Department of Science

Aims

 

 KS 3 Group experiment

Science attempts to explain about the world we live. It provides technologies that have had great impact on our society and our environment. Scientists try to explain phenomena and solve problems using evidence. Our curriculum equips our students to engage in debates and apply evidence to prepare them for the future world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Staff and Resources

 

The department consists of thirteen members of staff and are supported by a team of technicians. There are twelve laboratories, all of which are well maintained and well equipped.

In  Years 7 and 8 pupils are taught in form groups whereas in years 9-11 science is taught in a mixed ability sets. Year 9 students start their GCSE course in all three sciences. We follow the AQA GCSE specification for all three sciences.

Key Stage 3 - Years 7-8 Science

 

At Townley Grammar School, the Science lessons we deliver in Years 7 and 8 are designed to challenge and engage students, develop their practical and problem-solving skills and demonstrate the real-world applications of the topics they have studied.  We also provide them with the necessary attributes to succeedKS3 3 students in the GCSE courses they start in Year 9.  We have recently refreshed all of our schemes of work to reflect the new National Curriculum requirements, introducing a number of new resources and activities.

In Years 7-8, students will typically have two double lessons (100 minutes each) of Science every week, usually taught by teachers with different specialisms, while the third subject is shared.  Students appreciate the differences between the topics taught in Biology, Chemistry and Physics from early in Year 7, by the use of clearly identified topics, separate textbooks (the Longman 11-14 range) and exercise books for each subject.

Homework tasks are set by each teacher each week in order to further extend the interest and skills of the students; a written homework assignment and test are used to assess the progress of all students in each topic, and an end-of-year examination is used to consolidate the learning throughout the year.

When completing classwork and homework, students should aim to give as much relevant scientific detail as possible, displaying their own subject knowledge, supported by other resources when required (copying directly from the Internet or other students is never acceptable).  To help students extend their scientific vocabulary, each topic is accompanied by a list of key words: students are expected to independently add the definitions to these words as they learn them while working through the topics.

Assessment is done using the school’s six-point grading system, where most students aim to achieve at least
  ‘Secure’ standard by the end of each year, while ‘Excelling’ is only awarded in exceptional circumstances.  The table below shows a list of topics studied in Key Stage 3 at Townley – you can click on the name of the topic to view the learning objectives for each unit of work.  These have been broken down into individual lessons (or groups of lessons), showing the standard required to achieve each grade (it is assumed that a student is able to meet the objectives of the lower grades before meeting a higher one).

 In Year 7, the following topics are taught.  Please click on the topic titles to see a summary of the learning objectives for that topic.

  

Introduction To Science

 

BIOLOGY

CHEMISTRY

PHYSICS

Cells & Life Processes

Microbes & Disease

Reproduction

Variation & Classification

Particles

Atoms, Elements, Compounds

Solutions

Chemical Reactions

Energy Transfer

Sound

Magnetism

The Solar System

 

Any residual work from Year 7 is taught at the start of Year 8, before starting work on the following topics.

Please click on the topic titles to see a summary of the learning objectives for that topic.

  

BIOLOGY

CHEMISTRY

PHYSICS

Food & Digestion

Respiration

Ecology & Photosynthesis

Acids

Metals

Planet Earth

Light

Electric Circuits

Forces & Motion

 

In addition to the theoretical content, a wide range of experiments and demonstrations support our teaching, and help students to develop their practical skills.  An ‘Introduction To Science’ topic is taught at the beginning of Year 7, introducing students to safety, measurements and apparatus, while ‘Skills In Science’ lessons may be taught at the end of Year 8, which develop more advanced techniques such as datalogging, data handling, research techniques and topics in the news.  Please click here to view a summary of practical skills learning objectives (covering both year groups).

 

S D Morley

KS3 Science Coordinator 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Key Stage 4 - GCSE Biology

 

Biology is a core subject and the course that students will study is compulsory and lasts for 3 years, starting in Year 9. Students will receive a grade ranging from 1 to 9. Throughout this time students will be taught by a subject specialist.

