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Science

GCSE Results 2019:

100% grade 5+ in biology, chemistry and physics,

With:

60% grades 7/8/9 in physics

52% grades 7/8/9 in chemistry

32% grades 7/8/9 in biology

Welcome to the Notre Dame Science department where pupils are inspired to ask questions about the world around them and to investigate how science works.

At KS3 and KS4 Biology, Chemistry and Physics are taught together by specialist teaching staff in purpose built laboratories.

At KS3, pupils have 2 single lessons and 1 double lesson per week providing ample time for experiments, group work etc. Pupils are routinely assessed in a variety of ways including content based tests, role-plays and practical situations.

At GCSE, pupils will either have 6 periods of science per week (combined science) or 9 periods of science per week (separate science). Pupils have the option of choosing which route they want to follow at the end of year 9. For both combined and separate science, we follow the AQA specification.

The Science department believes that extra -curricular activities are an integral part of the learning process. We offer a variety of after-school clubs as well as organising trips to places such as the science museum, natural science museum and the garden museum.

KS3

At KS3 all pupils follow the AQA specification which has been designed specifically to give pupils the best platform from which to start their KS4 science education.

In year 7 science lessons, we cover topics that incorporate all 3 sciences. In biology lessons pupils learn about organisms with particular emphasis on the study of cells, cell structure, cell division, stem cells and respiration. In chemistry they study the periodic table, the atom, elements and compounds, metals and non-metals and reactions. In physics pupils study energy, energy transfers, work done, power, energy efficiency and pay specific attention to learning how to use physics equations including how to solve algebraic equations.

In year 8 pupils build on their knowledge from year 7 and go on to study plant science and photosynthesis, the states of matter and chemical bonding including ionic, covalent and metallic bonding and they continue their study of energy, this year concentrating on heating and cooling, internal energy, and specific heat capacity.

In year 9 pupils learn about health matters and diseases, the cause of disease and how the body defends itself against disease. They also study the various systems in our bodies including the circulatory, the respiratory and the digestive system. In chemistry lessons they build on previous knowledge to now be able to carry out chemical calculations and they study endothermic and exothermic reaction. In physics they study the structure of the atom and nuclear physics.

KS4

In year 10 pupils can either decide to follow the AQA combined science trilogy pathway which will lead to 2 GCSE’s or they decide to follow the 3 separate sciences pathway which leads to a GCSE in Biology, Chemistry and Physics separately.

Combined Science

If they choose the combined science route they study:

Biology:

Cell biology; Organisation; Infection and Response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and Response; Inheritance, Variation and Response; Ecology.

Chemistry:

Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table; Bonding, structure and the properties of matter; Quantitative Chemistry; Chemical changes; Energy changes; The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; Using Resources.

Physics:

Forces; Energy; Waves; Electricity; Magnetism and electromagnetism; Particle model of matter; Atomic Structure.

Triple Award Science

If they choose the separate sciences route they study:

 Biology:

Cell biology; Organisation; Infection and Response; Bioenergetics; Homeostasis and Response; Inheritance, Variation and Response; Ecology.

Chemistry:

Atomic Structure and the Periodic Table; Bonding, structure and the properties of matter; Quantitative Chemistry; Chemical changes; Energy changes; The rate and extent of chemical change; Organic chemistry; Chemical analysis; Chemistry of the atmosphere; Using Resources.

 Physics:

Forces; Energy; Waves; Electricity; Magnetism and electromagnetism; Particle model of matter; Atomic Structure; Space physics.

Useful Science websites:

www.my-gcsescience.com (short concise videos)
www.aqa.org.uk (past exam papers)
www.brainpop.co.uk (cartoons teaching various topics)
https://connect.collins.co.uk/school/portal.aspx (text books for the new AQA GCSE science courses)
www.doddlelearn.co.uk