers
  • Mr M Elsley
  • Mr M Foley
  • Dr S Blagg-Newsome
  • Dr E Kruiswijk
  • Mrs S Edwards
  • Mrs V Pegado