Science

Subject Overview

We believe that the purpose of Science education for all is to enable all students to make moral, ethical and educated predictions about the world around them. Students will use terminology suitable to their level of study in order to make, describe, explain and evaluate these predictions. Through Science at Waddesdon students will have an opportunity to study aspects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics taught by specialists in their subjects. Practical work is at the heart of Science, and encourages and enables students to think deeply and test their ideas. Practical work, and the skills required for this, are therefore embedded into our lessons through all three Key Stages. The diversity of Science ensures that students will improve their skills in other subjects, including the core subjects of Maths, through calculations or graph drawing, and in English, through framing their ideas with supporting evidence.

Mrs Anna Ewart

Subject Leader for Science (Chemistry)

Dr Dan West

Student Achievement Manager for Science (Physics) / Performance Data Manager

Mrs Liz Hoyle

Student Learning Manager for Science (Biology)

Mr Colin Arblaster

Physics Teacher

Miss Sarah Barnett

Biology Teacher / Pupil Premium Champion

Mr Kevin Carr

Chemistry Teacher

Mrs Kirsty Connell

Chemistry Teacher

Mrs Chelsey Quarterman

Chemistry Teacher

Miss Alice Ridgway

Biology Teacher

Mr Jeremy Sampson

Biology Teacher

Mr Tim Ewart

Senior Science Technician / Physics Teacher

Miss Janice Atack

Science Technician

Mrs Sarah Baker

Science Technician

Mrs Lorraine Day

Science Technician

Our intent at KS3 is to introduce students to the key ideas, knowledge and concepts in Science. This gives students a “first glance” at the GCSE topics, embedding review and reflection into their secondary Science curriculum. In this way, some students can be stretched and introduced to GCSE concepts, whilst others will be reviewing and embedding ideas and knowledge that they are taught at KS2, allowing for a vast array of differentiation. The role of the KS3  Science curriculum is also to promote “awe and wonder”; we ensure that many links are made to everyday life in order to make learning relevant and interesting for all. Ethics and morality in Science issues are also introduced through debates and persuasive writing. To further increase the role of Science within the wider school curriculum, students are taken to Whipsnade Zoo, where they undertake an investigation linked to the Environment and Ecosystems unit of work. Key maths, practical and investigative skills are introduced throughout the units, ensuring students have the foundation needed at KS4. This is particularly important with the focus of required practicals in KS4 and 5, and the increase in both quantity and demand of maths questions within Science exam papers.

In February of Year 8, students choose their route through GCSE, to sit either the GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy) or Separate Science courses, both of which have strong proven routes into A Level. They are supported in this decision by their teachers using Science assessment data, maths data and projected FFT20 estimates to inform this decision. Uptake to Separate Science has been sustained over the past years with classes of 30 operating. This curriculum flexibility allows for students who are most interested in Science to spend extra time increasing both their breadth and depth of understanding from Year 9.

In Year 9, whichever pathway is selected, all students are re-introduced to key concepts, knowledge and ideas in Science, and these are consolidated.  Year 9 is a year during which  students are taught techniques to increase their depth and breadth of understanding, enabling them to know more and remember more.  At the end of each topic students are introduced to different revision techniques, and are explicitly taught the 5 steps to successful revision. This is modelled with students, teaching them, for instance, how to condense notes as a mind map, revision cards and revision notes, enabling them to settle on their preferred method at KS4. This work encourages students to become independent learners and means they understand how to learn the content. In addition to this, Year 9 is a year when we introduce many of the practical and maths skills which will become core to their understanding at KS4. During the Biology Cells topic, they are taught conversion of units and rearranging equations. In Chemistry, during the Atomic Structure unit, they are taught the main separation techniques and the laboratory equipment used for this in order to increase their practical competency and begin to develop the skills to become independent in the lab. Through the Chemical Change topic, students are taught key skills with equations, balancing, constructing formula, ionic equations and half equations. In Physics they are introduced to Energy Stores and Pathways and how to use this terminology, which will then be applied across their GCSE. The “awe and wonder” of science is promoted through an independent research project that students complete after returning from visiting the Science Museum in London. This allows students to research an aspect of science that interests them and present it to the class, encouraging students to think like a scientist; that is, to be able to back up ideas with sound scientific knowledge where known, and sound ideas and language where not.

