Science at Key Stage 4 – Years 9 & 10

All students study Science at KS4.  In Year 9 they enjoy 6 hours of science per fortnight, in Year 10 they have 9 hours per fortnight, and in Year 11 they have 11 hours per fortnight.  This allows us to cover a broad curriculum of science skills and topics across the course being studied.

In Year 9 all students study the same course content to allow them to develop their scientific knowledge and skills and to prepare them for the examination courses in Year 10 and 11. Based on summative data, attitude to learning and teacher assessments during Year 9 students are then placed on appropriate courses to enable individuals to have the best opportunity to successfully complete Science qualifications at Level 2.  Students will continue to study all the areas of Science in the AQA Combined Science GCSE Science course. This course is made up of two Science GCSE qualifications that are assessed through exams.

Some students who have excelled in Year 9 will have the opportunity to study individual AQA GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics (Triple Science). These are separate GCSE qualifications and are separately assessed through exams. It is therefore possible to get a different grade for each qualification.

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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.  Where progress appears to be at a lower level than we would expect, various intervention methods are then employed to boost attainment.

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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.

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 short tests and other assessed work to enable us to keep track of their progress.  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

Links to help you revise for your end of topic mini tests

Biology Topic Module Links
1. Cell biology Cell structure
Cell division
Transport across cells
2. Organisation Principles
Animal tissues, organs and organ systems
Plant tissues, organs and organ systems
3. Infection and response Communicable Diseases
Monoclonal antibodies (Triple only)
Plant disease (Triple only)
4. Bioenergetics Photosynthesis
Respiration
5. Homeostasis and response Homeostasis
Hormonal coordination in humans
Plant hormones (Triple only)
6. Inheritance, variation and evolution Reproduction
Variation and evolution
The development of understanding of genetics and evolution
Classification of living organisms
7. Ecology Adaptations, interdependence and competition
Organisation of an ecosystem
Biodiversity and the effect of human interaction on ecosystems
Trophic levels in an ecosystem (Triple only)
Food production (Triple only)
Chemistry Topic Module Links
1 Atomic structure and the periodic table A simple model of the atom, symbols, relative atomic mass, electronic charge and isotopes
The periodic table
Properties of transition metals (Triple only)
2 Bonding, structure, and the properties of matter Chemical bonds, ionic, covalent and metallic
How bonding and structure are related to the properties of substances
Structure and bonding of carbon
Bulk and surface properties of matter including nanoparticles (Triple only)
3 Quantitative chemistry Chemical measurements, conservation of mass and the quantitative interpretation of chemical equations
Use of amount of substance in relation to masses of pure substances (HT)
Yield and atom economy of chemical reactions (Triple only)
Using concentrations of solutions in mol/dm3 (Triple only)
Use of amount of substance in relation to volumes of gases (Triple only)
4 Chemical changes Reactivity of metals
Reactions of acids
Electrolysis
5 Energy changes Exothermic and endothermic reactions
Chemical cells and fuel cells (Triple only)
6 The rate and extent of chemical change Rate of reaction
Reversible reactions and dynamic equilibrium
7 Organic chemistry Carbon compounds as fuels and feedstock
Reactions of alkenes and alcohols (Triple only)
Synthetic and naturally occurring polymers (Triple only)
8 Chemical analysis Purity, formulations and chromatography
Identification of common gases
Identification of ions by chemical and spectroscopic means (Triple only)
9 Chemistry of the atmosphere The composition and evolution of the Earth’s atmosphere
Carbon dioxide and methane as greenhouse gases
Common atmospheric pollutants and their sources
10 Using resources Using the Earth’s resources and obtaining potable water
Life cycle assessment and recycling
Using materials (Triple only)
The Haber process and the use of NPK fertilisers (Triple only)
Physics Topic Module Links
1 Energy Energy changes in a system, and the ways energy is stored before and after such changes
Conservation and dissipation of energy
National and global energy resources
2 Electricity Current, potential difference and resistance
Series and parallel circuits
Domestic uses and safety
Energy transfers
Static electricity (Triple only)
3 Particle model of matter Changes of state and the particle model
Internal energy and energy transfers
Particle model and pressure
4 Atomic structure Atoms and isotopes
Atoms and nuclear radiation
Hazards and uses of radioactive emissions and of background radiation (Triple only)
Nuclear fission and fusion (Triple only)
5 Forces Forces and their interactions
Work done and energy transfer
Forces and elasticity
Moments, levers and gears (Triple only)
Pressure and pressure differences in fluids (Triple only)
Forces and motion
Momentum (HT only)
6 Waves Waves in air, fluids and solids
Electromagnetic waves
Black body radiation (Triple only)
7 Magnetism and electromagnetism Permanent and induced magnetism, magnetic forces and fields
The motor effect
Induced potential, transformers and the National Grid (Triple only)
8 Space physics (Triple only) Solar system; stability of orbital motions; satellites (Triple only)
Red-shift (Triple only)

 

Contact Details

If you wish to discuss the various routes available through KS4 Science at The Polesworth School, please contact either Miss A. Harris (Head of Science) or Miss R Wilkinson (KS4 Science Coordinator) on 01827 702205, or via email at a.harris@thepolesworthschool.com or r.wilkinson@thepolesworthschool.com