Science

KS3 Intent:

A quality science education provides the knowledge needed to make sense of the world around us. Science changes our lives and is vital to the world’s future prosperity. Through science education, students add to their cultural capital by learning to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. By pupils knowing more and being able to do more, they begin to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes.

Our key Stage 3 (KS3) curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

Implementation:

Year

Term

Topic

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Links to previous content

Window for Assessment

7

HT1

Baseline KS1/2 tests

Working scientifically

7A Cells, tissues, organs and system

7E Mixtures and separation

HT1 focuses on assessing previous knowledge of all year 7 pupils.

Working scientifically is an opportunity for pupils to learn what science is and also the importance of safety in science.

We then move onto 7A where pupils learn about the building blocks of organisms of how they are structured. Mixtures and separation then explains what a mixture is and how we go about separating various mixtures.

 

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

7

HT2

7I Energy

7B Sexual reproduction in animals

7I Energy is an introduction into energy. It helps pupils understand what energy is and how it is transferred between stores.

7B focuses on explaining the biological mechanisms that allow animals to sexually reproduce.

 

7A

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

7

HT3

7F Acids and alkalis

7J Current electricity

7F is an introduction to acids and alkalis. It helps pupils identify everyday substances as acidic or alkali and also how to neutralise them.

7J is an introduction to electrical circuits and explains how electrical current behaves in circuits.

 

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

7

HT4

7C Muscles and bones

7G The particle model

7C takes a look at how animals move using muscles and bones.

7G introduces pupils to the particle model. It informs pupils about what all matter is made from in our universe.

 

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

7

HT5

7K Forces

7D Ecosystems

7K helps explain what a force is and what a force can do to an object.

7D introduces ecosystems to pupils. It shows the interconnectivity of organisms and the importance of a balanced ecosystem.

 

7I

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

7

HT6

7H Atoms, elements and

compounds

7L Sound

7H explain how matter is found in our universe. It helps pupils understand the different composition of matter and how that affects the particles properties.

7L is an introduction of sound as a transfer of energy. It explains what sound is, how it travels and how we hear sounds.

7E/7F/7G

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

8

HT1

Working Scientifically

8A Food and nutrition

8E Combustion

We start year 8 by revisiting the key concepts of working scientifically and reinforce the key topic of safety in the laboratory.

8A establishes the necessity of food and a balanced diet whilst exploring the consequences of not having a balanced diet.

8E helps tie theory of combustion with the consequences of burning too much and the impacts it has on the planet.

 

7A

7I/7F/7H

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

8

HT2

8B Plants and reproduction

8F The periodic table

8J Light

8B helps pupils understand how plants reproduce though both asexual and sexual reproduction.

8F introduces pupils to the periodic table. It will inform pupils of how the table was put together and how we can use it to our advantage.

8J looks at what light is and the properties it displays.

7B/7D

7F/7G/7H

 

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

8

HT3

8C Breathing and respiration

8G Metals and their use

8K Energy transfers

8C helps put the theory to an everyday occurrence…breathing. It will inform pupils of the risks of an unhealthy lifestyle and the impact it could have for your breathing system.

8G introduces metals and the different properties of different metals. We also look at the underlying structure of a metal to help understand its properties.

8K follows on from a previous topic. It allows pupils to develop their understanding of energy and how it is transferred from one store to another.

7C

7F/7G/7H/8E/8F

7I/7G/8I

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

8

HT4

8D Unicellular organisms

8L Space

9A Genetics and evolution

8D develops their understanding of cells. It introduces single celled organisms such as: fungus, bacteria and algae.

8L helps pupils understand the night sky. It is designed to bring the theory to everyday occurrences such as night and day or the seasons.

9A is a chance for pupils to develop their understanding of genetics and evolution. This is also an ideal time to dispel common misconceptions about how humans evolved.

7A/7D/8B/8C

7G/7K/8F/8J

7D/8B

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

8

HT5

9E Making materials

9I Forces and motion

9B Plant growth

9E allows pupils to consolidate their previous knowledge about materials and begins to introduce materials that have more than one component.

9I uses previous knowledge to explain how forces make objects move. Looking at depth at the motion of objects allows pupils to fully understand the concept of forces.

9B looks how plants grow and how this can process can be manipulated by scientists to the advantage of mankind. We also look at the ethical issues surrounding such processes.