In Years 10 and 11, we are more limited by the demands of the prescribed curriculum. However, we have carefully mapped the key topics to ensure progression both within and between the three disciplines. The KS4 curriculum delves deeper into ideas that have been introduced at KS3, allowing for a review of previous knowledge before deepening this, in many cases with the “why”. The order of the curriculum allows ideas that were introduced in Year 9 to be met and consolidated again in Years 10 and 11. There is a large focus on practical work and the use of this to support students’ critical thinking and understanding of science concepts. As a department, we carry out many more than the 21 required practicals. This ensures students have a deep and solid understanding of investigative skills, working towards the Working Scientifically part of the specification. The department has a bank of exam questions to use in conjunction with this.  Likewise, maths skills are built into the curriculum to ensure students revisit the skills highlighted in the maths requirement section of the specification.

Our aim at KS5 is to provide rigorous and academic qualifications which enable the largest number of students to continue their study of Science.  In addition to Biology, Chemistry and Physics we introduced an Applied Science course in 2017. In this course, students focus more on investigative skills and the application of science in the community. Students are encouraged to think critically, evaluate knowledge that has been presented to them and present their own ideas and findings in appropriate formats. This specially designed course links to applied routes such as Forensics or Sports Science at university.

Students are introduced to KS5 with a transition period, during which the required key skills are introduced. Moving on to the specifications, students visit topics mapped to allow for progression. Students develop a knowledge and understanding that allows them to explain concepts in greater depth and explain complex scientific ideas. As with previous key stages, we focus again on skills, with practical skills being embedded across our curriculums and many more than the required number of practicals being carried out. This means that students develop into sound scientists, able to carry out the variety of techniques from the specification. The Science department are fully dedicated to promoting students’ study skills. Students have a “bible” where they write up condensed notes for each unit which, along with practice questions, is handed in to staff at the end of unit test for that topic. They also have a list of advisable independent work. This, alongside the practical focus, ensures that students have the independent study skills necessary to succeed with further science education.

Year 7 Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 7:

Biology:

  • Cells: Growth and development of cells and their organisation
  • Structure and Function of Body Systems: Transport systems in multi-cellular organisms including the skeletal and muscular systems and gas exchange
  • Reproduction: Reproduction of both humans and plants

Chemistry:

  • Particles and their Behaviour: The nature of matter
  • Atoms, Elements, and Compounds: Atoms, elements and compounds and pure and impure substances
  • Reactions: Chemical reactions and the energetics of these
  • Acids and Alkalis: Acids, alkalis and neutralisation reactions

Physics:

  • Forces: Forces, balanced forces, and forces and motion
  • Sound: Wave properties, energy in waves and sound in matter
  • Light: Light waves
  • Space: Space physics, mass weight and gravity

Investigation Skills in KS3:

  • Plan a scientific investigation, naming factors that can vary and how to control them
  • Understand what a risk assessment is and how to implement one
  • Describe what a mean is and calculate these for their data
  • Present data in tables and graphs
  • Identify patterns in this data to make a conclusion
  • Suggest improvements to their investigations

Year 8 Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 8:

Biology

  • Health and Lifestyle: Nutrition, digestion and gas exchange
  • Ecosystem Processes: Photosynthesis and relationships in the ecosystem
  • Adaptation and Inheritance: Inheritance, chromosomes and genes

Chemistry

  • The Periodic Table: The chemical properties of elements within the periodic table
  • Separation Techniques: Pure and impure substances and an idea of how to separate them
  • Metals and Acids: An understanding of the reactions of metals and acids
  • The Earth: Rocks, the earth and the atmosphere

Physics

  • Electricity and Magnetism: Current electricity, static and magnetism
  • Energy: Fuel uses, energy changes and changes in systems
  • Speed and Motion: Describing motion, forces and pressure in fluids

Investigation Skills in KS3:

