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Science

Subject: Science

Subject/Curriculum Leader: Mrs A Layton

Our aim in the science department at Norton College is to inspire an interest in the big ideas of science, develop responsible members of society able to make an informed contribution to decision making, to add to their cultural capital, and to prepare those who wish to do so for future study in science.  As a department, we strive to develop students’ practical skills to enable them to have the skills necessary to plan, implement and carry out a fair and valid investigation to help understand the world around us. The curriculum we offer is broad and enriching, designed to develop an appreciation for and enjoyment of science.  

The science department consists of four full-time teachers, four part-time teachers supported by two technician staff who support delivery of our practical subjects across all year groups. The department has 6 fully equipped specialist labs supported by a well organised central prep-room. Each lab has an interactive whiteboard. Where possible, staff teach to their specialism at key stage 4 and A level. Staff teach across all the sciences in year 7, 8 and 9. 

The science department uses its own schemes of learning, supported by published resources. The schemes of learning are written to ensure students have many opportunities to develop the practical skills that will be required and assessed in their final exams.  Our science curriculum is also designed to incorporate interleaving starters to allow the content to be taught in a cyclic manner, revisiting topics throughout the course.   This aims to improve long-term retention of scientific knowledge though regular recall and application of knowledge.

“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” ― Isaac Newton

Key Stage 3

At key stage 3 the science department currently follows its own bespoke scheme of learning that has been tailored and written by our own staff to adapt to the needs of the students in preparation for further study at KS4. It is supported by the ‘Collins’ resources and is a varied and exciting curriculum for students to study and explore. Lessons are structured around practical science experiments and offer experiences to gain a further understanding of science.

Key stage 3 science is delivered across 5 periods a fortnight.  Students are encouraged to explore ‘real world’ situations and careers within the field of science. Students undertake regular scientific investigation assessments which provide them with the skills necessary to progress at key stage 4 during the GCSE required practical. STEM is a large part of the curriculum and is promoted throughout the department. Visits to Engineering fairs in year 9 and regular visits from outside providers such as the RAF, Zoolab and the University of Hull provide the curriculum with a depth and breadth that will engage learners and build lasting memories.

 

Year 7 - Autumn term

Organisms

Electromagnets

Matter

 

Year 7 - Spring term

Ecosystems

Earth

Energy

 

Year 7 - Summer term

Genes

Forces

Chemical Reactions

 

Year 8 - Autumn term

Breathing and Digestion

Climate and the Environment

 

Year 8 - Spring term

Photosynthesis and Respiration

Waves

Scientific Investigation skills

 

Year 8 - Summer term

Inheritance and Evolution

Electricity and Magnetism

The Periodic Table

 

Year 9 - Autumn term

Heating and Cooling

Contact Forces and Pressure

Types of Reactions

 

Year 9 - Spring term

 

GCSE Course Commences:

Physics: Energy

Biology: Cell Biology

 

Year 9 - Summer term

Chemistry: Atomic Structure and Particle Theory

Key Stage 4

At Key Stage 4, students are entered for GCSE in Combined Science.

We follow the AQA (trilogy) specification for these qualifications. Final assessment of these GCSEs will take place at the end of Year 11, in the form of six separate examinations. In preparation for these examinations, students will complete a minimum of 21 required practical activities that will help prepare students for the examinations which will assess these skills.

In KS4 science, students will be taught 9 lessons a fortnight: 3 biology, 3 chemistry and 3 physics.

Over the course of the two years, students will be assessed regularly, and their progress tracked. Formal mock examinations take place at the end of Year 10 and in the autumn term of Year 11. To extend students’ learning, we offer a range of extra-curricular activities including university trips and visits from STEM ambassadors. In the spring term of Year 11, students are provided with an extensive revision programme in preparation for their final exams.

 

Year 10 - Autumn term

 

Biology

Organisation

Infection and disease 1

 

Chemistry

Bonding and structure

Quantitative chemistry

 

Physics

Particle model

Atomic structure

 

Year 10 - Spring term

 

Biology

Infection and disease 2

Bioenergetics 1

 

Chemistry

Chemical change

Energy changes

 

Physics

Electricity

 

Year 10 - Summer term

 

Biology

Ecology

 

Chemistry

Chemical analysis

Using resources

 

Physics

Waves

 

Year 11 - Autumn term

 

Biology

Homeostasis

 

Chemistry

Earth’s atmosphere

Organic chemistry

 

Physics

Forces 1

 

Year 11 - Spring term

Biology

Inheritance and selection

 

Chemistry

Rates of reaction

 

Physics

Forces 2

Electricity and Magnetism

 

Year 11 - Summer term

 

Biology

Revision and exam preparation

 

Chemistry

Revision and exam preparation

 

Physics

Revision and exam preparation

 

Key Stage 5

A level Biology

Biology is the study of living organisms and how they interact with each other and their environments.  Biology is a multi-disciplinary subject that is made of many different independent fields.  Biology explores how living systems are constructed as well as how they develop, communicate, interact, reproduce, defend themselves, and shape the biophysical environment around them.  Biologists are constantly trying to understand links between different disciplines of biology and in this sense, evolution is a unifying concept in biology.

