Sciences

Aims of the Subject

The Science Team aims to inspire and develop a high level of curiosity and excitement within students to get to know and appreciate the world around them. We intend for students to ask questions and seek answers, we firmly believe that solid foundations in science will enable students to make informed decisions throughout the rest of their lives. Science equips students with high order thinking skills like data analysis, conclusion and evaluation. Many students of science from the Academy have gone on to study science at university and/or enter into the scientific industry. It is our minimum expectation that students leave the college having been provided with the opportunity to reach or exceed their target grade within the subject.

Science content is delivered whenever possible within a practical setting and with a clear focus on the application of science within modern society.
The Science Department has adopted the school value of ‘responsibility’ and subsequently every opportunity is taken to promote responsibility within lessons and amongst students.
At Key Stage 3 students’ progress in the following key areas is constantly assessed and evaluated – these skills are seen as fundamental to success in both Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5;
• Writing in Science (describing and explaining)
• Science in our world (decisions and opinions)
• Results (tables and graphs)
• Practical Science (variables and methods)
• Conclusions and evaluations (conclusions and evaluations)
Key Stage 4 and Key Stage 5 build on the knowledge and skills introduced lower down the school, students are encouraged to develop a broader and deeper understanding within the subject.

Progression Routes
As a core subject all students study Science during Key Stage 3 and Key Stage 4.
The science options are amongst the most popular within the sixth form. Students of post-16 Science at The Quest Academy regularly progress to university in the science(s) or a related field. The Department has a good record of assisting students in successfully applying for some of the most competitive courses, including; medicine, engineering and scientific degrees at Russel Group Universities.

Key Stage 3

Science at KS3 is taught to Year 7 and Year 8 students. It is an accelerated course which is condensed into two years which is based upon (and covers in its entirety) the new KS3 curriculum which was published in 2014. Students are taught topics in chemistry, biology and physics. Practical skills are developed throughout the course and a range of skills are incorporating into schemes of work including use of apparatus, graph drawing and data interpretation. Each theme has an end of topic test, and assessed task which can be peer and/or teacher assessed.

Year 7 topics

Working scientifically / intro unit (6 lessons)
7A – Cells, tissues, organs and systems
7B – Sexual Reproduction in animals
7C – Muscles and Bones
7D – Ecosystems
7E – Mixtures and Separation
7F – Acids and Alkalis
7G – The Particle model
7H – Atoms elements and molecules
7I – Energy
7J – Electricity
7K – Forces
7L – Sound

Year 8 topics

8A – Food and nutrition
8B – Plants and their reproduction
8C – Breathing and respiration
8D – Unicellular organisms
8E – Combustion
8F – The Periodic Table
8G – Metals and their uses
8H – Rocks
8I – Fluids
8J – Light
8K – Energy Transfers
8L – Earth and Space

Key Stage 4

Key Stage 4 students (Years 9, 10 and 11) will study either:
AQA combined science Trilogy
Or
AQA separate science
There is no longer any coursework component to any of the science qualifications at GCSE and all courses are 100% externally assessed at the end of Year 11. Practical work will be assessed in external assessments and will focus on a set of practicals called Core Practicals. Students will do these practicals throughout the course and need to understand the details of the experiments.

AQA combined science

Most students will follow the Combined Science route which includes chemistry, physics and biology and will subsequently obtain two GCSE qualifications graded 9-1.
Assessment
Students will sit 6 externally assessed papers that are all 1hr 10mins in length and worth 16.67% of the GCSE. Each paper will have 70 marks available. There will be a mixture of multiple choice questions, short answers, calculations and extended response. After Year 11 mock examinations it will be decided which students will sit a Foundation or Higher paper.
Biology Paper 1:

