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Science

Students initially focus on practical skills and the scientific method learning how to conduct practical experiments and investigate hypotheses. Pupils learn to plan experiments, producing stepwise instructions that are repeatable by other scientists. They learn to use common apparatus found in a laboratory safely and with precision. Processing results, students learn to analyse data, spot patterns and draw conclusions that prove or disprove hypotheses. At the same time, pupils become familiar with the body of scientific knowledge outlined in the National Curriculum and start to learn the numeracy and literacy skills required to succeed at GCSE. 

At Prince William School we begin studying GCSE Science at the star of Year 9 following the OCR A specification. Most students take the Combined Science GCSE course, achieving two Science GCSE grades. We stretch our most able students by offering the chance to follow the Separate Science GCSE courses, resulting in separate GCSE grades for Biology, Chemistry and Physics. 

The A-level Science courses are very popular with our KS5 students; indeed many of our students going on to take Science related subjects at undergraduate level. That said, the KS5 Science courses are also popular with students who don’t intend to peruse Science related courses and careers after 6th form due to the opportunities to develop numeracy, communication and problem solving skills and therefore people with science A-levels are highly sought after by the majority of employers.

Key Stage 3

In KS3 students are taught a combined science course which is divided into a number of topics which closely follow the Exploring Science course by Pearson. The course seeks to ensure that pupils deepen their understanding and knowledge of Biology, Chemistry and Physics while also improving their skills of scientific enquiry. The course includes opportunities for students to engage in practical work, fieldwork, research, use of ICT, individual and group work, discussions, modelling and evaluation. Teachers also aim to make the teaching of science relevant to students’ lives.

 

Year 7

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Cells

The Particle Model

Forces  

Reproduction

Atoms

Energy

Muscle and Bone

Mixtures and Separation

Sound

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Plants and their reproduction

Acids and Alkalis

Electricity

Ecosystems

Rocks

Earth and Space

Scientific Enquiry

 

Year 8

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Respiration

Metals

Energy Transfer

Food and Nutrition

Periodic Table

Fluids

Unicellular Organisms

Combustion

Light

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Plant Growth

Reactivity

Forces in Motion

Genetics and evolution

Making materials

Electromagnets

Scientific Enquiry

 

Year 9

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Cells

The Particle Mode

Changes of State

Respiration

Mixtures

Pressure

Photosynthesis

Bonding

Motion

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Supplying the Cell

Bonding

Changes of State

Challenges of Size

Quantitative Chemistry

Pressure

The Nervous System

Energetics

Motion

 

Example of skill progression

Knowledge of particle theory > acids and alkalis > mixtures and separation

Cells > microbes > respiration.

 As well as progress in terms of complexity of knowledge, progress is also seen in the confidence with which students apply their knowledge and use subject specific terminology.

Key Stage 4

Whether they are studying for GCSE Combined Science or a GCSE in the three separate sciences, all students will study topics from Biology, Chemistry and Physics from the Gateway Science 9-1 Suite offered by Oxford Cambridge RSA (OCR).

Year 10

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Biology

Types of Reaction

Motion and Newton’s Laws

The Challenges of Size

Electrolysis

Forces in Action

The Nervous System

Predicting reactions and Products

Reaction

Electricity

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

The Endocrine System

Controlling Reactions

Magnetism and Magnetic Fields

Maintaining Internal Environments

Equilibria

Waves

Paper 1 revision

 

Year 11

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Natural Selection and Evolution

Rates of Reaction

Radioactivity

Monitoring and maintaining the Environment

Equilibria

Energy – Work done / Power and Efficiency

Feeding the Human Race

Improving Processes and Products

Physics on the Move

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Monitoring and Maintaining Health

Organic Chemistry

Powering Earth

Non-Communicable Diseases

Interpreting and Interacting with Earth Systems

Beyond Earth

 

 

Example of skill progression

Atomic structure > bonding > electrolysis

Cells > tissues and organs > mitosis

Energy > electricity > work done and power

More challenging topics put the models learned into more advanced contexts.  Technical vocabulary is used with increasing confidence and accuracy.

Key Stage 5 - Biology

Biology

Biology is one of the most popular A-Level subjects in the country, attracting students studying a wide range of other subjects.  Biologists are scientists who study the natural world and all the living things in it, from the largest mammals down to our very own microscopic DNA.  Because biologists deal with the natural world, their jobs can take them anywhere, from laboratories to zoos, from ocean liners in the arctic to fieldwork in the Amazon jungle.

Biology opens up exciting career possibilities. From conservation to cancer research, biologists are tackling important 21st century challenges.  Whatever field you will eventually work in, you will find biology a very rewarding and challenging course which will develop many of the skills essential for a successful career.

Exam structure / weightings

There are three papers that students will take at the end of Year 13: 

Biological Processes 2hrs 15mins worth 37% (covering modules 1, 2, 3 and 5), 

Biological Diversity 2hrs 15mins worth 37% (covering modules 1, 2, 4 and 6), and 

Unified Biology 1hr 30mins worth 26% (covering all modules).

There is also a non-exam component to assess practical skills by showing competency in twelve practical skills over the course of the A Level.

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Basic Components of Living systems

Exchange Surfaces in Animals

Biological Molecules

Plant Transport

Enzymes

Classification and Evolution

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Plasma Membranes

Communicable Diseases

Cell Divisions

Biodiversity

Cell Divisions

Sampling Techniques

 

Year 13

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Photosynthesis

Respiration

Excretion

Ecosystems

Cellular Control

Inheritance

Nerves

Hormones

Cloning

Biotechnology

Manipulating Genomes

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Plant and Animal Responses Revision  

 

Example of skill progression

Biological Molecules > DNA and enzymes > cell division

Cell microscopy > photosynthesis > plant transport

Key Stage 5 - Chemistry

Chemistry

An understanding of Chemistry and Chemical processes underpins all that we do. It allows us to explain everything from the composition of stars to the processes of life.  It touches on a myriad of everyday items, such as your mobile phone battery, preventing corrosion in your car and making the next great breakthrough in drug discovery.

