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KS3 Science

Students at The MFG follow the DfE National Programme of study for Science, through Years 7 and 8. In Year 9 students complete units on the core principles of science in preparation for the GCSE course starting in Year 10.

We believe a high-quality science education provides the foundations for understanding the world through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics. Science has changed our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity, and all students are taught essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, students are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Students are encouraged to think for themselves and will develop their ability to work scientifically throughout the course. They have the opportunity to develop their understanding of scientific attitudes, experimental and investigative skills, analysis and evaluation skills, and measurement taking regularly through carefully planned and well delivered lessons.

KS4 GCSE Science

Students follow the EDEXCEL (9-1) course leading to either 2 or 3 GCSE’s at KS4. Students will be given a 1-9 grade. All students will start the triple award option at the start of Year 10 and with assessments and progress checks they will then either continue with the triple course or change to the combined course later in the year.

Students will be assessed by examinations at the end of the course in Year 11. There are 2 exam papers for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students will sit all examinations at the end of Year 11. Each subject (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) are equally weighted. Practical skills are assessed through the exam papers and are taught throughout the course.

Year 7

Students study the new 2014 National Curriculum guidelines by the Government which continues from Key Stage 2 studies at primary school and develops their skills in practical science and their understanding of the three specialisms of science: Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Students will place in sets as determined by their KS2 SAT scores initially but internal assessments may involve students moving groups depending on individual needs.

Introductory module:

Students will all begin Science in Year 7 by completing a module which introduces the key skills they will need throughout their Science studies. This includes how to complete practical activities safely and how to use the key scientific equipment during their lessons. It will also develop skills in writing scientific reports for future experiments (Literacy) and develop their graph drawing skills and ability to use them analytically to draw conclusions (numeracy).

Practical Science can be done at home - click on the following website for some ideas:

http://www.sciencebob.com/experiments/

The remaining modules will be taught to Year 7 students at different times of the year on a rotation system:

Biology

Cells and Living Things: Students study the most basic living unit in all life the cell. They learn the function of parts of the cell and why they can be classed as living before comparing them to non-living objects. Students will then compare the different structures and roles within plant and animal cells before going on to research and study how specialised cells are adapted to their functions and presenting this in model format (Literacy). This module has now been extended in the light of new specification directions to include bacterial cells and to include a chapter on muscles and the body.

Some interactive and challenging cell biology quizzes can be found at http://www.neok12.com/Cell-Structures.htm (some will stretch to GCSE level)

Ecosystems : Students study the natural world and how plant and animals interact with each other and the environment around them. This continues the work from Key Stage 2, developing a better understanding of food chains and are introduced to key terms to understand the roles that each organism has in its habitat. Adaptations of various organisms are studied also to ensure that students understand how organisms have evolved to survive. In the final part of the module students will look at how human impact is affecting the survival of different organisms in their natural world and the steps we can take to prevent this decline. We now look in more detail at British ecosystems in particular and impact we are having on our local environments.

Websites with some interesting younger student focuses on Ecology:

Reproduction:  A vital SMSC (Social, Moral, Social and Cultural) part of school education, this module builds on Key Stage 2 work on relationships to build in a scientific and social understanding of reproduction. Students will be taught the basic anatomy of the reproductive system and time will be spent looking at changes during adolescence. Student will then look at the biology of how reproduction works and how babies develop. Students will research the impacts of drugs on baby development.

Teachers are trained to teach this topic in a sensitive way and students should not feel concerned about the topic in these lessons.

Reproduction for Kids website:

http://www.eschooltoday.com/sexual-reproduction/sexual-reproduction-for-children.html

Physics

Magnetism: Students will have done some work with magnets and electricity before in Key Stage 2. This module increases understanding of electricity and looks at circuits and changes in voltage and current. Students will measure how the number of components in a circuit will alter the levels of these in practical sessions. Students will also study magnets and electromagnets explaining their uses in practical applications.

Forces: Forces are something we cannot see but have a large impact on our lives explaining many scientific phenomena. In this module students will be introduced to forces and carry out practical work in groups (SMSC) to explain speed, falling, friction and floating. Students will write scientific plans (Literacy) and will collect and analyse data to explain their results (Numeracy).

