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Science

The aims of the Science faculty at The Halifax Academy are to get students enthused about the science they study, develop scientific enquiry in our students and equip them with the scientific skills to go into the world with a desire to understand more about the world around them and hopefully encourage them to study science at a higher level or even take up a career in one of the most exciting and successful sectors in our country.

 

Key Stage 3

Year 7

What will my child learn about in science this year?

Students follow the 2013 KS3 National Curriculum with 50% taught in Year 7.

The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

During Year 7 students will cover 6 topics; 2 chemistry, 2 biology and 2 physics based. These are:

  • Pure and impure substances. Particles and the properties of solids liquids and gases, mixtures and separation techniques and the difference between elements and compounds.
  • Cells and Organisation. The features of plant and animal cells and how they make up tissues and organs. How different types of cells are adapted, how they make tissues and how different tissues work together in the body.
  • Energy. The different types of energy and energy transfers.
  • Chemical reactions. How elements combine in different ways to form compounds. Combustion reactions, oxidation reactions, exothermic and endothermic reactions and neutralisation reactions.
  • Reproduction and Variation. The cells and organs involved in reproduction, how features are inherited and the structure of DNA.
  • Motion and Forces. The different types of forces and resultant forces.

Within these units students will be taught how to work scientifically through observation, investigation, analysis and measurement and use mathematical skills such as calculation of mean, data and graph analysis and simple equations.

 

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to consolidate or extend their learning from the lessons that week and/or prepare them for the following weeks lessons. Homework could be spellings to learn, research based tasks, questions/activities or revision based.

 

How will my child be assessed in science?

Students will be assessed each half term with an online test using Alfie software. They will also undertake teacher assessed written and skill based activities every half term. Their progress with be measured against their baseline assessments from KS2 data.

 

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

All Y7 students will receive revision booklets for each topic. You can encourage them to use these at home when completing homework and revising for end of unit tests. You can test them on the content and encourage them to undertake revision activities throughout the units. You can also encourage them to use BBC bitesize and complete the activities relevant to the current unit. Following an assessment students can access their test and answers online. It would be very valuable for you to sit with your child and review their test and answers and discuss where they went wrong.

 

Year 8

What will my child learn about in science this year?

Students follow the 2013 KS3 National Curriculum with 50% of content taught in Year 8. The national curriculum for science aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of biology, chemistry and physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of science enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • are equipped with the scientific knowledge required to understand the uses and implications of science, today and for the future.

 During Year 8 students will cover 6 topics; 2 chemistry, 2 biology and 2 physics based.

These are:

  • The Earth. The structure of the Earth, the rock cycle, the atmosphere and how it has changed over time.
  • Waves. The properties of waves centred on light and sound waves.
  • Nutrition, digestion and respiration. The structure and function of the different organ systems, food groups and how our bodies use nutrients.
  • The Periodic Table. The development of the periodic table, the scientists involved, patterns in the table and similarities/differences between groups of elements.
  • Electricity. Conductors/Insulators, the components of a circuit and electrical safety.
  • Plants and Photosynthesis. How plants grow, how they are adapted and how they provide nutrition to all animals.

 

What type of homework will be set?

Students will be set homework each week, this will be to consolidate or extend their learning from the lessons that week and/or prepare them for the following weeks lessons. Homework could be spellings to learn, research based tasks, questions/activities or revision based.

 

How will my child be assessed in science?

Students will be assessed each half term with an online test using Alfie software. They will also undertake teacher assessed written and skill based activities every half term. Their progress with be measured against their baseline assessments from KS2 data.

 

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

All Year 8 students will receive revision booklets for each topic. You can encourage them to use these at home when completing homework and revising for end of unit assessments. You can test them on the content and encourage them to undertake revision activities throughout the units. You can also encourage them to use BBC bitesize and complete the activities relevant to the current unit. Following an assessment students can access their test and answers online. It would be very valuable for you to sit with your child and review their test and answers and discuss where they went wrong.

 

Key Stage 4

What will my child learn?

Current Year 10/11

Students follow one of two routes through GCSE science. The students study OCR gateway Science specifications. They started studying science GCSE in year 9 and are the last year groups to be examined on the current specifications.

Some students are taught Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects.  They have two lessons of each subject per week and study them in parallel. The students sit all their examinations at the end of year 11 and achieve 3 separate grades for each GCSE.

The majority of students follow a dual science pathway, where they will have two separate GCSE grades, one for core science taught in year 9/10 and one in additional science studied in year 10/11. They will study units 1&2 for core science and units 3&4 for additional science.  They will sit both sets of examinations at the end of year 11.

