At St Benedict’s we aim to produce Scientists who don’t fit the mould but can think for themselves, develop ideas, test their ideas and develop a chunk of tenacity along the way.  Science is not about learning a fact but about understanding how our knowledge can develop as a result of the empirical method,  given the limitations of our technology and observations.  Students discover that many ‘facts’ change over time as the previous fact is falsified and replaced by a new theory agreed on by the scientific community.  Our students will develop strong questioning and practical skills, teamwork, numeracy and literacy  and have lots of hands on scientific fun along the way. Students will learn to work with each other in pairs and groups, and will get the opportunity to debate and present ideas throughout the course.  Science is all around us in everyday life and in the media , and the ‘facts’ are changing faster than any curriculum can.  Our aim is to ensure our students have the tools to recognise science in the outside world, to have the confidence to question what they read and see on the media and to engage with whatever the future holds.

What Will You Do - KS3?

In years 7, 8 and the first half of year 9, all pupils follow a Programme of Study which was adapted by the Science Department from Pearson’s online course Exploring Science Active Learn. This reflects the changes to the content of the National Curriculum for Science.

A key part of this scheme is that it gives us the ability to deliver all of the content required at KS3 over 2 ½ years, rather than 3 years as with traditional courses and develops ‘How Science Works’ skills in preparation for further study. All students have access to the online Active Learn interactive textbook and activities to support their learning outside the classroom. Regular assessment and review is carried out by end of term tests and teacher feedback.

Year 7

In year 7 students are taught in form groups. Each term students will cover 3 rotations, each consisting of a Biology unit, a Chemistry unit and a Physics unit.

  • Introduction to Science practicals
  • Cells Tissues Organs and Systems (7A)
  • Mixtures and Separation (7E)
  • Energy (7I) and Energy Transfers (8K)
  • Sexual Reproduction in Animals (7B)
  • Acids and Alkalis (7F)
  • Forces (7K) and Fluids (8I)
  • Ecosystems (7D)
  • The particle model (7G)
  • Current Electricity (7J)

Year 8

In year 8 students are set by ability. All cover the same units at a suitable difficulty level to enable every student to access and be challenged by the material.

Each term students will cover 3 rotations, each consisting of a Biology unit, a Chemistry unit and a Physics unit

  • Food and Nutrition (8A)
  • Earth and Space (8L)
  • Atoms, Elements and Molecules (7H) The Periodic Table (8F)
  • Unicellular Organisms (8D)
  • Light (8J) and Sound (7J)
  • Metals and Their Uses (8G)
  • Breathing and Respiration (8C) Muscles and Bones (7C)
  • Force fields and Electromagnets (9J)
  • Rocks (8H)

Year 9

In year 9 students are reset by ability based on the review of each students progress and teacher comments.

In the first term students will cover 3 rotations, each consisting of a Biology unit, a Chemistry unit and a Physics unit

  • Plants and Reproduction (8B) and Plant growth (9B)
  • Forces and Motion (9I)
  • Making Materials (9E) and Pollution (8E)
  • Genetics and Evolution
  • Revision for Mock exams (In Feb)
  • Start Key Stage 4

What Will You Do - KS4?

All students study AQA Science at KS4.  In Year 9 they enjoy 3 hours of Science per week, in Year 10 and 11 they benefit from 6 hours per week.  This allows the thorough development of hands on Science skills as well as developing an in depth understanding of the content of the courses being studied.

In Year 9 all students continue to study the Exploring Science Course content to allow them to develop their scientific knowledge and skills and to prepare them for their end of KS3 exam in February. The students then all follow the same AQA GCSE examination course content for the remainder of Year 9.  Classes are reset yearly based on summative data, attitude to learning and teacher assessments to ensure students are studying for the most appropriate courses to enable individuals to have the best opportunity to successfully complete Science qualifications at Level 2.

Students in sets 3-5 will continue to study Biology, Chemistry and Physics in the AQA Combined Science GCSE Trilogy Science course following into year 10 and 11. This course is gives two Science GCSE qualifications of the same grade that are assessed through exams at the end of year 11.

Students in sets 1 and 2 who have excelled in KS3 and who continue to excel in KS4 will study individual AQA GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (Triple Science). These are separate GCSE qualifications leading to 3 GCSE s in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.  It is therefore possible to get a different grade for each qualification.

A small group of students identified by teachers as needing a little extra support bridging the gap between KS3 to KS4 will study the AQA Entry Level Certificate Single award in year 10 and 11 to give the them access to the program of study at KS4 and to develop the confidence to then take a single GCSE in Biology.

Exam entries for courses are finalised in year 11 following the Mock Exam. Please note students can carry on studying science at post 16 using either the double or triple science route.

