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St Alban's Catholic High School

Science

 Key Stage 3

Changes to our curriculum – Year 7
In-house scheme. Back to proper science! A strong emphasis on numeracy, literacy, investigative and interpretive science skills. There is also a high expectation and emphasis on independent learning via SAIL which is integral to each module, with the student having a prerequisite set of calculations, spellings and science knowledge to learn which will be tested in each end of module exam.
S1 – Skills for science – Safety, Risks and Hazards, Graph skills, Percentage, Ratio, Mean and gradient calculations. Literacy skills including scientific writing and of course the scientific method.
B1 – Cells Organs and Tissues – The structure and function of animal and plant cells, Microscope use, slide making, scientific drawing. Scale and magnification calculations. Photosynthesis, Respiration, Diffusion and Enzymes.
B2 – Unicellular life – Microorganisms Bacteria, Protoctists, Viruses. Volume and Surface area of a cylinder calculations. Fermentation as a form of respiration.
B3 – Reproduction in Animals – The Male and Female Reproductive system, Gestation, Birth and Menstruation. The role of the Gametes in reproduction. The structure and function of the gametes. Scale and growth rate calculations from graphs.
B4 – Reproduction in Plants – The Male and Female Reproductive Organs of Plants, structure and function of Flowers and Seeds. Dormancy and its relationship with respiration. Seed and Pollen dispersal. Scale and growth rate calculations.
C1 – The Periodic table – How the Periodic table of elements works and how to use it. The structure of the Atom, Mass and Atomic number. Reactions of the group 1 and group 7 elements. The formation on ions. Simple word and symbol formulae. Formula mass calculations.
C2 – Properties of Matter and Movement of Molecules – States of Matter, Changing states, How Kinetic and Internal energy relate to the states of matter. Collision theory and Intermolecular forces. Volume of cuboids and spheres and rates of change calculations.
C3 – Mixtures, solutions and Separations – What does Boiling, Evaporating and Condensing mean? Changes of state in detail, Filtration, Distillation, Chromatography on a small and large scale. Simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, division and proportion calculations
C4 – Acids and Bases – How H+ and OH- ions cause things to be acids or bases. What is an Alkali? Neutralisation reactions. Word and Symbol equations for neutralisation reactions. How acids and bases affect other substances. Proportion and rate of change calculations from graphs.
P1 – Forces – The fundamentals of the Universe. Why do things move, stay still, slow down or speed up? Force diagrams, Newton’s laws of motion. Force, Mass, Acceleration and Pressure calculations. Manipulation of equations.
P2 – Forces and Motion  How and Why objects speed up, maintain a constant speed, slow down and stop. Gravity, Force Diagrams. Pivots and Levers. Speed, Distance, Time and Moment calculations and how to manipulate them.                                                                                                                                                   
P3 – Energy – The Fundamental “stuff” of the Universe. What is energy? “Forms” of energy. Useful energy. Methods of Electricity Generation. Energy efficiency equations and how to manipulate them. Percentage change calculations.
P4 – Energy and Energy Transfers – Energy Transfers and Sankey diagrams. Conduction, Convection and Radiation and how these relate to Kinetic energy, Collisions and Energy transfers. Payback time and Power calculations.

Key Stage 4

Overview
In science we begin GCSE in year 9. We follow the new Edexcel science syllabus which is linear with final exams at the end of year 11. We offer combined and triple science.  The content volume and difficulty have increased. The only difference between combined and triple is the volume of content to be learned for each science. Combined scientists still study all the sciences. There is no assessed coursework, but there are core practicals that must be completed upon which questions will be asked during exams. Students must keep their core practicals in the folder provided as these may need to be submitted for moderation. Due to the intense nature of the course students are encouraged to revise as they learn and this is a departmental SAIL expectation.


Assessment
A mixture of different question styles, including content based multiple choice and short answer questions plus a high level of calculation, graphical interpretation and extended open response questions. Questions will also be asked in relation to core practicals.

There are two 1¾ hour exam papers for each science (biology, chemistry, physics) both carrying 50% of the final mark for each science. Hence there are 6 science exams for all students.


Syllabus – For detailed information visit Edexcel website where the full syllabus is available along with numerous learning resources and exam question banks.


Literacy – A high level of literacy is demanded from the course especially in relation to 6 mark and long answer open questioning. Scientific vocabulary should be learned thoroughly along with its application.


