Science

KS3 Science

Intent

Our aim is to provide a science curriculum which is engaging, coherent and inclusive of all learners. The structure of lessons is clear and deliberate, with regular retrieval practice and homework embedded to ensure that key knowledge is retained by students.  Skills will be developed through practical activities, fostering an enthusiasm for the subject. Students will be regularly assessed and supported in filling gaps in their knowledge. Our curriculum will be enriched with STEM-related activities and made relevant by linking content to careers.

Curriculum sequence

Phase

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

Year 7

B1.1 Cells

 

B1.2 Structure and function of body systems

 

B1.3 Reproduction

C1.1 Particles and their behaviour

 

C1.2 Elements, atoms and compounds

 

C1.3 Reactions

 

C1.4 Acids and alkalis

 

P1.1 Forces

P1.2 Sound

 

P1.3 Light

 

P1.4 Space

Year 8

 

B2.1 Health and lifestyle

 

B2.2 Ecosystem processes

 

B2.3 Adaptation and inheritance

 

C2.1 The Periodic Table

 

C2.2 Separation techniques

 

C2.3 Metals and acids

 

C2.4 The Earth

 

P2.1 Electricity and magnetism

 

P2.2 Energy

 

P2.3 Motion and pressure

 

Meeting the needs of SEND and Pupil Premium students  

In line with whole-school priorities, science teachers place SEND and Pupil Premium students at the centre of our lesson planning.  Key to ensuring this is high quality teaching: we direct questions to disadvantaged students, check their understanding regularly and provide frequent feedback using our CAR feedback system (green CAR sheets will be present in students’ books). Students are given opportunities, in lesson time, to act on their feedback.

Ensuring SEND and Pupil Premium students can access our science curriculum is extremely important to us and these inclusive strategies, which benefit all students, are particularly supportive for vulnerable learners:

  • Structured note sheets provide students with a framework for the lesson. Where possible, diagrams and images are the same on worksheets as in presentations, providing clarity and coherence throughout the lesson.
  • Regular opportunities for retrieval are offered using our retrieval grid starters. Students regularly retrieve knowledge from previous lessons, the beginning of the module and previous modules
  • Low-stakes assessments are conducted at the end of each module. Students are given feedback and support to improve the gaps in their knowledge and are taught how to revise.
  • Tracking systems are in place to monitor student performance throughout the course of the year. Interventions are provided for students where gaps in their learning is identified

Retention  

Our curriculum is taught to be remembered.  Retrieval practice is embedded into lessons, students complete silent starters incorporating retrieval grids and quizzing.  All through Key stage 3 students are supported with revision skills. 

Homework 

In Key stage 3 Science students are set one hour of homework a week to establish good study habits. Homework tasks are planned into each unit of work and are either focused on embedding new subject vocabulary or specific revision tasks for end of unit assessments.

Assessment  

Students are assessed at the end of every module, and twice more formally throughout the course of the academic year.

End of module tests are low-stakes and give students the opportunity to retrieve and apply key knowledge from the module they have been learning.

The tests increase in challenge over the course, with more straightforward tasks at the beginning, such as gap-fills and matching words to definitions at the beginning, moving to application and analysis questions near the end. The structure of the assessments allows every student to access them and to experience success.

Feedback is provided with CAR feedback sheets which provide opportunities for students to complete tasks relevant to areas in which they need to develop.

Contact:

Mr A Binnington

Associate Senior Leader Faculty Leader for Science

abinnington@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

KS4 Science Overview

GCSE Science

Science GCSEs are highly regarded due to their requirement for the use of many transferable skills. It is an exciting time to be studying science, with many exciting and innovative developments happening in the World, from the discovery of new medical treatments to green energy and driverless cars!

At St Birinus there are two courses available for students; Combined Science and Triple Science; more specific details are available in the course options section and the following two pages.

In support of the KS4 students, the department put on regular drop in clinics and intervention sessions both at lunchtime and after school. There are also a variety useful interactive programs which can support independent learning.

Kerboodle: Kerboodle is an online resource that enables students to complete interactive quizzes and have access to the AQA textbook online. It is an excellent support for independent study and revision.

Sharepoint: Sharepoint is a program linked to the email accounts of the students at St Birinus. Currently in development, the use of sharepoint should allow for a wide range of revision material to be available for each module on both science courses.