The biology specification we study is designed to give students the knowledge and skills they need to be able to understand the world in which they live. Having a deep understanding of Biology is becoming increasingly important as students develop into active global citizens. The rise of issues such as antibiotic resistance, climate change and food security all serve to show how the knowledge and skills that students learn will help them to shape their futures. The key themes studied at years 9, 10 and 11 are:

-          Health and Disease

-          Genetics

-          Microbiology

-          Ecology

Throughout the course practical work is used to develop students' skills in a way that helps understanding of theory and brings the subject alive in the classroom. Students will also develop their mathematical abilities to allow them to meet the rigour of the new GCSE course.

The course is suitable for all students regardless of whether or not they intend to carry on studying Science. The course does provide a sound preparation for study of GCE A level biology.

At Townley Grammar all students are entered for the GCSE Biology specification from the AQA examination board.

Assessment:

 

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of Year 11.

Paper 1

 

Topics:

-          Cell biology

-          Organisation

-          Infection and response

-          Bioenergetics.

Assessment consists of one written exam which lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. The paper consists of 100 marks and makes up 50% of the final GCSE grade. Questions will include multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response answers.

Paper 2

 

Topics:

-          Homeostasis and response

-          Inheritance, variation and evolution

-          Ecology. How it's assessed:

Assessment consists of one written exam which lasts 1 hour and 45 minutes. The paper consists of 100 marks and makes up 50% of the final GCSE grade. Questions will include multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response answers.

 

 

Key Stage 4 - GCSE Chemistry

 

All students start their GCSE course in year 9.

The chemistry specification is designed to help students understand how to formulate a scientific approach to understanding and explaining the world and solving problems. This means that the 'How Science Works' approach is integrated throughout the specification.

The specification is structured in a way that starts with the fundamental ideas in Chemistry, putting the building blocks in place. This enables students to develop an understanding of topics such as chemical structures and their properties, chemical reactions and how to analyse substances. The key themes studied at years 9, 10 and 11 are:

  • the nature of substances and how they react together

  • how Chemistry is used in business and industry

  • how our use of raw materials in fuels and manufacturing can affect the global and local environment

Throughout the course practical work is used to develop students' skills in a way that helps understanding of theory and brings the subject alive in the classroom.

The course is suitable for all students regardless of whether or not they intend to carry on studying Science. The course does provide a sound preparation for study of GCE A level chemistry.

At Townley Grammar all students are entered for the GCSE Chemistry A specification from the AQA examination board.

Assessment Structure:

 

The qualification is linear in that all the examinations occur at the end of year 11. There are four units which are assessed.

Unit 1: Chemistry 1 (25%)

 

C1.1 The fundamental ideas in chemistry

C1.2 Limestone and building materials

C1.3 Metals and their uses

C1.4 Crude oil and fuels

C1.5 Other useful substances from crude oil

C1.6 Plant oils and their uses

C1.7 Changes in the Earth and its atmosphere

  

Written paper – 1 hour consisting of 60 marks consisting of structured and closed questions, with at least one question assessing Quality of Written Communication in a science context.

Unit 2: Chemistry 2 (25%)

 

C2.1 Structure and bonding

C2.2 How structure influences the properties and uses of substances

C2.3 Atomic structure, analysis and quantitative chemistry

C2.4 Rates of reaction

C2.5 Exothermic and endothermic reactions

C2.6 Acids, bases and salts

C2.7 Electrolysis

 

Written paper – 1 hour consisting of 60 marks consisting of structured and closed questions, with at least one question assessing Quality of Written Communication in a science context.

Unit 3: Chemistry 3 (25%)

 

C3.1 The periodic table

C3.2 Water

C3.3 Calculating and explaining energy change

C3.4 Further analysis and quantitative chemistry

C3.5 The production of ammonia

C3.6 Alcohols, carboxylic acids and esters

 

Written paper – 1 hour consisting of 60 marks consisting of structured and closed questions, with at least one question assessing Quality of Written Communication in a science context.

Unit 4: Chemistry (25%)

 

Unit 4 is the controlled assessment or Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA); this consists of a practical activity, which is assessed by two written papers.

 

 

Key Stage 4 - GCSE Physics

 

GCSE Physics is a compulsory subject taken by every student from Year 9 to Year 11, with the 3 year course starting in Year 9. 

