Key Stage 4 Science – Year 11

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 Double Award GCSE Science course. This course is made up of two Science GCSE qualifications that are separately assessed through exams and individual skills assessments (ISAs). It is therefore possible to get a different grade for each qualification.

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 and internal skills assessments (ISAs). It is therefore possible to get a different grade for each qualification.

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 split into three units per science (B1, B2 and B3 for Biology, C1, C2 and C3 for Chemistry and P1, P2 and P3 for Physics).   In the summer of Year 11 students sit nine one-hour exams, one for each of the three units in each science.  In addition to plenty of practical work, over the course of KS4 students also carry out individual skills assessments (ISAs) in each science, the marks of which are submitted to the exam board at the end of Year 11 to complete the qualification.

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 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 Double Award 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 the summer of Year 11 students sit six one-hour exams, one for each of the two units in Chemistry (C1, C2), Physics (P1, P2) and Biology (B1, B2).   In addition to plenty of practical work, over the course of KS4 students also carry out two individual skills assessments (ISAs) one for Core Science A and another for Additional Science, the marks of which are submitted to the exam board at the end of Year 11 to complete the both qualifications.

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 Double Award AQA GCSE course will gain two separate GCSE grades, one in Science A and one in Additional Science.  The grades are completely independent from one another, meaning that two separate grades are possible, however through our intervention strategies; we aim for all students to achieve their target grade in both Science GCSEs.

Careers

The double award 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

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

Future changes to Science GCSEs following government reforms will be reflected in the information provided by The Polesworth School Science department as they arise.