Tassomai: The school subscribe to the Tassomai app, which allows Year 11 students to complete multiple choice quizzes based on the current AQA curriculum. The students get very competitive about completing the different sections and there are often prizes for students who answer the most questions and spend the most time on the app.

Course options

There are two routes for GCSE Science students at St Birinus School. The majority of students will study Combined Science. This course comprises two GCSEs, with the assessments covering aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Approximately 25% of students will be selected to study Triple Science. Triple Science students will study for three GCSEs of the separate sciences. Students complete assessments in Biology, Chemistry and Physics and receive a GCSE grade for each subject. The course is challenging and moves at a fast pace but will set students up well for completing A levels in the sciences. Each student will study towards the Triple Science course in Year 9 as the initial content is very similar to the Combined Science course. A final decision about whether students are suitable to study Triple Science in Years 10 and 11 will be made at the end of Year 9.

Assessment and Progression

Examination Board:  

AQA

Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)

Assessment:

The assessment model differs depending on which route the student takes. In both combined and triple science, exam questions are a mix of multiple-choice, short and long answers.

For each route, there is the option to sit the higher tier or foundation tier papers. Higher tier enables results from 1-9 being achieved whilst the foundation tier enables a maximum grade of 5.

Progression to Post-16:

A level Biology

A level Chemistry

A level Physics

Future career links:

Medicine and Pharmacy

Engineering

Biomedical science

Forensic science

Health and nutrition

And many more!

 

Contact:

Mr A Binnington

abinnington@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

 

KS4 Science - Combined Course

GCSE Science: Combined Science

Course outline

The Combined Science route provides students with the opportunity to study for two Science GCSEs which include an even spread of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics. The course includes many opportunities to learn practically and an overview of the course content can be seen below.

 

Course content

Biology

1. Cell biology

2. Organisation

3. Infection and response

4. Bioenergetics

5. Homeostasis and response

6. Inheritance, variation and evolution

7. Ecology

 

Chemistry

8. Atomic structure and the periodic table

9. Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter

10. Quantitative chemistry

11. Chemical changes

12. Energy changes

13. The rate and extent of chemical change

14. Organic chemistry

15. Chemical analysis

16. Chemistry of the atmosphere

17. Using resources

 

Physics

18. Energy

19. Electricity

20. Particle model of matter

21. Atomic structure

22. Forces

23. Waves

24. Magnetism and electromagnetism

Assessment

Examination Board:  

AQA

 

Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)

 

Assessment:

Biology paper 1 – Topics 1-4

Biology paper 2 – Topics 5-7

 

Chemistry paper 1 – Topics 8-12

Chemistry paper 2 – Topics 13-17

 

Physics paper 1 – Topics 18-21

Physics paper2 – Topics 22-24

 

Each paper is 1hr15 and worth 70 marks

 

Each paper is available in higher or foundation tier

 

Questions are multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response

 

Contact:

Mr A Binnington

abinnington@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

KS4 Science - Triple Science

GCSE Science:Triple Science

Course outline

The Triple Science route provides students with the opportunity to study for a GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Triple Science is more academically rigorous, with a greater focus on mathematical skill and the ability to analyse practical methodology and data. An overview of the course content can be seen below.

 

Course content

Biology

1. Cell biology

2. Organisation

3. Infection and response

4. Bioenergetics

5. Homeostasis and response

6. Inheritance, variation and evolution

7. Ecology

8. Key ideas

 

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

 

Physics

1. Energy

2. Electricity

3. Particle model of matter

4. Atomic structure

5. Forces

6. Waves

7. Magnetism and electromagnetism

8. Space physics (triple science only)

 

Assessment

Examination Board:  

AQA

 

Grading system:

1-9 (9 is highest)

 

Assessment:

Biology paper 1 – Topics 1-4

Biology paper 2 – Topics 5-7

 

Chemistry paper 1 – Topics 1-5

Chemistry paper 2 – Topics 6-10

 

Physics paper 1 – Topics 1-4

Physics paper 2 – Topics 5-8

 

Each paper is 1hr 45 and worth 100 marks

 

Each paper is available in higher or foundation tier

 

Questions are multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response

 

Contact:

Mr A Binnington

abinnington@st-birinus.oxon.sch.uk

 

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