The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...' Isaac Asimov
Subject Leaders : Mrs Arnold-Scoott & Mrs Tibble
The Science team at St Wilfrid’s use an enquiry based approach to the subject that, in addition to fuelling a passion to understanding scientific phenomena, encourages students to think for themselves, to ask questions, to form their own conclusions and evaluate evidence presented to them.
Key Stage 3
We start Key Stage 3 in Year 7 with a five year plan to get the students ready for GCSE at the end of Year 11. Our Science course aims to provide the foundations for understanding the world through the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics and investigative learning. Students are taught the essential aspects of the knowledge, methods, processes and uses of science. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, students are encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena. They are encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. The themes are:
Year 7: Being a Scientist, Forces and the universe, You me everybody, Chemistry is all around us, Biology is all around us and, Investigations – Solving world problems.
Year 8: Energy and transfer, Elementary, How we survive, Electricity and magnetism, All about reactions, Investigations – Fixing our world .
Key Stage 4
GCSE Combined Science: Trilogy. This is a double award course so students will be awarded 2 grades ranging from 1/1 to 9/9. The course is linear which means that all examinations occur at the end of Year 11. There are 6 examinations in total: 2 Biology, 2 Chemistry and 2 Physics, each of which last for 75 minutes. Students are expected to remember 21 required practicals and 21 physics formula which can be assessed in the examinations.
GCSE course starts in Year 9. We complete 1 unit from each of the 6 GCSE papers. Cells from Biology Paper 1 and Ecology from Biology Paper 2. Atomic structure and the periodic table from Chemistry Paper 1 and Chemical Analysis from Chemistry Paper 2. Particle model from Physics Paper 1 and Waves from Physics Paper 2.
Students complete the following units:
Biology paper 1 – Organisation / Infection and response / Bioenergetics
Biology paper 2 – Genetics
Chemistry paper 1 –bonding, structure and properties of matter / quantitative chemistry / chemical changes / energy changes.
Physics paper 1 – energy / electricity / atomic structure.
Students will complete the content of the course by Easter of year 11 leaving time for revision before the examinations start in May. The content delivered this year is as follows:
Biology paper 2 – coordination and control / variation and evolution.
Chemistry paper 2 – the rate and extent of chemical change / organic chemistry / using resources.
Physics paper 2 - forces / magnetism and electromagnetism
Any repeats in modules between year groups are due to the slightly different order we taught them in 2020 during lockdown.
Key Stage 5
BIOLOGY A-level – AQA (7402)
This qualification is linear which means that students will sit all the A-level exams at the end of their A-level course.
1 Biological molecules
3 Organisms exchange substances with their environment
4 Genetic information, variation and relationships between organisms
5 Energy transfers in and between organisms
6 Organisms respond to changes in their internal and external environments
7 Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
8 The control of gene expression
Practical work is at the heart of Biology so there will be plenty of practicals in lessons to develop student’s skills, and understanding of the scientific process. Practical assessments have been divided into those that can be assessed in written exams and those that can only be directly assessed whilst students are carrying out experiments. A-level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.
To succeed on this course students need to achieve a grade 6 or above in GCSE Science or GCSE Biology.
CHEMISTRY A-level AQA (7405)
This qualification is now linear which means that students will sit all the A-level exams at the end of their A-level course.
A course of study based on this syllabus should:
- Provide an appreciation and understanding of the nature and importance of chemical theories and principles;
- Develop a scientific approach to the solving of problems within the context of planning and conduct of investigations;
- Develop the skills to work safely with apparatus and chemicals in the laboratory;
- Provide an appreciation of the contributions which chemists make to society through their work;
- Encourage an understanding of the technological applications of chemistry and their social, economic and industrial implications
Practical work is at the heart of chemistry, it is at the heart of the specification. Practical assessments have been divided into those that can be assessed in written exams and those that can only be directly assessed whilst students are carrying out experiments. A-level grades will be based only on marks from written exams. A separate endorsement of practical skills will be taken alongside the A-level. This will be assessed by teachers and will be based on direct observation of students’ competency in a range of skills that are not assessable in written exams.
To succeed on this course students need to achieve a grade 6 or above in GCSE Science or GCSE Chemistry.
PHYSICS A-level OCR (H556)
We follow the OCR Physics A specification, with the units covered offering students a chance to gain a solid scientific and mathematical background which they will find useful for future employment or further study in any of the natural sciences at a higher level. Students will study the full 2-year A level course.
To succeed on this course students need to achieve a grade 6 or above in GCSE Science or GCSE Physics and in GCSE Maths.