7G/7H/8E

7I/7K/7D/8E/8I/8K

7A/7C/7D/8A/8C

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

8

HT6

9F Reactivity

9J Force fields and electromagnets

 

9F looks at the reactivity of both metals and non-metals. We look at the structure of the atom and link its structure to its reactivity.

9J expands further into the field of forces by looking at force fields and electromagnets.

7I/7G/7G/8E/8I/8F/8G

7J/7K/8L/9I

Formative assessment 1 per half term

Synoptic assessment at periodic data points

 

KS4 Intent

Educate a woman and you educate a family; educate a girl and you educate the future. As an all-girls school we have a moral responsibility to address gender imbalance and social disadvantages associated with science. Research provides evidence that maternal qualifications removes disadvantage from future generations and that true social mobility is led by science qualifications, which provide access to better paid, professional careers than any other subject.

The primary intent of our curriculum is to produce scientifically articulate citizens, able to discuss and apply fundamental scientific ideas in real life, ranging from being able to rewire a household plug (topic 6.2) to evaluating the scientific literature and ethics surrounding vaccinations and medical research (topic 4.3). Critically, we want all of our pupils prepared for their next stage scientific stage, be it further study, or immersion in real life.

Our key stage 4 (KS4) curriculum offering is designed to develop and deepen the concepts taught at KS3. To deepen understanding we take pupils’ existing schema and introduce it to new concepts therefore developing and reinforcing key ideas through real life context. We continue to link the scientific concepts mandated to us in the National Curriculum to real life applications, but we do not hesitate to go further if it helps pupils to understand the real world. This enables pupils to investigate the world around them and provides evidence of how science underpins most of the technological advancements in the developed world. Science is moving forward at a faster pace than ever before. It is essential that pupils possess the scientific capital to understand developments and potentially contribute to new scientific endeavours. Science is a knowledge driven subject but we encourage students to grapple with difficult concepts as this develops resilience, which is a fundamental life skill. Other skills intrinsic to a good scientist include: logical thinking, methodical approach to process, critical evaluation of data, and the ability to remain curious about natural phenomena. Using skills that science teaches us, we can begin to understand how our life is driven by common ideas which include: that every effect has a one or more cause, change is driven by interaction between objects or systems, and that interactions can occur over great distances and time periods.

While we do teach three different branches of science, we interleave them in such a way that key concepts are continually and sequentially built upon. All pupils, regardless of qualification will be taught each branch of science concurrently to avoid fallow periods of time which would make recall and retention more challenging. Knowing more and remembering more is our key principle, we do this by linking sciences, topics, concepts and ideas with continual guided reflection. The curriculum is designed to allow pupils equal coverage of biology, chemistry and physics. This exposes pupils to a full range of scientific knowledge to develop their observational, practical, modelling, enquiry, problem-solving skills and mathematical skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other environments. The three disciplines are all underpinned by the concept of working scientifically. Working scientifically will also give pupils the understanding of how ideas develop over time and how peer review is essential to the scientific process.

Implementation

The sequencing of our curriculum has considered many factors. Key concepts that are fundamental to understanding of other topics are delivered fist and are given extra time to allow exploration in unfamiliar contexts to promote mastery. Content that requires complex mathematical skill sets are delayed until they have been first explored in the maths department, we work with the maths team to teach these concepts using a common approach and language. Through extensive data analysis we have identified an issue with the depth of understanding of the most challenging topics in physics. To ameliorate this problem, we have split the curriculum in to 3 levels of conceptual challenge which are introduced sequentially to the pupils, along with continued revisiting of prior concepts. This way, pupils only encounter the most challenging aspects of the curriculum when they have the cognitive capacity to understand abstract concepts and the mathematical ability to supplement that knowledge.

Year

Term

Topic

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Window for Assessment

9

1

Cell Biology

 

Just as cells are the building blocks of life, a deep understanding of cell structure and function is prerequisite to all aspects of Biology.

Formative assessment in lessons.

 

HW Quizzes.

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term).

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points.

Atomic Structure & The Periodic Table

 

All matter is composed of atoms and all of chemistry requires an understanding of the nature and structure of the atom. The properties of atoms and arrangement into elements are further explored along with the history of key discoveries that have shaped modern scientific understand of matter.

Energy (basic concepts)

 

Forces (basic concepts)

Pupils will learn about what energy is and how it is transferred. It also looks at common ways of energy production.

 

Forces begins by continuing the work done at KS3. This stage of learning links forces to motion and begins to explain the difference between speed and acceleration.