 

AQA GCSE Combined Science (Trilogy)

Assessment

All GCSE science courses are now terminally assessed, meaning that no formal external exams are sat until the end of Year 11. The Combined Science course is examined as follows:

Subject Paper 1 Paper 2
Biology Topics 1 – 4, 1 hour 15 minutes (70 marks) Topics 5 – 7,  1 hour 15 minutes (70 marks)
Chemistry Topics 1 – 5, 1 hour 15 minutes (70 marks) Topics 6 – 10, 1 hour 15 minutes (70 marks)
Physics Topics 1 – 4, 1 hour 15 minutes (70 marks) Topics 5 – 7,  1 hour 15 minutes (70 marks)

 

Each exam is worth 16.7% of their two GCSE qualifications. Coursework is no longer part of the course and students complete required practical work throughout their lessons which they will be assessed on in their exams.

Students are monitored regularly via end of topic tests and other assessed work to enable us to keep track of their progress.  Mock exams are also given in Year 11 for both Paper 1 (Autumn term) and Paper 2 (Spring term). Where progress appears to be at a lower level than we would expect, various intervention methods are then employed to boost attainment.

Outcomes

Students entered on the Combined Science AQA GCSE course will gain two GCSE grades.  We aim for all students to achieve their target grade in both Science GCSEs.

Careers

The combined science route is an excellent foundation for students wishing to progress into careers where science may be useful.  Careers in the scientific industry and research are commonly pursued by ex-students.  If a scientific career is not something that students wish to follow, a sound scientific background is invaluable in many careers as scientists tend to possess a logical and methodical approach to any task they undertake.

Please click here for the latest changes to AQA GCSE Science qualifications

 

 

AQA GCSE Separate Sciences (Triple Science)

Assessment

All GCSE science courses are now terminally assessed, meaning that no formal external exams are sat until the end of Year 11, in line with recent Government directives.  The Triple Science course is examined as follows:

Subject Paper 1 Paper 2
Biology Topics 1 – 4, 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks) Topics 5 – 7 – 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks)
Chemistry Topics 1 – 5, 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks) Topics 6 – 10 – 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks)
Physics Topics 1- 4, 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks) Topics 5 – 8 – 1 hour 45 minutes (100 marks)

Each exam is worth 50% of that subjects GCSE qualification. Coursework is no longer part of the course and students complete required practical work throughout their lessons which they will be assessed on in their exams.

Students are monitored regularly via short tests and other assessed work to enable us to keep track of their progress.  Mock exams are also  given in Year 11 for both Paper 1 (Autumn term) and Paper 2 (Spring term).Where progress appears to be at a lower level than we would expect, various intervention methods are then employed to boost attainment.

Outcomes

Students entered on the separate Science GCSEs will gain three separate GCSE grades, one in each of the three sciences.  The grades are completely independent from one another, meaning that three separate grades are possible, however through our intervention strategies; we aim for all students to achieve their target grade in all three Science GCSEs.

Careers

The Triple Science route is an excellent foundation for students wishing to progress into careers with a strong scientific focus.  Careers such as medicine, pharmacy, veterinary work and research are commonly pursued by ex-students.   If a scientific career is not something that students wish to follow, a sound scientific background is invaluable in many careers as scientists tend to possess a logical and methodical approach to any task they undertake.

Entry Level Certificates

Entry Level Certificates (ELCs) are nationally recognised qualifications which give students the opportunity to achieve a certificated award. The Single Award students submit evidence for three Teacher-devised assignments plus three Externally-set assignments from the six components below which meet the Programme of Study requirements for Key Stage 4.

-What’s assessed?

There are two different types of assessment: Externally-set assignments (ESAs) consist of a short written test and Teacher-devised assignments (TDAs) consist of a short piece of practical work

-Externally – Set Assignments

Students should submit evidence from at least three of the six components. At least one each from Biology, Chemistry and Physics. The externally-set assignment consists of three 45 minutes tests which are each worth 20 marks with a total weighting of 57% These assignments are set by AQA and marked by the teacher.

-Teacher – devised assignments (TDA)

Students submit evidence for 3 practical based components that they have studied that have been set and marked by the teacher. Each piece of coursework is worth 15 marks. The overall weighting is 43%.

Click here to see the full list of topics and revision links

What Will You Do - KS5 / IB?

Students studying the International Baccalaureate are able to choose from the following Experimental Science subjects

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Physics

For full details of the International Baccalaureate and the science courses offered in our Sixth Form please refer to the Sixth Form Prospectus

Trips & Cross-Curricular Links

Science naturally encourages students to develop hands on practical skills, communication, literacy  and teamwork.  In addition there is a maths element to Science so students numeracy skills are enhanced throughout the science curriculum. There are numerous opportunities to investigate how we really know a ‘fact’ in Science and to question the validity and limitations of our knowledge. We give our students the following opportunities to excel outside the classroom:-
  • Year 7 can go to the popular  Warwick University Christmas  Lecture, and the Big Bang Fair in Science Week.
  • We regularly enter a year 8 team into The Royal Society of Chemistry’s Salter’s Chemistry Challenge where we have a good track record of success.
  • Year 10 Biology GCSE students can enter the Royal Society of Biology’s Biology Challenge.
  • Year 12 and 13 students enter the Biology Olympiad.
  • We also annually have a residential biology / ecology trip in post 16 as part of our International Baccalaureate Biology course.

For further information please contact Mrs S Bragg, Head of the Science Department