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 Chemistry Physics
1 Cell biology

I can recall the structures found in plant, animal and bacterial cells.

I understand how cells are specialised to carry out different functions.

I can carry out simple calculations involving microscope images.

I understand how to culture bacteria in the lab safely, and how to analyse the effectiveness of different antibiotics.(Triple only)

I can recall the structure of DNA

I can recall the different stages of the cell cycle and understand why cells need to divide.

I Know what stem cells are and understand how they are used and why they are so important.

I understand how diffusion, osmosis and active transport allows the exchange of substances.

 

1 Atomic structure and the periodic table

TBAT  define elements and compounds

Use the periodic table to identify position of elements

I am able to describe and select the correct separation techniques for different mixtures

I can explain the development of the atomic model and periodic table over time.

I can identify subatomic particles

I can calculate the number of protons, neutrons and electrons

I know which ions are formed with metals and non-metals

I understand how the electron structure of group 1/7 effect reactivity and I can use displacement reactions to explain reactivity

Evaluate the uses of transition metals and their properties

Compare the properties of transition elements to group 1 elements

1 Energy

Energy transfers

Efficiency and Sankey

Kinetic energy

Potential energy

Power

Specific Heat Capacity

Reducing unwanted energy transfers

 

2 Organisation

I understand how living things are organised in plants and animals.

I understand how enzymes work and what affects their rate.

I can recall the sequence of events that occur in the digestive system.

I can recall the structure of the heart.

I understand the differences between arteries, veins and capillaries.

I know the structure of the blood

I know the causes of heart disease and understand the possible treatments

I understand transpiration and the processes involved

2 Bonding, structure and the properties of matter

I know about atoms and the periodic table

I understand how ions are formed and the properties of ionic bonding

I understand how giant covalent structures work

I know the structures of simple molecular, giant covalent and other compounds

I know the bonding involved in metals and alloys

I understand how polymers are formed and how their properties effect their uses

I can explain nanoscience (HT)

Graph Skills

 

2 Electricity

Current and Potential Difference

Circuit symbols

Ohms law and V-I graphs

Series Circuits

Parallel Circuits

LDRs and thermistors

Mains electricty and plugs

National grid

Static electricity (Triple only)

Electric fields (Triple only)

 

3 Infection and response 3 Quantitative chemistry 3 Particle model of matter
4 Bioenergetics 4 Chemical changes 4 Atomic structure
5 Homeostasis and response 5 Energy changes 5 Forces

Scalars and vectors

Forces

Hooke’s law

Moments (Triple only)

Pressure (Triple only)

Speed/velocity/acceleration

Motion graphs

Newtons laws

Momentum (HT)

Stopping distance

6 Inheritance 6 The rate and extent of chemical change 6 Waves
7 Ecology 7 Organic chemistry 7 Magnetism and electromagnetism
8 Chemical analysis 8 Space physics
9 Chemistry of the atmosphere
10 Using resources

 

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