Chemistry

Particles and Solutions: This module introduces the idea of all objects being made of particles and the arrangement of these particles having a large impact on the properties of objects. Students study the behaviour of gases liquids and solids before looking at how particles move from one place to another. Students will also develop scientific practical skills (SMSC) and learn about what dissolving, evaporation and condensation are and what is happening on a particle level to explain these (Literacy).

Atoms, Elements and Molecules: In this module student understanding of particles is built on to include atoms and molecules. This will include a study of periodic table and some of the properties of different parts of it. It will also look at how we have developed our understanding of the periodic table.

Pure and Impure Substances: In this module student understanding of particles will be further built on by looking at how we can separate mixtures and compounds into individual atoms. This is a heavily practical subject which will include looking at techniques students need to fully understand in later studies including chromatography and condensation.

Space: Students are often most fascinated by this topic and bring in a huge level of knowledge which will be the starting basis of teacher's lessons. Student will research the different objects in space and our solar system including the planets, sun and natural satellites. Students will also learn about how the axis of our planet gives us seasons. An introduction to satellites will be studied and also a first look at the calculation of weight using gravity on planets (Numeracy) which is continued at GCSE.

Waves: In this module properties of sound waves are investigated so students know and understand what happens to light and sound when they travel and interact with boundaries. Students will develop an understanding of what sound is and carry out practical activities to identify their properties by being introduced to the idea of sound waves. Students will also link this work to speed calculations (Numeracy) and look at the biology of hearing as well the measuring the impacts of noise pollution (SMSC) and uses of ultrasound (STEM)

 

Year 8

Biology

Digestion and Nutrition:  This large module focuses on the above three sections separately. In the food module students focus on what we eat and how healthy our diets are (SMSC) whilst in digestion they will look in depth at the digestive system and the functions of the digestive organs. This module also involves looking at the damaging effect of alcohol on the health of young people.

Kids’ Health and Diet:

Photosynthesis: Plants are essential to all animal life as they provide us with materials, habitats and possibly most vitally - oxygen. This module introduces the importance of photosynthesis in plants and ensures that students understand what factors can alter the rate of photosynthesis. Experiments will be done which measure the rate of photosynthesis in plants under different conditions (Numeracy). They will also look at the importance of plants in the wild and the impact of deforestation of our rainforests.

A new twist on this module is that students research food chains that occur near and around deep sea vents where no light can penetrate and ask the question how can life occur without photosynthesis?

Respiration and Gas Exchange: This module looks at the very important reaction of respiration and how this reaction works. Students will learn how the lungs function to gain the oxygen cells need to respire and then also how carbon dioxide is removed. Students will be very active in this module and carry out investigations into how heart rate and breathing rate change with exercise and what the effects of anaerobic respiration is on our bodies.

 Inheritance and Selection: Genetics is often a difficult concept to students and therefore we feel that it is worth introducing during Key Stage 3 so that students are more confident with it at GCSE. Students will be introduced to what inheritance and variation is and will look at chromosomes and DNA to develop an understanding of the processes involved. This will also look at the potential future roles of genetic engineering, selective breeding and cloning in our society (SMSC). This module has a new element now in that students will also study about the important scientists who have developed our understanding of DNA technology (SMSC).

http://www.sciencekidsathome.com/science_topics/genetics-a.html

 Chemistry

Acids and Alkalis: Students will be introduced to the chemistry of acids and alkalis and what they are, what they do and the effect of them. Students will look at how we test for both using various indicators and study the reaction of various acids with different substances. These lessons are highly practical based so will have health and safety and practical skills taught within the subject (SMSC).

The Periodic Table: Students will begin to study the Periodic Table to begin to understand how we arrange elements according to their chemical properties. This module therefore looks at the different groups of element and how their reactivity changes due to their position in the groups. These lessons are highly practical based so will have health and safety and practical skills taught within the subject (SMSC).

Physics

Light:  In this module the properties of light is investigated so students know and understand what happens to light and when it travels through and interacts with boundaries. Students will develop an understanding of what light is and carry out practical activities to identify its properties by being introduced to the idea of light rays. Students will now also link the learning of light to the biological structure of the eye.