9

2

Cell Biology (Cont.)

Principles of Organisation

After mastering the structure and function of individual cells and cell types pupils are guided through the further hierarchical nature of the organisation of living things.

Formative assessment in lessons.

 

HW Quizzes.

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term).

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Bonding, Structure & The Properties of Matter

Only after mastering the nature of atoms can pupils fully understand how atoms interact and form bonds. The nature of these bonds proffer specific properties to all materials, this topic allows pupils to investigate those relationships.

Particle Model (basic concepts)

 

Electricity (basic concepts)

The particle model will teach students how particles behave. This topic will show how particle move and interact. It will also link pressure with temperature.

 

Electricity will start by looking at electrical safety in the home. It will then explain how potential difference and current behave in series and parallel circuits.

9

3

Principles of Organisation (Cont.)

An extended period of time is assigned to this topic to allow detailed and deep investigation as this topic is fundamental for understanding the complexity of life on earth.

Formative assessment in lessons.

 

HW Quizzes.

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term).

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Chemical Changes

Combining the nature of the atom and the reactivity of the elements in earlier topics provides pupils with the requisite knowledge to comprehend the changes brought about in chemical reactions and their contextual uses.

Waves (basic concepts)

 

Electromagnetism (basic concepts)

 

Atomic Structure (basic concepts)

Waves starts by looking at a wave as a transfer of energy. It will look at the properties of a transverse and longitudinal wave and how sound waves travel.

 

Electromagnetism looks at what a makes a basics bar magnet, what magnetic field lines are and the link between magnetism and electricity.

 

Atomic structure teaches pupils how the current model of the atom has developed over time. It then looks at the constituent parts of the atom. It then explains how unstable atoms decay and background radiation.

10

1

Infection & Response

Pathogens cause multiple diseases that have varying effects upon organisms. This term investigates the different types of pathogen and the mechanisms of infection. It explains how immune responses are formed and how long-term immunity can be achieved. Pupils are guided in the exploration of professional scientific method and research, and are provided with insights in to life as a research scientist.

Formative assessment in lessons.

 

HW Quizzes.

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term).

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Energy Changes

 

 

 

Quantitative Chemistry

All chemical reactions involve the breaking and making of bonds, process that require energy transfer to and from the surroundings. Useful exploitation of this is covered in detail, along with the mathematical approaches to calculate specific energy changes within a reaction.

 

Measuring, calculating, balancing and quantifying all aspects of a chemical reaction can be conceptually and academically challenging. This traditionally challenging aspect of the curriculum has been moved from year 9 to year 10 to allow pupils to have developed the necessary mathematical skill sets required to tackle the challenge. With a greater mathematical schema, pupils’ working memory is more able to deal with the scientific concepts contained in this topic.

Energy (developing concepts)

Forces (developing concepts)

In this topic we follow on from the work in year 9 by introducing kinetic energy, efficiency and potential energy.

 

This topic has practical elements that involve measuring acceleration and linking it to a force. It also introduces pupils to Newton’s laws. We then look at how to interpret motion graphs.

10

2

Bioenergetics

All living things require energy for living processes. This term investigates the transfer of energy from the sun to all organisms and explores how the chemical energy in food is transferred in to useful energy for living processes.

Formative assessment in lessons.

 

HW Quizzes.

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term).

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

The Rate and Extent of Chemical Change

Pupils are given the opportunity to combine everything they have mastered so far to explain how all chemical reactions occur and what factors influence the likelihood and the rate of a reaction. Context is investigated with the application of industrial chemistry, providing insight in to scientific careers.

Particle Model (developing concepts)

 

Electricity (developing concepts)

This topic follows on from the behaviour of particles to the properties of objects. It looks at how we can measure the density of an object and also how we can calculate the internal energy of an object.

 

Year 10’s visit to electricity is based around Ohm’s law and how resistance behaves in a variety of circumstances. We also look at the most common and effective ways to look at electricity.

10

3

Homeostasis

Many organisms are able to regulate and maintain internal conditions within small margins despite changes in both internal and external environments. In this topic pupils learn how and why these conditions are maintained.

Formative assessment in lessons.

 

HW Quizzes.

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term).

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Organic Chemistry

 

Chemical Analysis

Mankind’s reliance on hydrocarbons as a fuel source is explored in this topic. The properties of various hydrocarbons, and the chemical processes required to produce them are set out.