The A level specification places a particular emphasis on the development of practical skills and chemical literacy and there are twelve required practicals that all students must conduct and write up over the course of the two years.

Exam structure / weightings

There are three papers that pupils will take at the end of Year 13;

Periodic Table, elements and Physical Chemistry;

Synthesis and Analytical Techniques; and

Unified Chemistry

Please click this link to view the full course specification.

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Module 2 – Foundations in Chemistry Module 2 – Foundations in Chemistry Module 3 – Periodic Table and Energy
Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Module 3 – Periodic Table and Energy Module 4 – Organic Chemistry and Analysis Module 4 – Organic Chemistry and Analysis

 

Year 13

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3
Module 5 – Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements Module 5 – Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements

Module 6 – Further Organic Chemistry and Analysis

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6
Module 6 – Further Organic Chemistry and Analysis Revision  

 

Example of skill progression

Atomic structures > bonding > transition metals

Atomic structure > shapes and bond angles (electron pair repulsion theory) > mechanisms

Building on the limitations of previous models learned, students are introduced to more advanced models and ideas.

Key Stage 5 - Physics

PhysicsBanner

Physics is one of the most challenging and the most exciting subject Post-16 has to offer.  Want to measure the speed of sound in air to 98% accuracy? Fancy practically determining the wavelength of laser light by measuring a few lengths and angles?  Interested in measuring absolute zero in the laboratory?  Then A Level physics is the subject for you.

Walk the footsteps of Aristotle, Galileo, Newton, Einstein and Higgs.  Challenge yourself to examine energy and matter at the quantum level, and spend your time thinking and discussing fundamental questions about the Universe.

Students need to be highly committed, and willing to put in an Outstanding Effort to achieve well.

Exam structure / weightings

There are three exams at the end of Year 13, which are worth 30%, 30% and 40% respectively. All three can draw on any topic within the syllabus, with the third, longest exam being most likely to ask questions about the core practicals in the A Level syllabus.

Please click this link to view the full course specification.

 

Year 12

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Foundations of Physics

Forces of Motion

Forces of Motion

Charge and Current

Energy, Power and Resistance

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Electrical Circuits

Waves 1

Waves 2

Quantum Physics

 

Year 13

Term 1 Term 2 Term 3

Transport on Track

Further Mechanics and Electric Motors in trains

The Medium is the Message

Communications industry is the context for more waves exploration

Probing the Heart of Matter

Particle Physics and all the mechanics of fundamental Physics

Build or Bust

Simple harmonic motion and is taught through earthquakes and building design

Term 4 Term 5 Term 6

Reach for the Stars

Nuclear Physics, Stellar Evolution and measuring the universe is taught by gazing at the stars

Revision  

 

Example of skill progression

Charge and Current > Capacitance > Electric Fields

Waves > Quantum Physics > Medical Imaging

Careers and progression

Qualification pathways 

The GCSE offered at KS4 prepares students perfectly for the A levels offered at KS5, which in turn prepares students for further study at degree or employment in a scientific sector. 

 

Career Opportunities

Biology

Medicine, nursing, midwifery, veterinary science, dentist, physiotherapy, biomedical Science, sport science, marine biology, zoology, microbiologist, ecologist, biotechnology, forensic science, nutritionist.

Chemistry

Chemical industry, medicine, dentistry, pharmaceutical industry, biochemistry, biomedical sciences, forensic science

Physics

Engineering, scientific research, medicine, architecture, astronomer, geophysicist, meteorologist, nanotechnologist, radiation protection practitioner, sound engineer, software engineer, telecommunications researcher.

 

Example of successful progressions

18 students from Y13 progressed to reading scientific subjects at university in 2019, including 3 reading medicine and 2 veterinary science.

Examples of links to Gatsby benchmark 4 (Linking curriculum to careers) 

Through KS4 specific lessons have been identified where the curriculum knowledge links to specific careers. For example linking Instrumental Methods of Analysis to the work of an analytical chemist. These links are reinforced with additional detail through KS5.

The KS3 science enquiry investigations links the skills students are developing to careers. For example, the ‘Who’s Cheating on the Vinegar’ practical draws links with the role of a food technologist.

Examples of link to Gatsby benchmark 5 (encounters with employers)

Anglian water – problem solving (including teamwork and employability skills) day for all Y12 and Y13 STEM students. Currently planning a similar day for Y7 students

Dr Ben Evan, an Aerospace professor involved in the Bloodhound project (breaking the world land speed record), is making a presentation to Y10, 12 and 13 students in January 2020

Visit to RAF Cranwell with Y12 and 13 students – investigating circular motion at UK’s newest centrifuge facility including discussions around career pathways in the RAF

Planning for Perkins and Amazon trips to view factory facilities and production lines

The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Fair is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) for young people in the UK.

The Big Bang Fair aims to show young people aged 7 to 19 the exciting and rewarding opportunities out there for them with the right experience and qualifications, by bringing classroom learning to life.

 

Employability skills

Numerical and calculation skills including units conversions and rearranging algebraic equations

Logical sequencing and problem solving

Modelling and exploring the limitation of any model

Planning and developing a risk assessment

Analysis and presentation of data

Drawing conclusions and making evaluations from data

Academic rigour.

Presenting to small groups / classes

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