Biology Chemistry Physics
Core 1.1 Balanced Diet
Factors affecting health
The impact of pathogens
What white blood cells do
Antibodies, immunity, immunisation
The work of Semmelweiss
Antibiotics and  resistance
Aseptic technique
Mechanism and management of resistance (HT)
Core 1.1 Atoms and elements
Atomic structure
Calculating sub-atomic particles
Similarities of group 1
Group 0
Word equations
Interpreting formulae
Conservation of mass
Balancing symbol equations (HT)
Core 1.1 Infrared, absorption and emission
Kinetic theory
Energy transfer by heating
Factors affecting transfer by heating
1.2 Receptors and stimuli
The reflex arc
Internal conditions/homeostasis
Control of the menstrual cycle
Control of fertility
Tropisms
The role of auxin
1.2 Thermal decomposition of carbonates
Reactions from calcium carbonate
Evaluating the use of limestone
1.2 U values
Solar thermal heating
Calculating specific heat capacity
Compare initiatives to reduce consumption
1.3 The testing of medicines
The legacy of Thalidomide
The misuse of drugs
The impact of legal/illegal drugs
Performance enhancing drugs
1.3 Evaluating the use of metals
Methods to extract metals
Extraction of copper and impact
Alloys, including those of iron
Properties/uses of transition metals inc Cu
1.3 Describe transfers in appliances
Interpret and draw Sankey diagrams
Useful and waste energy
Calculating efficiency
Use data to compare appliances
Calculate energy transfer (E=Pxt)
Calculate cost of mains electricity
1.4 Competition
Extremophiles
Adaptation of plants/animals
Environmental change and distribution
Indicator species
Measuring physical factors
1.4 Evaluate the impact of fossil/bio fuels
Crude oil as a mixture
Hydrocarbons and fractional distillation
Hydrocarbons as fuels
Impact of combustion of hydrocarbons
1.4 The use/creation of steam for turbines
Other ways of generating electricity
Different effects of energy resources
The parts of the National Grid
The use of transformers
1.5 Pyramids of Biomass
Energy loss in food chains
Processes of decay
The Carbon Cycle
1.5 Evaluate impact of using products from crude oil
Cracking
Unsaturated molecules, tests for and uses
Polymerisation, uses of polymers, impact
Ethanol production methods
Conservation of mass
1.5 Properties of longitudinal/transverse
Properties of EM waves, EM spectrum
Reflection, refraction, diffraction
Use of the wave equation
Uses of EM waves in communication
Constructing ray diagrams
Properties of sound waves
The Doppler effect and red-shift
The Big Bang and CMBR
1.6 Why organisms are different
Sexual reproduction
Asexual reproduction and cloning
Gene transfer and GM
1.6 Evaluate use of veg oils and emulsifiers in food
Extraction of veg oils
Use of vegetable oils
Creation and advantages of emulsions
Vegetable oils and unsaturation
Properties of emulsifiers (HT)
Hydrogenation of veg oils (HT)
1.6
1.7 Natural selection
Lamarck
Evolutionary trees
Natural selection and Evolution
1.7 Structure of the earth
Tectonic plates, earthquakes, volcanoes
The constituents of the atmosphere
Evolution of the atmosphere
Reservoirs of carbon and combustion
Why we don’t know how life formed (HT)
The Miller Urey expt, primordial soup (HT)
Fractional distillation of air (HT)
1.7
Additional 2.1 Function of cell components
Diffusion
Additional 2.1 Symbol equations
Ion formation
Representing ionic compounds
Ionic bonding
Formation of covalent compounds
Covalent bonding, simple and giant
Metals (metallic bonding)
Additional 2.1 Resultant forces
F=ma
distance/time graphs (calculating speed)
Velocity/tome graphs (calculating acc and dist)
Braking and stopping distances
Terminal velocity
Elasticity and F=ke
2.2 Hierarchy of structure
Types of tissues
The stomach and the digestive system
Plant organs
2.2 Molecules (intermolecular forces)
Explaining properties of ionic compounds
Diamond
Graphite (conductivity)
(Fullerenes)
Properties of metals
Polymers
Nanotechnology
2.2 Calculating work
Calculating power
Calculating KE
Calculating GPE
Calculating momentum
2.3 The process of photosynthesis
Limiting factors
Use of the products of photosynthesis
2.3 Atomic structure (isotopes)
Molecular mass
Paper chromatography
Gas chromatography (+ mas spec)
% by mass
(Empirical formula)
(Reacting masses)
Yield
2.3 Static electricity
Circuit symbols
Current/pd graphs
Series circuits
Parallel circuits
Resistance of components
Use info from graphs
Define I and V
2.4 Physical factors
Sampling methods
2.4 Measuring rates
Collision theory
Factors affecting rate
2.4 Mains electricity
Wiring a plug
Circuit safety
AC and DC
Energy transfer and power
2.5 Structure and function background
Factors affecting enzymes
Enzymes in digestion
Uses of enzymes
2.5 Exothermic reactions
Endothermic reactions
Reversible reactions
2.5 Atomic structure and isotopes
Types of ionising radiation (decay equations)
Properties sand uses
Half life
2.6 Aerobic respiration
Uses of the energy from respiration
Physiological changes in exercise
Anaerobic respiration (and oxygen debt)
2.6 State symbols
Reactions to form salts
Insoluble salts
Word equations and naming salts
pH and neutralisation
2.6 Nuclear fission
Nuclear fusion
Life cycle of a star
Radioactivity
2.7 Mitosis
Meiosis
Fertilisation
Differentiation and stem cells
Causes of variation
Genetic diagram
Polydactyl
Cystic fibrosis
Embryo screening
2.7 Principles of electrolysis
Events at the electrodes
Half equations
Uses of electrolysis
Practical results and data
2.7
2.8 Fossils and their formation
Causes of extinction
Isolation (and formation species)
2.8 2.8
Triple 3.1 Dissolved substances
Gas exchange
Exchange systems in plants
Triple 3.1 The early periodic table
The modern periodic table
Trends in the periodic table
Triple 3.1 X-rays
Ultrasound
Lenses
The eye
Other applications using light
3.2 The blood system
Transport in plants
3.2 Hard and soft water
Purifying water
3.2 Centre of mass
Moments
Hydraulics
Circular motion
3.3 Removal of waste and water control
Temperature
Sugar control
3.3 Energy from reactions 3.3 The motor effect
Transformers
3.4 Waste from human activity
Deforestation and destruction of peat
Biofuels
Food production
3.4 Flame tests and precipitate tests
Titration
3.4
3.5 3.5 Equilibria
The Haber Process
3.5