 

Pupils have covered key differences between elements, compounds and mixtures in all key stages. At this point in the curriculum the scientific tests to distinguish between these in investigated. Pupils learn that the word, “pure” has a specific definition unique to chemistry and use all of their skills to explain how the testing procedures work and why they matter.

Waves (developing concepts)

Electromagnetism (developing concepts)

Atomic Structure (developing concepts)

Waves follow on from year 9’s work on waves by introducing context to wave properties. We look at what waves can be used for and how they behave.

 

Electromagnetism has got lots of applications in the world around us. In this topic we look at how solenoids, generators and how we can use generator to our advantage.

 

In this chapter we look at the uses of radiation. We look at the medical and industrial uses as well as the dangers associated with their use. We also introduce the concept of radioactive half-life.

11

1

Inheritance, Variation & Evolution

The theory of evolution, and all supporting evidence are investigated along with the biochemical basis of all life on earth. The value and risks or random mutations to our genetic code are explored, along with associated diseases that are controlled by our genes.

Formative assessment in lessons.

 

HW Quizzes.

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term).

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Chemistry of the Atmosphere

By this stage pupils are well versed in the risks of hydrocarbon combustion. They are now challenged to learn about the history of our early atmosphere and what factors have caused such significant changes over the history of the planet. The impact of mankind is then contextualised, and carbon related data is interrogated.

Energy (mastering concepts)

 

 

Forces (mastering concepts)

 

Particle Model (mastering concepts)

Electricity (mastering concepts)

This topic introduces to quantitative element of energy. Pupils will calculate specific heat capacity, understand power and how to calculate it and carry out investigations to understand the concepts fully.

 

This topic focuses on the application of knowledge of forces and motion. It looks how car safety has developed and more difficult concepts like conservation of momentum.

 

This topic visits the concepts of specific heat capacity/specific latent heat and the mathematical skills behind them.

 

This phase of learning helps pupils realise the applications for electrical circuits. It looks at control circuits, power and energy transfers as well as the mathematics behind calculating power.

11

2

Ecology

After having explored the history of the earth’s atmosphere, this topic provides multiple opportunities to evaluate the myriad of conflicting details regarding the balance of life on the planet earth. Human impact is discussed, along with the critical role scientists have in safeguarding the planet.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Using Resources

In a changing world, increasingly aware of the importance of natural resources, this topic details different categories of resource and their global impacts. Importantly, pupils investigate life cycle assessments to calculate objective outputs in complex ethical and moral issues ranging from the production of drinking water to the value of paper and plastic.

Waves (mastering concepts)

 

Electromagnetism (mastering concepts)

Atomic Structure (mastering concepts)

In this topic we learn how to measure wave speeds using a variety of methods. We also look at the properties of microwaves and how they are different to other waves on the EM spectrum.

 

We end magnetism by looking at the application of magnets and electromagnets. This includes loudspeakers and transformers.

 

This topic consolidates year 9/10 by teaching pupils how to show atomic structure using nuclear equations. We also look at the properties of radiation and how this is suited to an application.

11

 

3

 

Course Summary

All topics are summarised to allow pupils time to interconnect the entire course.

External Examinations

KS5 Intent

Our key stage 5 (KS5) curriculum is designed to develop and enhance subject specific knowledge within the fields of natural, chemical and physical sciences. The KS5 offering has a focus on deepening the appreciation, and knowledge of each science. Mathematics is intrinsic to developing an understanding of the concepts and ideas involved and so we have structured our curriculum to develop competence and confidence in mathematical processes to aid understanding of theory, particularly in the physical sciences.

As with KS3/KS4 we teach pupils to relate classroom-based lessons to the physical world around them. Teaching with context allows pupils to develop the ability to take scientific theory and apply it to their own daily lives. Having this within a pupils’ skillset is essential as a scientist. Not only does this skill help recall and reinforce past schema but it also allows pupils to fully understand and appreciate the scientific advances that are rapidly and continually developing all around us. A range of additional methods are used to encourage recall and retention of knowledge, including the application of multiple platforms. Pupils are regularly challenged to explain prior learning and make links to new learning.

A current theme that is woven through all key stages is developing a scientists’ ability to ask questions and remain curious about natural phenomena. We continue this theme at KS5 by expecting pupils to complete practical investigations independently. Laboratories are stocked with glassware and equipment that pupils are guided toward selecting and using independently. This allows pupils to fully appreciate the importance of the scientific method and offers pupils a chance to evaluate, not the data obtained through experiment, but also how they conducted the investigation.