At A level the subject is made up of the core components such as cell, biochemistry, physiology, genetics, ecology, evolution and other key elements of the subject to allow students to go on to study a wide range of subjects at degree level.   The course is supported by a wide range of practicals to develop students confidence in carrying out these activities both in the laboratory and in the field. 

Assessment occurs at regular intervals throughout the 2-year course where progress is tracked and monitored with support offered when required. Formal mock examinations take place during year 12 and 13. The course is assessed at the end of year 13 with 13 external exams. The practical skills element is a reported separately as a non-exam based practical endorsement.

 

Year 12 - Autumn term

Foundations of Biology

 

Year 12 - Spring term

Exchange Surfaces

Animal and Plant Transport

Disease

 

Year 12 - Summer term

Biodiversity

Ecosystems

Classifications and Evolution

 

Year 13 - Autumn term

Photosynthesis and respiration

Homeostasis and Communication

 

Year 13 - Spring term

Patterns of Inheritance

Manipulation Genomes

Cloning and Biotechnology

 

Year 13 - Summer term

Revision and exam preparation

 

A level Chemistry

A-level Chemistry gives an exciting insight into the contemporary world of chemistry. Students learn about chemistry in a range of different contexts and the impact it has on industry and many aspects of everyday life. Specialist teachers share their enthusiasm for the subject during their lessons and help students to develop both the breadth and depth of their understanding of all aspects of the subject. By studying chemistry, students also develop many transferable skills including investigating, problem solving, research, decision making, mathematical skills and analytical skills.  By helping students to explore and develop their understanding of the fascinating chemical world around us, we also ensure that they are successful in examinations, and that they have the skills to study the subject further, as many do.

The mathematical and theoretical content of the course is supported by a range of experimental laboratory work to ensure that students develop and become confident in carrying out practical activities and with the use of complex specialist equipment.

Over the course of the two years, students will be assessed regularly, and their progress tracked. Formal mock examinations take place during year 12 and 13. The course is assessed at the end of year 13 with 13 external exams. The practical skills element is a reported separately as a non-exam based practical endorsement. 

 

Year 12 - Autumn term

Atoms and reactions

Electrons, bonding and structure

The Periodic Table

 

Year 12 - Spring term

Physical Chemistry

Basic concepts and hydrocarbons

 

Year 12 - Summer term

Alcohols, haloalkanes and analysis

Rates, equilibrium and pH

 

Year 13 - Autumn term

Energy

Transition metals

Aromatic compounds, carbonyls and acids

 

Year 13 - Spring term

Nitrogen compounds, polymers and synthesis

Analysis

 

Year 13 - Summer term

Revision and exam preparation

 

A level Physics

A-level Physics addresses the biggest questions of all: from the size and structure of the universe, to the behaviour of the fundamental particles from which all matter is made, and to the structure of space-time itself.  Teachers share their love and enthusiasm for the subject during their lessons and help students to develop both the breadth and depth of their understanding of all aspects of the subject, as well as their mathematical skills, essential for an understanding of the fundamental laws of nature.  By helping students to explore and develop their understanding of the astounding and surprising Universe in which we live, we also ensure that they are successful in examinations, and that they have the skills to study the subject further, as many do.

The mathematical and theoretical content of the course is supported by a range of experimental laboratory work to ensure that students develop and become confident in carrying out practical activities and with the use of complex specialist equipment.

Over the course of the two years, students will be assessed regularly, and their progress tracked. Formal mock examinations take place during year 12 and 13. The course is assessed at the end of year 13 with 13 external exams. The practical skills element is a reported separately as a non-exam based practical endorsement. 

 

Year 12 - Autumn term

Foundations of physics

Forces and motion

 

Year 12 - Spring term

Electrons, waves and photons

 

Year 12 - Summer term

Thermal Physics

Oscillations

 

Year 13 - Autumn term

Medical Imaging

Capacitors

Gravitational field

Stars and cosmology

 

Year 13 - Spring term

Radioactivity

Electric and Magnetic fields

 

Year 13 - Summer term

Revision and exam preparation