Key concepts in biology, Cells and control, Genetics, Natural selection and genetic modification, Health, disease and the development of medicines
Biology Paper 2:
Key concepts in biology, Plant structures and their functions, Animal coordination, control and homeostasis, Exchange and transport in animals, Ecosystems and material cycles
Chemistry Paper 3:
Key concepts in chemistry, States of matter and mixtures, Chemical changes, Extracting metals and equilibria,
Chemistry Paper 4:
Key concepts in chemistry, Groups in the periodic table, Rates of reaction and energy changes, Fuels and Earth science,
Physics Paper 5:
Key concepts of physics, Motion and forces, Conservation of energy, Waves, Light and the electromagnetic spectrum, Radioactivity,
Physics Paper 6:
Key concepts of physics, Energy – Forces doing work, Forces and their effects, Electricity and circuits, Magnetism and the motor effect, Electromagnetic induction, Particle model, Forces and matter
Specification reference
Combined Science – https://qualifications.pearson.com/content/dam/pdf/GCSE/Science/2016/Specification/Edexcel_GCSE_L1-L2_Combined_Science.pdf

AQA Separate science

If students chose Science as an option choice in Year 8 they will follow the separate science route. These students will subsequently obtain three GCSE qualifications graded 9-1. One grade will be for GCSE Biology, one grade for GCSE Chemistry and one for GCSE Physics.
Assessment
Students will sit 6 externally assessed papers that are all 1hr 45mins in length and worth 50% of the GCSE in that science discipline. Each paper will have 100 marks available. There will be a mixture of multiple choice questions, short answers, calculations and extended response. After Year 11 mock examinations it will be decided which students will sit a Foundation or Higher paper.
Biology Paper 1:
Cell biology; Organisation; Infection and response; and Bioenergetics.
Biology Paper 2:
Homeostasis and response; Inheritance, variation and evolution; and Ecology.
Chemistry Paper 3:
Atomic structure and the periodic table; Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter; Quantitative chemistry, Chemical changes; and Energy changes.
Chemistry Paper 4:
The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis, Chemistry of the atmosphere; and Using resources.
Physics Paper 5:
Energy; Electricity; Particle model of matter; and Atomic structure.
Physics Paper 6:
Forces; Waves; Magnetism and electromagnetism; and Space physics.
Specification reference
Biology – http://www2.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/biology-8461
Chemistry – http://www2.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/chemistry-8462
Physics – http://www2.aqa.org.uk/subjects/science/gcse/physics-8463

 

Key Stage 5

Students can opt to study A level science in Biology, Chemistry or Physics.
Alternatively they can study BTEC level 3 Applied Science.

A-level Sciences
The A- level courses are linear and are examined at the end of Year 13 and are assessed by 100% external assessment.
In addition to their A level qualification, students that successfully complete the core practicals within an A level subject will obtain ‘practical endorsement’ as a separate certificate.
Within each science subject students will be prepared for examinations by studying the following content:

A level biology content:
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in biology
Module 2 – Foundations in biology
Module 3 – Exchange and transport
Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease
Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy
Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems
A level chemistry content:
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in chemistry
Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry
Module 3 – Periodic table and energy
Module 4 – Core organic chemistry
Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements
Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis
A level physics content:
Module 1 – Development of practical skills in physics
Module 2 – Foundations of physics
Module 3 – Forces and motion
Module 4 – Electrons, waves and photons
Module 5 – Newtonian world and astrophysics
Module 6 – Particles

The Academy also offers the Edexcel BTEC Level 3 qualification in Applied Sciences. The extended certificate awarded at the end of Year 13 is equivalent to a full A level qualification and recognized by universities as an established science subject.
This course was introduced to provide students with a more ‘hands-on’ approach to post-16 studies and provides an excellent alternative for students seeking to pursue careers within the scientific industry (or similar). This course is assessed by a combination of internally assessed assignments and externally assessed assignments and examinations.

Level 3 BTEC units of study:
Unit 1 Principles and Applications of Science (external exam)
Unit 2 Practical Scientific Procedures and Techniques (internally moderated assignments)
Unit 3 Science Investigation Skills (externally moderated assignments)
Unit 4 Optional unit (tbc for September 2017) (internally moderated assignments)

All post-16 sciences are delivered by either a single teacher of by a team of two teachers.
Each A level subject is allocated 4 hours of curriculum time per week (students also have an identified study period within each subjects).