The curriculum also offers pupils a chance to contribute to industry through a work-based placement. Here, pupils will have the chance to develop their understanding of industry and begin to appreciate the myriad of careers available through the application and pursuit of scientific knowledge. This is augmented by a keen staff body possessing a range of real-world scientific careers prior to teaching.

Implementation (Natural Sciences)

Year

Term

Topic

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Window for Assessment

12

1

Biological Molecules

All life on Earth shares a common chemistry. This provides indirect evidence for evolution.

Despite their great variety, the cells of all living organisms contain only a few groups of carbon based compounds that interact in similar ways.

Carbohydrates are commonly used by cells as respiratory substrates. They also form structural components in plasma membranes and cell walls.

Lipids have many uses, including the bilayer of plasma membranes, certain hormones and as respiratory substrates.

Proteins form many cell structures. They are also important as enzymes, chemical messengers and components of the blood.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Cells

All life on Earth exists as cells. These have basic features in common. Differences between cells are due to the addition of extra features. This provides indirect evidence for evolution.

All cells arise from other cells, by binary fission in prokaryotic cells and by mitosis and meiosis in eukaryotic cells.

12

2

Biological Molecules (Cont.)

Nucleic acids carry the coded genetic information for the production of proteins. The genetic code is common to viruses and to all living organisms, providing evidence for evolution.

The most common component of cells is water; hence our search for life elsewhere in the universe involves a search for liquid water.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Cells (Cont.)

All cells have a cell-surface membrane and, in addition, eukaryotic cells have internal membranes. The basic structure of these plasma membranes is the same and enables control of the passage of substances across exchange surfaces by passive or active transport.

 

Cell-surface membranes contain embedded proteins. Some of these are involved in cell signalling – communication between cells. Others act as antigens, allowing recognition of ‘self’ and ‘foreign’ cells by the immune system. Interactions between different types of cell are involved in disease, recovery from disease and prevention of symptoms occurring at a later date if exposed to the same antigen, or antigen-bearing pathogen.

12

3

Genetic Information, Variation & Relationships

Biological diversity – biodiversity - is reflected in the vast number of species of organisms, in the variation of individual characteristics within a single species and in the variation of cell types within a single multicellular organism.

 

Differences between species reflect genetic differences. Differences between individuals within a species could be the result of genetic factors, of environmental factors, or a combination of both.

 

A gene is a section of DNA located at a particular site on a DNA molecule, called its locus. The base sequence of each gene carries the coded genetic information that determines the sequence of amino acids during protein synthesis. The genetic code used is the same in all organisms, providing indirect evidence for evolution.

 

Genetic diversity within a species can be caused by gene mutation, chromosome mutation or random factors associated with meiosis and fertilisation. This genetic diversity is acted upon by natural selection, resulting in species becoming better adapted to their environment.

 

Variation within a species can be measured using differences in the base sequence of DNA or in the amino acid sequence of proteins.

 

Biodiversity within a community can be measured using species richness and an index of diversity.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Organisms Exchange Substances with their Environment

The internal environment of a cell or organism is different from its external environment. The exchange of substances between the internal and external environments takes place at exchange surfaces. To truly enter or leave an organism, most substances must cross cell plasma membranes.

 

In large multicellular organisms, the immediate environment of cells is some form of tissue fluid. Most cells are too far away from exchange surfaces and from each other, for simple diffusion alone to maintain the composition of tissue fluid within a suitable metabolic range. In large organisms, exchange surfaces are associated with mass transport systems that carry substances between the exchange surfaces and the rest of the body and between parts of the body. Mass transport maintains the final diffusion gradients that bring substances to and from the cell membranes of individual cells. It also helps to maintain the relatively stable environment that is tissue fluid.

13

1

Energy Transfer in and Between Organisms

Life depends on continuous transfers of energy.

In photosynthesis, light is absorbed by chlorophyll and this is linked to the production of ATP.

In respiration, various substances are used as respiratory substrates. The hydrolysis of these respiratory substrates is linked to the production of ATP.

In both respiration and photosynthesis, ATP production occurs when protons diffuse down an electrochemical gradient through molecules of the enzyme ATP synthase, embedded in the membranes of cellular organelles.

