Science faculty

Head of Faculty: Mrs A Clayton

KS3 Statements of Intent 

(NB: Students in year 9 begin the study of their KS4 curriculum)

The Science curriculum for KS3 at Ormiston Sudbury Academy provides students with the required skills students need to think and work and helps them to apply these skills along with the knowledge they develop, to be able to better understand the world around them.

The aim is, where possible, for each class to have 1 science teacher who teaches all three sciences on a rotation, to give them a broad understanding of science.

As with all the sciences pupils will learn how to plan and carry out investigations to test their newly found skills and answer questions that may arise during their learning, culminating in analysis of results, manipulation of data and drawing conclusions and evaluating procedures.

YEAR 7

In Year 7, students cover an introduction to science unit near the beginning of the year. This unit covers science equipment, being safe in a laboratory, numeracy skills and literacy skills that can be applied to science. This units provides the basis for science at secondary school.

Chemistry
Students should be able to illustrate their knowledge of atoms and their properties in the use of particle model. They need to be able to apply skills in pure and impure substances to distinguish the different methods of separation. Building on their knowledge of fossil fuels, they will also be able to distinguish between different separation techniques in connection with global warming.

Biology
This unit prepares students to look at how biology is directly and indirectly linked to their everyday lives. It encompasses them as individuals (genetics) and how the outside world influences them (environmental) and can be influenced by them, by using their personal and social characteristics.

Physics
Students would be required to build on their knowledge of magnetism and electricity to explain real life situations. They link the contact and non-contact forces and their impact on different experiences. Students will also benefit from discovering and understanding the differences between the weight and mass of different objects in the Space unit. Their application of these topics will aid their understanding of Physical Science and its impact in the wider world.

YEAR 8

Chemistry
Students begin by studying the periodic table, exploring the patterns found and some of the history behind it as well as investigating the properties and reactions of a number of elements from the periodic table, such as the reaction of metals and how elements bond to create compounds. In addition to these topics, they also study the rock cycle and a modern chemistry unit, which helps them, understand things such as nanoparticles and polymers.

Biology
Students build on their year 7 work and further develop their scientific knowledge and understanding by focussing on Microbes, Respiration and Photosynthesis, Modern Biology and the human body. They can relate biology to their everyday lives from learning about diseases and food production to genetic engineering.

Physics
Students build on the topics learned in Year 7 in order to broaden their horizons and relate their learning to everyday situations and applications. They study the topics: Heat, Light, Sound and Pressure. They learn how heat is transferred, how light can be reflected and refracted, how we can hear sound and use mathematical skills to calculate pressure, density and moments.

Key Stage 4 (years 9 – 11) Statements of Intent 

(NB: Students begin their study of the KS4 curriculum in year 9)

At KS4 students will be able to build on their KS3 science knowledge and the skills they have developed to continue to deepen their understanding of the wider world. Through building up a body of key foundational knowledge and concepts, pupils will be encouraged to recognise the power of rational explanation and develop a sense of excitement and curiosity about natural phenomena that they will experience beyond school. They will be encouraged to understand how science can be used to explain what is occurring, predict how things will behave, and analyse causes. Throughout KS4 pupils will be introduced to many different aspects of science to give them a good understanding of the multitude of jobs that science can lead them on to.

All students take GCSE science and have 4 lessons a week, which are taken by subject specialist teachers. 3 of these lessons are for the 3 separate sciences and the 4th lesson provides pupils an opportunity to go over what has previously been taught to further extend their knowledge and understanding. At the end of year 11 students will either sit the combined science award which gives them 2 GCSEs or the triple award, whereby they can attain 3 separate GCSEs. We are currently using the OCR exam board.

Biology
Students should be helped to understand how, through the ideas of biology, the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a number of key ideas which are of universal application, and which can be illustrated in the separate topics.

  • life processes
  • the fundamental units of living organisms are cells,
  • living organisms
  • adaptations to their environment
  • life on Earth
  • organic compounds
  • ecosystems
  • genome and its interaction with the environment
  • evolution

Chemistry
Students should be helped to appreciate the achievements of chemistry in showing how the complex and diverse phenomena of both the natural and man-made worlds can be described in terms of a number of key ideas which are of universal application, and which can be illustrated in the separate topics.

  • matter
  • elements
  • periodic properties
  • bonding and shapes of molecules
  • chemical reactions and what changes them
  • energy

Physics
Students should be helped to understand how, through the ideas of physics, the complex and diverse phenomena of the natural world can be described in terms of a number of key ideas which are of universal application and which can be illustrated in the separate topics.

  • the particle model of matter
  • the concept of cause and effect
  • the phenomena of ‘action at a distance’
  • analysing electrical, magnetic and gravitational effects
  • proportionality, for example, between weight and mass of an object or between force and extension in a spring
  • models in science

Child Development (KS4) Statement of Intent

The child development course allows pupils to learn more about how humans grow and develop.

The two-year course is made up of three components, of which two are assessed internally and the third component is assessed through an exam at the end of year 11.

The three components are:

  • Children’s growth and development
  • Learning through play
  • Supporting children to play, learn and develop

The internally assessed components focus on:

  • the development of core knowledge and understanding of the key features of children’s growth and development, and factors that can affect how children make progress between the ages of birth to five years old
  • the development and application of skills, such as using play opportunities to benefit children’s learning and development.

Component 3 builds directly on Components 1 and 2, and it enables learning to be brought together and applied to realistic contexts.

The external assessment requires learners to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of child development by considering how individual circumstances across the five areas of development affect a child’s ability or capacity to learn through play and meet expected development milestones.

Key Stage 5 (A-level) Statements of Intent

All three sciences are taught at A-level and follow the AQA exam board. Pupils have 3 lessons a week for each subject and sit their exams at the end of year 13. As part of the course pupils need to complete a series of practical activities that will help develop their understanding of the topic and also help them to prepare for studying science beyond school. Whilst doing A-levels is a big step up from GCSE, the content builds on knowledge that pupils should have developed throughout their whole science experience and will prepare them for further study or jobs where their knowledge, understanding and skills can be applied.

A-level Biology
Biology provides an opportunity to carry on developing the understanding of living organisms, from bacterial cells to mammals and even plants. It allows students a chance to see how animals have adapted to their environments and also to see how Biology can help combat the issues faced by an ever growing human population. The topics covered are:

  • Biological molecules
  • Cells
  • Organism exchange
  • Energy transfer
  • Organism response
  • Genetics, populations, evolution and ecosystems
  • Gene expression

A-level Chemistry
Chemistry builds on the knowledge developed throughout GCSEs and allows students to deepen their understanding and see how chemistry is used on a daily basis in medicines, pharmaceuticals, forensics and much more. There is also quite a lot of overlap between A-level Biology and Chemistry, which further allows students to see the relevance to their own lives and the lives of other living organisms. The course is split into three main topics which are organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry and physical chemistry. These topics cover subjects such as:

  • Atomic structure
  • Energetics
  • Acids and bases
  • Different elements of the periodic table
  • Alcohols
  • Amino acids
  • NMR

A-level Physics
Physics provides students with the opportunity to see how physics can be used in the wider world and the importance of the subject in ensuring the continuing advancement of technologies, medical treatment and diagnosis and even energy supplies for our world. The topics covered are:

  • Measurements and their errors
  • Particles and radiation
  • Eaves
  • Mechanics and materials
  • Electricity
  • Further mechanic and thermal physics
  • Fields and their consequences
  • Nuclear physics