Faculty Leader - Science

Mrs S Lockett – slockett@ndonline.org

 

Aims

Welcome to Science, where students receive high quality, stimulating lessons that each include a variety of tasks delivered in an innovative and hands-on manner.  Students engage in a range of Science concepts, from GM foods to the Higgs Boson through to Mendeleev and Theories of Relativity.

The Science Department at Notre Dame strives to give students a positive teaching and learning experience.  Lessons cover not just theoretical content but include a range of practical activities aimed to challenge pupils as well as improve their technical skills.

 

Curriculum

Key Stage 3

We deliver the Secondary Science Framework, including How Science Works, which puts the pupils learning in context and encourages them to evaluate the impact of developments on society.  Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils 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.

In Year 7 and 8 all students follow a two year KS3 curriculum embedding core concepts and skills in preparation for KS4.  This consists of 12 topics per year, 4 in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Year 7

Biology:

  • Cells and organisation
  • Reproductive system
  • Nutrition
  • Ecosystems

Chemistry:

  • Different states and reactions
  • The Periodic Table
  • Solutions
  • Rocks and the Earth

Physics:

  • Waves and sound
  • Space physics
  • Light
  • Forces and motion

Year 8

Biology:

  • Respiration
  • Plants
  • Genetics
  • Human body systems and health

Chemistry:

  • Chemical reactions
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Chemical properties
  • Atmosphere

Physics:

  • More forces
  • Energy and matter
  • Electricity
  • Engergy

Topics in bold are assessed by end of topic tests, whereas those in normal font are assessed through a practical assessed task.

At the end of Year 8, there is a KS3 test taking place in May/June.  Students then progress to GCSE Science in Year 9.  Pupils are taught all 3 Science disciplines by the Science staff.

We also have a weekly extra-curricular Science Club for Year 7 and 8 students which includes fun and often messy experiments!  This takes place on a Monday.  There is also a STEM club on Tuesday lunchtime for Years 7-10.

Key Stage 4

We follow the AQA suite of GCSE Sciences, offering GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics to one set of pupils where they will gain a grade for each subject at the end of Year 11.  The rest of the year group complete the GCSE Trilogy Science, which is a combination of all 3 science disciplines.  The course consists of an equal split of Biology, Chemistry and Physics, all of which will be examined on at the end of Year 11 and will result in your daughter gaining two GCSE Science grades e.g. 7-7, 5-4

There are 24 topics (25 for the triple scientists) which we commence at the start of Year 9 and finish in the spring of Year 11.  This means pupils need to keep their exercise books and retain/understand a large amount of content for their final exams.

GCSE Biology

  1.  Cell biology
  2.  Organisation
  3.  Infection and response
  4.  Bioenergetics
  5.  Homeostasis and response
  6.  Inheritance, variation and evolution
  7.  Ecology

GCSE Chemistry

  1.  Atomic structure and the periodic table
  2.  Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  3.  Quantitative chemistry
  4.  Chemical changes
  5.  Energy changes
  6.  The rate and extent of chemical change
  7.  Organic chemistry
  8.  Chemical analysis
  9.  Chemistry of the atmosphere
  10.  Using resources

GCSE Physics

  1.  Energy
  2.  Electricity
  3.  Particle model of matter
  4.  Atomic structure
  5.  Forces
  6.  Waves
  7.  Magnetism and electromagnetism
  8.  Space physics (GCSE only)

15% of each GCSE will consist of practical skills, which will assess your daughters understanding of required practicals we complete over the KS4.  There is a weighting for mathematical ability, which is also examined, with 10% of Biology, 20% Chemistry and 30% Physics.

We do hold regular end of topic tests across each science discipline and these will be scattered throughout the year.  There will be a mock exam at the end of Year 9, 10 (towards June) and in November and February for Year 11 pupils each with 3 exams assessing your daughter’s progress so far.

We would ask that you continue to encourage your daughter to review the materials covered on a regular basis and sell revision guides and flashcards to support this. Good websites to use include:

www.my-gcsescience.com

www.s-cool.co.uk/gcse

www.bbc.com/bitesize/levels/z98jmp3

www.doddlelearn.co.uk where your daughter has a log-on and can access GCSE resources including presentations and quizzes to assist her learning

Please also encourage your daughter to ask for help if she comes across an area where she is not as confident, all of her teachers will be willing to give up lunches or after-school to support them.  If your daughter is unsure of her target grade, she can discuss this with any of her Science teachers.

Key Stage 5

We offer traditional A Levels in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  All qualifications are offered by the OCR examination board.