Assessment Structure:

 

Through the course the students will study the following topics:

1.   Forces 

2.   Energy 

3.   Waves 

4.   Electricity 

5.   Magnetism and electromagnetism 

6.   Particle model of matter 

7.   Atomic structure 

8.  Space physics 

 

GCSE Physics, AQA (8463) encourages students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of physics

  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of physics

  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills, both in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments

  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on physics through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

The specification is designed to give students the tools and concepts they need to be able to construct a scientific approach to solving problems. Students will learn to ask and answer questions about the fundamental laws that govern natural phenomena.

This qualification is linear. Linear means that students will sit all their exams at the end of the course. There are two papers each worth 50% of the final mark. Both papers are assessed by a mixture of Multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions. Each paper is 1 hour 45 minutes and is worth 100 marks.

Students will receive a grade ranging from 1 to 9 grade.

There is no longer any coursework instead the Science GCSE papers will contain a number of different types of question which will assess students’ practical skills and their understanding of practical techniques.

 

Key Stage 5 - A Level Biology

 

Having a deep understanding of Biology is becoming increasingly important as students develop into active global citizens. The rise of issues such as antibiotic resistance, climate change and food security all serve to show how the knowledge and skills that students learn will help them to shape their futures.

Over the course of the two years of study students will look at a range of units relating to the living world, allowing them to explain the environment in which they live and the impact that humans have upon it. This course can open doors to future careers in Medicine and Life Sciences as well as broadening understanding of the world around us.

Course Requirements:

 

In order to study biology you need a grade B in Biology at GCSE (or a grade A in Core Science and a grade A in Additional Science).

Resources:

 

Biology is taught at Townley Grammar by a team of well qualified and experienced biology subject specialists, who have a strong passion for their subject. Teaching mixes a range of practical, theoretical, research and problem solving approaches to provide students with a range of skills in well-equipped laboratories.

Skills:

 

The skills required are:

Planning – To select suitable apparatus and techniques, identify variables and evaluate experimental methods to solve problems in a practical context.

Implementation – To use a wide range of practical apparatus and techniques correctly and to present observations and data in an appropriate format.

Analysis – To process, analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative experimental results using appropriate mathematical skills.

Evaluation – To evaluate results and draw conclusions from practical experiments whilst identifying anomalies, limitations and measurements of precision and accuracy.

Course Content:

 

The course can be broken down into 6 identifiable modules.

  • Module 1 – Development of practical skills in biology

  • Module 2 – Foundations in biology

  • Module 3 – Exchange and transport

  • Module 4 – Biodiversity, evolution and disease

  • Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy

  • Module 6 – Genetics, evolution and ecosystems

 

 

Assessment Structure

 

A Level:

 

There are three externally assessed components which contain some synoptic assessment, some extended response questions and some stretch and challenge questions. Stretch and challenge questions are designed to allow the most able learners the opportunity to demonstrate the full extent of their knowledge and skills. Stretch and challenge questions will support the awarding of A* grade at A level, addressing the need for greater differentiation between the most able learners.

Biological Processes (37%):

This component is worth 100 marks, it is split into two sections and assesses content from teaching modules 1, 2, 3 and 5. Section A contains multiple choice questions. This section of the paper is worth 15 marks. Section B includes short answer question styles (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical) and extended response questions. This section of the paper is worth 85 marks.

Biological Diversity (37%):

This component is worth 100 marks, it is split into two sections and assesses content from teaching modules 1, 2, 4 and 6. Section A contains multiple choice questions. This section of the paper is worth 15 marks. Section B includes short answer question styles (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical) and extended response questions. This section of the paper is worth 85 marks.

Unified Biology (26%):

This component assesses content from across all teaching modules 1 to 6. This component is worth 70 marks. Question styles include short answer (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical) and extended response questions.

 Practical Endorsement:

Performance in this component is reported separately to the performance in the A level. This non-exam assessment component rewards the development of practical competency for biology and is teacher assessed. Learners complete a minimum of 12 assessed experiments covering the technical skills of Biology (together with the use of apparatus and practical techniques).

 

AS Level:

 

There are two papers at AS level of equal weighting, each worth 70 marks and lasting 90 minutes.

Breadth in Biology: Split into two sections

This component assesses content from across all teaching modules, 1–4. The component is worth 70 marks and is split into two sections and assesses content from all teaching modules. Learners answer all questions.