 

Current Year 9

The current Year 9 are the first year group to be examined on the new science specifications.  They will do their examinations in Summer 2018 and will achieve grades 1-9 not A*-G.  Again some students follow separate sciences and the majority follow a combined science pathway.  As only draft specifications are available at present, we haven’t made a decision about the exam board we will teach.  This information will be updated here and communicated to you as soon as we have.

At the beginning of Year 9 the students complete a ‘Forensics’ transition unit which practices skills such as mathematical applications in science, scientific investigation skills and scientific writing.  They also visit Chester Zoo, here they experience several strands of the GCSE course for the first time and see how this links to the world around them.

 

What type of homework will be set?

GCSE science students are set examination questions on a weekly basis or other homework if it is more suitable, e.g. research or extension work from the work completed in class. It is expected that all students work independently at home.  As there is a large amount of knowledge to retain in science, we ensure all students are familiar with the memory curve below.

Memory curve

Students should revisit the work they complete in class as soon as possible, we ensure all students have a revision guide and this is the best place to start.  They will then meet it again in the next class and complete a homework activity.   By revisiting the topic they will ensure they retain the knowledge.  It is their responsibility to do this and speak to their teacher if they need any topic explaining again.

 

How will my child be assessed?

Year 10/11

Internal assessment

All units have assessments at the end.  Depending on the number of lessons week they may also have a mid-unit assessment.  It is expected that students will prepare for these as they would external examinations as teachers base their level of intervention on these assessments and they need to be as accurate as possible.

 

Year 11 

External assessment

Current year 11 dual students will sit their examinations in Summer 2016, they will have two examinations in the Summer:

B3 C3 P3 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Additional Science GCSE

B4 C4 P4 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Additional Science GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in January-25% of the Additional Science GCSE

 

Current year 11 Triple students will sit their examinations in Summer 2016, they will be examined in the two remaining subjects they did not sit last summer.

Biology

B1 B2 B3 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Biology GCSE

B4 B5 B6 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Biology GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in January-25% of the Biology GCSE

 

Chemistry

C1 C2 C3 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Chemistry GCSE

C4 C5 C6 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Chemistry GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in January-25% of the Chemistry GCSE

 

Physics

P1 P2 P3 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Physics GCSE

P4 P5 P6 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Physics GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in January-25% of the Physics GCSE

 

Year 10

Current year 10 dual award students will sit all their examinations in Summer 2017.

B1 C1 P1 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Core Science GCSE

B2 C2 P2 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Corel Science GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in June/July-25% of the Core Science GCSE

 

B3 C3 P3 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Additional Science GCSE

B4 C4 P4 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Additional Science GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in June/July-25% of the Additional Science GCSE

 

Current year 10 triple students will sit all their examinations in Summer 2017.

Biology

B1 B2 B3 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Biology GCSE

B4 B5 B6 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Biology GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in June/July-25% of the Biology GCSE

 

Chemistry

C1 C2 C3 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Chemistry GCSE

C4 C5 C6 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Chemistry GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in June/July-25% of the Chemistry GCSE

 

Physics

P1 P2 P3 (1 hour 15 minutes)- 35% of the Physics GCSE

P4 P5 P6 ( 1 hour 30 minutes)- 40% of the Physics GCSE

They will also do a controlled assessment in June/July-25% of the Physics GCSE

 

How can I support my child’s learning at home?

Ensure they complete their weekly homework and then encourage your child to use the following places for consolidating work covered in class.

BBC bitesize

http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/science/ocr_gateway/

OCR website

http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/by-subject/science/

Revision Guide

Purchase from your teacher or Mrs Thomas, the cost is £3 it should cost £4.99!

GCSE Textbook CD

When in school students can access the digital version of the GCSE textbooks used in school.

X:faculty organisation/science/resources/OCR gateway/

 

What can my child move onto with Science?

Good science GCSE results open many doors for students.  A science pathway through 6th form and university will almost certainly lead to many opportunities and careers in the science sector. Skilled STEM students are in demand and currently lots of these positions are filled by employees from abroad as we have a skills shortage.

Most 6th form colleges require two GCSE passes at grade B or above to study A level science.  This can be achieved in either the double award course or the triple course.

If your child does not achieve the B grades, some 6th form colleges may accept a C with other strong GCSE results e.g. Maths.  They may also go on to study science at level 3 on a more vocational course such as a BTEC.