The process of photosynthesis is common in all photoautotrophic organisms and the process of respiration is common in all organisms, providing indirect evidence for evolution.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Genetics, Populations, Evolution & Ecosystems

The theory of evolution underpins modern Biology. All new species arise from an existing species. This results in different species sharing a common ancestry, as represented in phylogenetic classification. Common ancestry can explain the similarities between all living organisms, such as common chemistry (eg all proteins made from the same 20 or so amino acids), physiological pathways (eg anaerobic respiration), cell structure, DNA as the genetic material and a ‘universal’ genetic code.

The individuals of a species share the same genes but (usually) different combinations of alleles of these genes. An individual inherits alleles from their parent or parents.

 

A species exists as one or more populations. There is variation in the phenotypes of organisms in a population, due to genetic and environmental factors. Two forces affect genetic variation in populations: genetic drift and natural selection. Genetic drift can cause changes in allele frequency in small populations. Natural selection occurs when alleles that enhance the fitness of the individuals that carry them rise in frequency. A change in the allele frequency of a population is evolution.

 

If a population becomes isolated from other populations of the same species, there will be no gene flow between the isolated population and the others. This may lead to the accumulation of genetic differences in the isolated population, compared with the other populations. These differences may ultimately lead to organisms in the isolated population becoming unable to breed and produce fertile offspring with organisms from the other populations. This reproductive isolation means that a new species has evolved.

 

Populations of different species live in communities. Competition occurs within and between these populations for the means of survival. Within a single community, one population is affected by other populations, the biotic factors, in its environment. Populations within communities are also affected by, and in turn affect, the abiotic (physicochemical) factors in an ecosystem.

13

2

Organisms Respond to Changes in their Internal and External Environments

All organisms must respond to change to survive. The complex mechanisms underlying the myriad of responses of life on earth are investigated academically and practically.

 

A stimulus is a change in the internal or external environment. A receptor detects a stimulus. A coordinator formulates a suitable response to a stimulus. An effector produces a response.

 

Receptors are specific to one type of stimulus.

Nerve cells pass electrical impulses along their length. A nerve impulse is specific to a target cell only because it releases a chemical messenger directly onto it, producing a response that is usually rapid, short-lived and localised.

 

In contrast, mammalian hormones stimulate their target cells via the blood system. They are specific to the tertiary structure of receptors on their target cells and produce responses that are usually slow, long-lasting and widespread.

 

Plants control their response using hormone-like growth substances.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

The Control of Gene Expression

Cells are able to control their metabolic activities by regulating the transcription and translation of their genome. Although the cells within an organism carry the same code genetic information, they translate only part of it. In multicellular organisms, this control of translation enables cells to have specialised functions, forming tissues and organs.

 

There are many factors that control the expression of genes and, thus, the phenotype of organisms. Some are external, environmental factors, others are internal factors. The expression of genes is not as simple as once thought, with epigenetic regulation of transcription being increasingly recognised as important.

 

Humans are learning how to control the expression of genes by altering the epigenome, and how to alter genomes and proteomes of organisms. This has many medical and technological applications.

 

Consideration of cellular control mechanisms underpins the content of this section. Students who have studied it should develop an understanding of the ways in which organisms and cells control their activities. This should lead to an appreciation of common ailments resulting from a breakdown of these control mechanisms and the use of DNA technology in the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases.

13

3

Summary

All topics are summarised to allow pupils time to interconnect the entire course.

 

 

Implementation (Chemical Sciences)

Key: P = Physical Chemistry, O = Organic Chemistry, I = Inorganic Chemistry

Year

Term

Topic

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Window for Assessment

12

1

Atomic Structure, Amount of Substance

P The nuances of atomic structure deemed too complicated for study at GCSE are introduced. Pupils investigate how the arrangement of electrons in orbitals is linked to the way in which elements are organised in the Periodic Table.

Pupils explore the methods by which chemists can measure mass of atoms and molecules to a high degree of accuracy in a mass spectrometer is covered. The principles of operation of a modern mass spectrometer are studied. The mole, and its value as a unit of amount of measure are detailed.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Bonding, Kinetics

P The physical and chemical properties of compounds depend on the ways in which the compounds are held together by chemical bonds and by intermolecular forces. Theories of bonding explain how atoms or ions are held together in these structures. Materials scientists use knowledge of structure and bonding to engineer new materials with desirable properties. These new materials may offer new applications in a range of different modern technologies.

The study of kinetics enables chemists to determine how a change in conditions affects the speed of a chemical reaction. Whilst the reactivity of chemicals is a significant factor in how fast chemical reactions proceed, there are variables that can be manipulated in order to speed them up or slow them down.