Forces and Motion:  In this module students will study the forces that act on us at all times and affect the way we live but we often don't even register. This will include looking at how forces cause motion, deformation and allow objects to float or sink. Students will also investigate pressures of different kinds and apply equations to calculate the exact value of these (numeracy).

http://www.darvill.clara.net/enforcemot/pressure.htm

Electricity and Magnetism :  Students will have done some work with magnets and electricity before in Key Stage 2. This module increases understanding of electricity and looks at circuits and changes in voltage and current. Students will measure how the number of components in a circuit will alter the levels of these in practical sessions. Students will also study magnets and electromagnets explaining their uses in practical applications.

Planet Earth:  This geology based module links with geography to go over the rock cycle and how different rocks are formed. Students will learn how to use keys to identify types of rocks and will investigate what gives rocks their properties. A new more applicable emphasis to modern day life has now been introduced where students will investigate how we rely on the Earth's resources for our material processions and then focus on the product life cycle of a steel can and the importance of recylcing.

Chemical Reactions:  This module builds on work done in Year 7 with Chemistry to increase students’ knowledge and understanding of reactions and the impact of combustion on the environment. This includes practical investigations into endothermic and exothermic reactions, looking at rusting, the reactions of various metals with water and acid before moving on to look at higher level equation work and mass conservation (Numeracy).

Describing Motion:  Students will take work they have done earlier in the Key Stage and increase their application of calculating speed to include distance time graphs and more practical applications. Students study the law of moments in this module which is about forces around a pivot and apply calculations to everyday situations (STEM)

Year 9

Students will complete units in Biology, Chemistry and Physics which focus on Science core principles and skills which they will need for their GCSE course.

  • Key concepts in biology, cells and control, genetics, natural selection and genetic modification, health, disease and the development of medicines, plant structures and their functions, animal coordination, control and homeostasis, exchange and transport in animals, ecosystems and material cycles.

  • Key concepts in chemistry, states of matter and mixtures, chemical changes, extracting metals and equilibria, Groups in the periodic table, rates of reaction and energy changes, fuels and Earth science.

  • Key concepts in physics, motion and forces, conservation of energy, waves, light and the electromagnetic spectrum, radioactivity, forces doing work, forces and their effects, electricity and circuits, magnetism and the motor effect, electromagnetic induction, particle model, forces and matter.

KS4 GCSE Science

Biology


Students will study cells and control, genetics, natural selection and genetic modification, health, disease and the development of medicines, plant structures and their functions, animal coordination, control and homeostasis, exchange and transport in animals, ecosystems and material cycles. Whilst the topics studied are the same as those for Combined Science, separate Science students study these in more detail or with additional aspects of the topics.

Chemistry


Students will study atoms,( bonding and periodic table and moles calculations), states of matter and mixtures (states of matter and separation and purification techniques), chemical changes (acids, solubility and electrolysis), extracting metals and equilibria, groups in the periodic table (groups1,7 and 0), rates of reaction and energy changes, fuels and Earth science (extraction, separation and combustion of fuels and pollution effects and changes in the atmosphere), qualitative analysis, organic chemistry, polymers and nanoparticles, transition metals, alloys and corrosion, quantitative analysis using moles, dynamic equilibria and chemical cells.

Physics


Students will study motion and forces, conservation of energy, waves, light and the electromagnetic spectrum, radioactivity, forces doing work, forces and their effects, electricity and circuits, magnetism and the motor effect, electromagnetic induction, particle model, forces and matter.

Y10 Course

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Units

SB2 Cells and control

SC8 Acids and alkalis

 

SP5 Light and electromagnets

Sc14 Quantitative Chemistry

 

SB3 Genetics

SC15 Dynamic equilibria & calcs involving volumes of gas

SP6 Radioactivity

SB4 Natural selection and GM

 

SB6 Animal coordination, control & homeostasis

SP14 Particle model

 

SB6 Plant structures and their functions

SC18 Rates of reaction

 

Y11 Course

 

Autumn 1

Autumn 2

Spring 1

Spring 2

Summer 1

Summer 2

Units Triple

Topic 3 Genetics

Sc14 Quantitative Chemistry

Electricity circuits

Topic 4 Natural Selection

Metals

Electricity

Topic 7 Homeostasis

 

Rates

 

Magnetism

 

Topic 9 Ecosystems

 

Work and energy

 

Fuels and hydrocarbons

 

 

Units

Combined

Topic 4 natural selection

 

Topic 3 Genetics

 

Electricity & circuits

Electricity

Metals

Topic 7 Homeostasis

 

Rates

 

Work and energy

Fuels and hydrocarbons