Section A contains multiple choice questions. This section of the paper is worth 20 marks.

Section B includes short answer question styles (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical). This section of the paper is worth 50 marks.

Depth in Biology:

This component assesses content from across all teaching modules, 1–4. Learners answer all questions. This component is worth 70 marks. Question styles include short answer (structured questions, problem solving, calculations, practical) and extended response questions.

Related Courses and Careers:

 

The skills that you develop as a Biologist are invaluable in helping you to deduce logical arguments, relate observations to conclusions and evaluate and improve on tasks. The huge variety of potential careers within Biology are too numerous to include here, so here are some of the more popular career fields. 

  • The Medical Field - Physician, Nurse, Chiropractor, Podiatrist, Exercise Physiologist, Nutritionist, Dietician, Pharmacist, Lab technician, Coroner, Forensic Scientist, Pathologist, Emergency Medical Technician.
  • Animal Science - Veterinarian, Vet Assistant, Zoologist, Marine Biologist, Wildlife Biologist, Fisheries Biologist, Animal Trainer.

  • Plant Life - Agricultural Research, Botanist, Forest Service, Soil Scientist, Horticulturist

Biology is also recognised as a facilitating subject by Russell Group Universities.

Key Stage 5 - A Level Chemistry

AS & A2 Chemistry Course Overview

 


(all Townley students will be sitting AS papers at the end of Yr12 )

Chemists requires good analytical, practical and problem solving skills. You will need the ability to communicate scientific ideas and concepts, as well as being able to be logical, analyse and interpret data.

A-level Chemistry is a good choice for students considering careers in the health and clinical professions, including medicine, veterinary science, nursing, dentistry and forensic science. Studying Chemistry will also prepare students for industry careers, such as those within the pharmaceutical or petrochemical sectors. From September, all students will be following the new OCR specification in Chemistry.


AS Chemistry:

 


Module 1: Development of practical skill


Development of practical skills – this module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills that students should develop throughout the course. The practical skills in this module can be assessed within written examinations and (for A Level only) within the Practical Endorsement.


Module 2: Foundations in Chemistry

Includes:

  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
  • Amount of substance
  • Acid–base and redox reactions
  • Electrons, bonding and structure

 

Module 3: Periodic Table and Energy

Includes:

  • The Periodic table and periodicity 
  • Group 2 and the halogens
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Enthalpy changes
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative).


Module 4: Core Organic Chemistry

Includes:

  • Basic concepts
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Alcohols and haloalkanes
  • Organic synthesis
  • Analytical techniques (IR, MS).


Students will sit Paper 1 and 2 at the end of AS

Paper 1 will test students in breadth
Paper 2 will test students in depth

For both papers, questions will come from ALL 4 MODULES

No practical endorsements are needed for AS exams. However, the students still need to gain experience in practicals in order to answers questions on paper 1 & 2.

 

 

A2 Chemistry Overview:

 


(Modules 1-4 taught in yr 12)

Module 1: Development of practical skill

Development of practical skills – this module underpins the whole of the specification, and covers the practical skills that students should develop throughout the course. The practical skills in this module can be assessed within written examinations and (for full A Level only) within the Practical Endorsement.


Module 2: Foundations in Chemistry

Includes:

  • Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations
  • Amount of substance
  • Acid–base and redox reactions
  • Electrons, bonding and structure

 

Module 3: Periodic Table and Energy

Includes:

  • The Periodic table and periodicity
  • Group 2 and the halogens
  • Qualitative analysis
  • Enthalpy changes
  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative).


Module 4: Core Organic Chemistry

Includes:

  • Basic concepts
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Alcohols and haloalkanes
  • Organic synthesis
  • Analytical techniques (IR, MS).

Module 5: Physical Chemistry and Transition Elements

Includes:

  • Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative)
  • pH and buffers
  • Enthalpy, entropy and free energy 
  • Redox and electrode potentials
  • Transition elements.