12

2

Energetics, Chemical Equilibria, Oxidation & Reduction

P The enthalpy change in a chemical reaction can be measured accurately. It is important to know this value for chemical reactions that are used as a source of heat energy in applications such as domestic boilers and internal combustion engines.

In contrast with kinetics, which is a study of how quickly reactions occur, a study of equilibria indicates how far reactions will go. Le Chatelier’s principle can be used to predict the effects of changes in temperature, pressure and concentration on the yield of a reversible reaction. This has important consequences for many industrial processes. The further study of the equilibrium constant, Kc, considers how the mathematical expression for the equilibrium constant enables us to calculate how an equilibrium yield will be influenced by the concentration of reactants and products.

Redox reactions involve a transfer of electrons from the reducing agent to the oxidising agent. The change in the oxidation state of an element in a compound or ion is used to identify the element that has been oxidised or reduced in a given reaction. Separate half-equations are written for the oxidation or reduction processes. These half-equations can then be combined to give an overall equation for any redox reaction.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Introduction to Organic Chemistry, Alkanes, Halogenoalkanes

O Organic chemistry is the study of the millions of covalent compounds of the element carbon. These structurally diverse compounds vary from naturally occurring petroleum fuels to DNA and the molecules in living systems. Organic compounds also demonstrate human ingenuity in the vast range of synthetic materials created by chemists. Many of these compounds are used as drugs, medicines and plastics.

Organic compounds are named using the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) system and the structure or formula of molecules can be represented in various different ways. Organic mechanisms are studied, which enable reactions to be explained.

In the search for sustainable chemistry, safer agrochemicals and for new materials to match the desire for new technology, chemistry plays a vital role.

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Group 2 – Alkaline Earth Metals, Group 7 – Halogens, Periodicity

I The elements in Group 2 are called the alkaline earth metals. The trends in the solubilities of the hydroxides and the sulfates of these elements are linked to their use. Barium sulfate, magnesium hydroxide and magnesium sulfate have applications in medicines whilst calcium hydroxide is used in agriculture to change soil pH, which is essential for good crop production and maintaining the food supply.

The halogens in Group 7 are very reactive non-metals. Trends in their physical properties are examined and explained. Fluorine is too dangerous to be used in a school laboratory but the reactions of chlorine are studied. Challenges in studying the properties of elements in this group include explaining the trends in ability of the halogens to behave as oxidising agents and the halide ions to behave as reducing agents.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Alkenes, Alcohols, Organic Analysis

O In alkenes, the high-electron density of the carbon–carbon double bond leads to attack on these molecules by electrophiles.  This section also n alkenes, the high electron density of the carbon–carbon double bond leads to attack on these molecules by electrophiles.  This section also covers the mechanism of addition to the double bond and introduces addition polymers, which are commercially important and have many uses in modern society.

Alcohols have many scientific, medicinal and industrial uses. Ethanol is one such alcohol and it is produced using different methods, which are considered in this section. Ethanol can be used as a biofuel.

Our understanding of organic molecules, their structure and the way they react, has been enhanced by organic analysis. This section considers some of the analytical techniques used by chemists, including test-tube reactions and spectroscopic techniques.

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Thermodynamics, Acids & Bases, Electrode potential & electrochemical cells

P The further study of thermodynamics builds on the Energetics section and is important in understanding the stability of compounds and why chemical reactions occur. Enthalpy change is linked with entropy change enabling the free-energy change to be calculated.

Acids and bases are important in domestic, environmental and industrial contexts. Acidity in aqueous solutions is caused by hydrogen ions and a logarithmic scale, pH, has been devised to measure acidity. Buffer solutions, which can be made from partially neutralised weak acids, resist changes in pH and find many important industrial and biological applications.

Redox reactions take place in electrochemical cells where electrons are transferred from the reducing agent to the oxidising agent indirectly via an external circuit. A potential difference is created that can drive an electric current to do work. Electrochemical cells have very important commercial applications as a portable supply of electricity to power electronic devices such as mobile phones, tablets and laptops. On a larger scale, they can provide energy to power a vehicle.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Optical Isomerism, Aldehydes and Ketones, Carboxylic Acids, Rate Equations (P)

O Compounds that contain an asymmetric carbon atom form stereoisomers that differ in their effect on plane polarised light. This type of isomerism is called optical isomerism.