Numeracy – Across the sciences students are expected to be able to:
Recognise, calculate and/or use the following:
Decimals and Significant Figures
Standard Form
Ratios, Fractions and Percentages
Estimation
Arithmetic Mean
Probability
Correlation between Variables in tables and Graphs
Order of Magnitude
Change the subject of an equation
Simple Algebraic equations
y –mx
Slope, intercept and Gradient of a Line and Curve on Graphs
Area, Volume , Surface area of Triangles, Rectangles, Cubes and Spheres
Plot data on graphs and apply lines and curves of best fit.

Biology
1 – Key concepts in Biology.
2 – Cells and control.
3 – Genetics.
4 – Natural selection and genetic modification.
5 – Health, disease and the development of medicine.
6 – Plant structures and their functions.
7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis.
8 – Exchange and transport in animals.
9 – Ecosystems and material cycles.
It is important to note that due to the linear nature of the course that anything can be asked in the exams. Cross topic questioning is now the norm.

Chemistry
1 – Key concepts in Chemistry
2 – States of Matter and Mixtures
3 - Chemical Changes
4 – Extracting metals and Equilibria
5 – Transition Metals, Alloys and Corrosion (Triple content only)
6 – Groups in the Periodic Table
7 – Rates of Reaction and Energy Changes
8 – Fuels and Earth Science
9 – Qualitative Analysis and the test for Ions (Triple content only)

It is important to note that due to the linear nature of the course that anything can be asked in the exams. Cross topic questioning is now the norm.

Physics
1 – Key concepts in Physics
2 – Motion and Forces
3 – Conservation of Energy
4 – Waves
5 – Light and the Electromagnetic Spectrum
6 – Radioactivity
7 – Astronomy (Triple content only)
8 – Energy, Forces and Work
9 – Forces and their Effects
10 – Electricity and Circuits
11 – Static Electricity (Triple content only)
12 – Magnetism and the Motor Effect
13 – Electromagnetic Induction
14 – The Particle Model
15 – Forces and Matter


It is important to note that due to the linear nature of the course that anything can be asked in the exams. Cross topic questioning is now the norm.

Key Stage 5

A context led approach. Students study physics with the distinctive 'Advancing Physics' context-based approach. They learn about fundamental physical concepts and how to apply these in everyday and technological settings. The course demonstrates the usefulness of the subject and illustrates the impact that discoveries in physics have had on the way people live.

Year

Content and Approach

12

AS PHYSICS
Unit G491 - Physics In Action

-communication  - electric circuits and sensors, waves as signals and about imaging, including some simple optics;

-designer materials  - introduces properties of materials, how these depend on the structure of the material and how they help determine the choice of material for a given purpose.


Unit G492 - Understanding Processes, Experimentation and Data Handling

-waves and quantum behaviour - superposition phenomena of waves, especially electromagnetic waves, with a brief account of the quantum behaviour of photons and electrons;

-space, time and motion - develops classical mechanics, including vectors.

-waves and quantum behaviour - superposition phenomena of waves, especially electromagnetic waves, with a brief account of the quantum behaviour of photons and electrons;

-space, time and motion - develops classical mechanics, including vectors.  

Unit G493 Physics in Practice (30 marks) – Coursework
There are two short coursework tasks in Unit G493.
The two tasks are:
Quality of Measurement (20 marks)

-A report of a measurement or study of a physical relationship, with attention paid to improving the quality of measurement and making valid inferences from data.

Physics in Use (10 marks)

-A presentation on the use, properties and structure of a material.

The two pieces of work together form a coursework portfolio for which a single mark out of 30 is submitted for.

AS examinations
Physics in Action – 1 hour written paper; 60 marks
            Section A: short questions (approx. 20 marks)
            Section B: structured questions (approx. 40 marks)

Understanding Processes, Experimentation and Data Handling – 2 hour written paper; 100 marks
            Section A: short questions
            Section B: structured questions
            Section C: this section contains questions based on an Advance Notice issued prior to the exam.
                           
Physics in Practice – the coursework (30 marks) comprises 30% of the AS mark

Chemistry A level Edexcel Chemistry (9CH0)

In the first year of the course, students will study topics 1-10, which are examined at the end of Year 12 in 2 written papers.