Module 6: Organic Chemistry and Analysis


Includes:

  • Aromatic compounds
  • Carbonyl compounds
  • Carboxylic acids and esters
  • Nitrogen compounds
  • Polymers
  • Organic synthesis
  • Chromatography and spectroscopy (NMR)

Key Stage 5 - A Level Physics

 

Physics explains how the Universe works in terms of fundamental laws. Physicists can explain and understand everything in the Universe from how stars are formed to why a tennis ball bounces. We study both chaotic and deterministic systems. Physics is everywhere and is used by all of us everyday. Our understanding of physics provides us with electricity, it ensures we can build safe buildings, it provides us with tools for medicine and healthcare, it enables us to communicate across the world and beyond. Physics is amazing and fun. Study of physics at A level prepares you for a range of potential careers and courses at university and is fundamental in preparing the next generation of scientists.

At Townley Grammar we study the AQA Physics Specification (7408)

Resources:

 

Physics is taught at Townley Grammar by a team of well qualified and experienced physics subject specialists, who have a strong passion for their subject. Teaching mixes a range of practical, theoretical, research and problem solving approaches to provide students with a range of skills in well-equipped laboratories.

Course Requirements:

 

In order to study physics you need a grade B in Physics at GCSE (or a grade A in Core Science and a grade A in Additional Science)

Skills:

 

Physics is fundamentally an experimental subject. This course provides numerous opportunities to use practical experiences to link theory to reality, and equip students with the essential practical skills they need. As well as learning about how the universe works, you'll get a broad training in skills that all employers value – an ability to grasp concepts quickly, a determination to find coherent answers, not to mention problem-solving, analytical, mathematical and IT skills.

Even if you don't end up working in a physics-related industry, these skills are still highly regarded. Studying physics is a good way of keeping your options open and earning a good salary.

Assessment Structure:

 

 A2: 

 

This qualification is linear, which means that students will sit all the A-level exams at the end of their A-level course in year 13.

The GCE A level course consists of the following core topics:

  1. Measurements and their errors;
  2. Particles and radiation;
  3. Waves;
  4. Mechanics and materials;
  5. Electricity;
  6. Mechanics and Thermal Physics

    6.1    Further mechanics;
    6.2    Thermal physics;

  7. Fields and their consequences;
  8. Nuclear physics.

In addition students study one of five options:

  • Astrophysics;
  • Medical physics;
  • Engineering physics;
  • Turning points in physics
  • Electronics.

Assessment is via three 2 hour papers.

Paper 1 (34% of A-level)

 

Covers Sections 1 to 5 and 6.1 (Periodic motion) and is assessed by a written exam of 2 hours. It is worth 85 marks (consisting of 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content)

Paper 2 (34% of A-level)

 

Assumes knowledge from Sections 1 to 6.1, it covers sections 6.2 – 8 and is assessed by a written exam of 2 hours. It is worth 85 marks (consisting of 60 marks of short and long answer questions and 25 multiple choice questions on content)

Paper 3 (32% of A-level)

 

Consists of two sections. Section A Compulsory section: Practical skills and data analysis and section B assesses students on their selected optional topic. This is again assessed by a written exam of 2 hours. It is worth 80 marks (consisting of 45 marks of short and long answer questions on practical experiments and data analysis and 35 marks of short and long answer questions on optional topic.)

There is no longer any coursework contributing to the assessment grade, however, practical skills are assessed by teachers (as a separate practical endorsement) and will be reported separately, alongside the qualification grade on your certificate.

 

AS Physics:

 

This course is common with topics 1-6.1 of the A level specification. The AS examination stands alone from the A level examination and does not contribute to the A level final grade.

Related Courses and Careers:

 

BSc. Degree in Physics, Physical Sciences and other related degree courses.

Recognised as a facilitating subject by Russell Group Universities for the following courses: Architecture, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Geology, Mathematics, Opthalmic Optics, Surveying and Teaching.

Future career paths include within science careers in Astronomy; Education; Engineering; Medicine; Meteorology and climate change; Nanotechnology; Oil and gas; Renewable energy; Scientific research ;Space exploration industries and Telecommunications to name a few of the possible areas. Physics graduates are particularly attractive to companies outside the scientific industries because of their skills in analysing information and solving complex problems, and their high levels of numeracy and computer literacy. Well paid careers can be found in the banking, insurance and accountancy sectors, as well as the software, computing and consultancy industries. Currently, nearly 20% of physics graduates go into business and finance professions, making it a very popular career path.

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