  • Plan a scientific investigation, naming factors that can vary and how to control them
  • Understand what a risk assessment is and how to implement one
  • Describe what a mean is and calculate these for their data
  • Present data in tables and graphs
  • Identify patterns in this data to make a conclusion
  • Suggest improvements to their investigations

GCSE Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Years 9 to 11:

AQA GCSE Biology and AQA Combined Science Trilogy Biology content

  • Cell biology
  • Organisation
  • Infection and response
  • Bioenergetics
  • Homeostasis and response
  • Inheritance, variation and evolution
  • Ecology

AQA GCSE Chemistry and AQA Combined Science Trilogy Chemistry content

  • Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter
  • Quantitative chemistry
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Organic chemistry
  • Chemical analysis
  • Chemistry of the atmosphere
  • Using resources

AQA GCSE Physics and AQA Combined Science Trilogy Physics content

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism
  • Space physics (GCSE Physics only)

A-Level Overview

Students are taught the following topics in Year 12 and 13:

AQA A Level Biology

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • Exchange systems
  • Genes variation and organism relationships
  • Energy transfers
  • Organism response to internal and external changes
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • Control of gene expression

AQA A Level Chemistry

Physical Chemistry:

  • Atoms, reactions and equations
  • Bonding and structure
  • Calculating the amounts of substances
  • Energetics
  • Kinetics
  • Equilibria
  • Redox reactions
  • Thermodynamics
  • Rate equations
  • Equilibrium constant
  • Electrode potentials
  • Acid and bases

Inorganic Chemistry:

  • The periodic table
  • Group 2 and 7 reactions
  • Period 3
  • Transition metals
  • Reactions of ions

Organic Chemistry

  • Alkanes
  • Halogenoalkanes
  • Alkenes
  • Alcohols
  • Organic analysis
  • Isomerism
  • Aromatic chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Synthesis
  • Further organic analysis

AQA A Level Physics

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Waves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity
  • Circular motion, simple harmonic motion, resonance, thermal physics
  • Force fields
  • Nuclear physics and radioactivity
  • Option (one of): Astrophysics; Medical physics; Engineering physics

AQA Level 3 Extended Certificate in Applied Science

Unit 1: Key Concepts in Science

  • Cells
  • Transport
  • The Heart
  • Homeostasis
  • Respiration
  • Photosynthesis
  • Atomic Structure
  • Periodic Table
  • Amount of Substance
  • Bonding
  • Enthalpy
  • Energy and Efficiency
  • Electricity and Circuits
  • Dynamics

Unit 2: Applied Experimental Techniques

  • Rate of Respiration
  • Lighting-dependent Reaction
  • Volumetric Analysis
  • Colorimetric Analysis
  • Resistivity
  • Specific Heat Capacity

Unit 3: Science in the Modern World

  • Topical scientific issues obtained from a variety of media sources
  • Public perception of science and the influence that the media have
  • Ethical, moral, commercial, environmental, political and social issues involved in scientific advances, and how these are represented in the media
  • Roles and responsibilities that science personnel carry out in the science industry

Unit 4: Human Body

  • The Digestive System
  • Musculoskeletal System
  • Oxygen in the Blood
  • Nervous System
  • Nerve Impulses

Unit 5: Investigating Science

  • Prepare for a scientific investigation
  • Carry out the investigation and record results
  • Analyse results, draw conclusions and evaluate the investigation
  • Present the findings of the investigation to a suitable audience

Unit 6c: Organic Chemistry

  • Identify molecular structure, functional groups and isomerism
  • Understand reactions of functional groups
  • Prepare organic compounds
  • Whipsnade Zoo, where students undertake an investigation linked to the Environment and Ecosystems unit of work
  • Science Museum in London
  • KS3 Science Club
  • A Level Physics trip to CERN
  • A Level Biology field trip
  • A Level conferences for all A Levels with talks from scientists
  • CREST Award
  • Space Balloon Project (runs alternate years depending on partnership and foundation)
  • Projects linked to the co-curricular experiences above
  • Opportunity to study 3 separate GCSEs with time built in to explore scientists and their work and to delve further into the “why” of science.