Topic 1 – Atomic Structure and Periodic Table – structure of the atom, electron configurations, ionisation energy

Topic 2 – Bonding and Structure – intra-molecular and inter-molecular forces

Topic 3 – REDOX I – introduction to oxidation and reduction reactions

Topic 4 – Inorganic Chemistry and the Periodic Table – chemistry of groups 1,2 and 7

Topic 5 – Formulae, Equations and Amounts of Substance – moles and calculations

Topic 6 – Organic chemistry I – hydrocarbons focusing on alkanes, alkenes, haloalkanes and alcohols

Topic 7 – Modern Analytical Techniques I – mass spectrometry, infra-red spectroscopy

Topic 8 – Energetics I – Hess cycles, enthalpy changes

Topic 9 – Kinetics I – collision theory, Maxwell-Boltzmann distribution

Topic 10 Equilibrium I – Le Chatelier’s principle, Haber process

For the AS qualification (8CH0), the papers are:

Paper 1 Core Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (1 hour 30 mins, 80 marks) = topics 1-5

Paper 2 Core Organic and Physical Chemistry (1 hour 30 mins, 80 marks) = topics 6-10, plus elements of topics 1,3 and 5

13

A2 PHYSICS
G494 – Rise and Fall of the Clockwork Universe
Models and Rules - random decay and the decay of the charge on a capacitor, energy and momentum, the harmonic oscillator and circular orbits. The field model is developed through consideration of gravitational fields;

Matter in extremes - how theories of matter and atoms explain behaviour: covering the kinetic theory of gases, thermal behaviour of matter and the effect of temperature.

Unit G495 – Field and Particle Pictures

Fields - covers ideas about electromagnetism, electric fields and potential;

Fundamental particles – covers atomic, nuclear and sub-nuclear structure, with attention to ionising radiation and risk.

Unit G496 - Researching Physics – Coursework

Practical Investigation (20 marks)

-A report of an extended investigation of a practical problem related to physics or its applications. The practical investigation should be carried out on any aspect of physics of interest to the candidate.

Research Briefing (10 marks)

-A short written (max 2000 words) and verbal report based on the individual work of a candidate summarising a topic of physics of his or her own choosing that requires the use and synthesis of ideas from different areas of the subject. Assessment criteria include the ability to defend and explain the ideas under questioning.

The two pieces of work together form a coursework portfolio for which a single mark out of 30 is submitted for Unit G496.

A2  examinations
Rise and Fall of the Clockwork Universe – 1.25 hour written paper; 60 marks
            Section A: short questions (approx. 20 marks)
            Section B: structured questions (approx. 40 marks)

Field and Particle Pictures – 2 hour written paper; 100 marks
            Section A: short questions (approx. 20 marks))
            Section B: structured questions (approx. 40 marks)
            Section C: this section contains questions based on an Advance Notice issued prior to the exam.

Researching Physics – the coursework, 30 marks, comprises 10% of the total A2 mark.

 

Chemistry

Year 13 Students study topics 11-19, and their examinations in June will incorporate year 12 and year 13 topics. There are 3 papers in the A level (9CH0):

Topic 11 – Equilibrium II – calculating equilibrium constants for reversible reactions

Topic 12 - Acid-Base Equilibria – calculating equilibrium constants for acid-base reactions

Topic 13 – Energetics II – entropy and lattice energy

Topic 14 - REDOX II – electrochemical cells, fuel cells

Topic 15 – Transition Metals – properties of transition metals and transition metal complexes

Topic 16 – Kinetics II – rate equation, determining orders of reaction, Arrhenius equation

Topic 17 – Organic chemistry II – chiral compounds, carboxylic acids and their derivatives

Topic 18 – Organic chemistry III – benzene, amines, amides, amino acids and proteins, organic synthesis

Topic 19 – Modern Analytical Techniques II – interpreting mass spectra, NMR spectra and chromatography

For the A level qualification (9CH0), the papers are:

Paper 1 Advanced Inorganic and Physical Chemistry (1 hour 45 mins, 90 marks) = topics 1-5, 8,10-15

Paper 2 Advanced Organic and Physical Chemistry (1 hour 45 ins, 90 marks) = topics 2,3,5-7,9,16-19

Paper 3 – General and Practical Principles in Chemistry (2 hours 30 mins, 120 marks)= Synoptic questions from all topics, including experimental methods.

Science Practical Endorsement

The course includes 16 core practicals which are completed during class time over the 2-year course. Skills tested follow the Common Practical Assessment Criteria which are a national standard across science subjects:

CPAC1 – follow written procedures

CPAC2 – investigative methods

CPAC3 – Safe working

CPAC4 – recording observations

CPAC5 – researching and reporting