Overview of KS3 Science
KS3 Science tries to encourage pupils to look at the world around them and begin to find answers to questions. Through practical enquiry and class work, we look to provide all pupils with a solid understanding of basic scientific principles which will enthuse them to want to study science further. We cover all 3 aspects of Science; Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
In Y7, pupils are introduced to the microscopic world of cells. This helps them understand the building blocks of life on earth and how organisms reproduce and grow to their adult size. This marries well with the Classification topic, where we learn how to categorise organisms and begin to develop an understanding of evolution. Chemistry is introduced with topics about Particles, Acids and Alkalis and eventually find out what is happening when we react chemical together. Understanding Energy and Forces allows students to begin to see how objects interact with each other and this is the key to the Physics content in Y7.
Y8 pupils further develop their understanding of the world by looking at how our bodies stay healthy. From digestion and breathing to defending ourselves against deadly pathogens, we learn how the Adaptations of organisms help them survive from day to day. Chemistry skills are broadened by looking in more detail at chemical reactions and the chemistry of metals. Light, sound and heat make up the final Physics modules.
Overview of KS4 Science
Key Stage 4 Science has undergone much change with the introduction of the new GCSE specifications. There is a much greater emphasis on practical skills, with all pupils completing many practical activities selected to engage pupils and deepen their understanding of the basic principles studied in Science. Students begin studying the GCSE course in year 9, with a focus on the basic, underlying principals of each discipline. In biology, students focus on how our body responds to exercise, how we keep free from disease and how the animals around us today have evolved. In Chemistry, we find out about the atoms that our world is made of, and the reactions that take place between these elements. Finally, in Physics pupils begin by studying energy and electricity, building simple circuits and studying the rules that determine how they behave.
The new GCSE requires pupils to take a total of 6 external exams. The course is equally divided between Biology, Chemistry and Physics, with pupils being taught by specialist teachers in each discipline. In Biology, pupils will learn about the control mechanisms within the body and how nerves and hormones work together with our circulatory system and digestive system to keep us alive. They also look at animals and their adaptations, and how this helps animals survive in the habitats they live in. Chemistry develops pupils understanding of materials, looking at atoms and their structure, and how this relates to reactions between materials and the properties materials have. In Physics pupils gain a deep understanding of how forces act on objects and bring about movement. They also look at energy and energy production and look at how energy is used in our world.
Pupils following this route will complete all the activities found within Combined Science but will be challenged further with some in-depth topics which will stretch their abilities and deepen their understanding of the Sciences. This route is especially suited to any pupils who wish to go on to study Science at a higher level.