Carboxylic acids are weak acids but strong enough to liberate carbon dioxide from carbonates. Esters occur naturally in vegetable oils and animal fats. Important products obtained from esters include biodiesel, soap and glycerol.

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Transition Metals, Reactions of Ions is aq. Solution, Properties of Period 3 Elements and their Oxides

I Unlike the metals in Groups 1 and 2, the transition metals Ti to Cu form coloured compounds and compounds where the transition metal exists in different oxidation states. Some of these metals are familiar as catalysts. The properties of these elements are studied in this section with opportunities for a wide range of practical investigations.

The reactions of the Period 3 elements with oxygen are considered. The pH of the solutions formed when the oxides react with water illustrates further trends in properties across this period. Explanations of these reactions offer opportunities to develop an in-depth understanding of how and why these reactions occur.

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Aromatic Chemistry, Amines, Polymers, Amino Acids, Proteins, DNA, Equilibrium Constant (P), NMR Spectroscopy, Chromatography, Organic Synthesis

O Amino acids, proteins and DNA are the molecules of life. In this section, the structure and bonding in these molecules and the way they interact is studied. Drug action is also considered.

Chemists use a variety of techniques to deduce the structure of compounds. In this section, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy is added to mass spectrometry and infrared spectroscopy as an analytical technique. The emphasis is on the use of analytical data to solve problems rather than on spectroscopic theory.

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Course Summary

All topics are summarised to allow pupils time to interconnect the entire course.

External Examinations

 

Implementation (Physical Sciences)

Year

Term

Topic

Knowledge, skills and understanding

Window for Assessment

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Measurements and their errors

Content in this section is focussed on working scientifically and all the skills associated with that topic. Content involves SI units, conversation of units, standard form, and errors and their causes.

 

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Particles and radiation

This section introduces students both to the fundamental properties of matter, and to electromagnetic radiation and quantum phenomena.

Topics include constituent parts of the atom, stable and unstable nuclei, photoelectric effect, and particle interactions.

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Waves

GCSE studies of wave phenomena are extended through a development of knowledge of the characteristics, properties, and applications of travelling waves and stationary waves. Topics treated include refraction, diffraction, superposition and interference

 

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

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3

Mechanics and materials

Vectors and their treatment are introduced followed by development of the student’s knowledge and understanding of forces, energy and momentum. The section continues with a study of materials considered in terms of their bulk properties and tensile strength.

 

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Electricity

This section builds on and develops earlier study of these phenomena from GCSE. It provides opportunities for the development of practical skills at an early stage in the course and lays the groundwork for later study of the many electrical applications that are important to society.

 

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1

Further mechanics and thermal physics

The earlier study of mechanics is further advanced through a consideration of circular motion and simple harmonic motion (the harmonic oscillator). A further section allows the thermal properties of materials, the properties and nature of ideal gases, and the molecular kinetic theory to be studied in depth.

 

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Fields and their consequences

The concept of field is one of the great unifying ideas in physics. The ideas of gravitation, electrostatics

and magnetic field theory are developed within the topic to emphasise this unification. Many ideas from

mechanics and electricity from earlier in the course support this and are further developed.

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Nuclear physics

This section builds on the work of Particles and radiation to link the properties of the nucleus to the production of nuclear power through the characteristics of the nucleus, the properties of unstable nuclei, and the link between energy and mass.

 

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

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2

Astrophysics (Optional)

Fundamental physical principles are applied to the study and interpretation of the Universe. Students gain deeper insight into the behaviour of objects at great distances from Earth and discover the ways in which information from these objects can be gathered.

NB – Only one option block is selected, which optional topic is selected is dependent on each individual cohort proclivity and strengths.

 

Formative assessment in lessons

 

HW Quizzes

 

Summative Assessments (1 per half term)

 

Synoptic assessment at periodic points in-line with whole school data points

Engineering physics (Optional)

This option offers opportunities for students to reinforce and extend the work of core units by considering applications in areas of engineering and technology. It extends the student’s understanding in areas of rotational dynamics and thermodynamics

 

Turning points in physics (Optional)

This option is intended to enable key concepts and developments in physics to be studied in greater depth than in the core content. Students will be able to appreciate, from historical and conceptual viewpoints, the significance of major paradigm shifts for the subject in the perspectives of experimentation and understanding.

 

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Course Summary

All topics are summarised to allow pupils time to interconnect the entire course.

External Examinations