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Science

The Science Department prides itself on excellent GCSE results. Pupils regularly exceed their computer based predictions and over 95% of pupils go on to study at least one A Level in Science.

Understanding Science makes everything—a walk in the woods, reading a newspaper, or watching the news on TV, a family visit to a science museum or beach—more interesting. It helps us to make sense of the world.

A wide diversity of careers exists in which Science is used. They range from the expected— Science Teacher, Vet or Forensics Technician, to the adventurous—Astronaut, Deep-cave Explorer, and Oceanographer—and to the offbeat—Rollercoaster Designer, Perfumer, and Sport Biomechanist.

Tabs

KS3

In Years 7 and 8, students study a broad and balanced Science curriculum based on the national curriculum but developed by staff at TGS.  They will have 4/5 lessons a week, usually with the same teacher.  Throughout both years they will study a mixture of Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics with a strong emphasis on practical skills. We aim to encourage our younger students to enjoy their Science and be confident and safe when designing and carrying out experiments.

 

At the end of each topic, there is a test to assess knowledge and understanding.  The students will also have 2 larger exams, in November and June which covers more than one topic.

 

Year 7

  • Scientific skills
  • Food and nutrition
  • Forces
  • Life
  • Separating
  • Fuels
  • Light and sound

 

Year 8

  • Digestion
  • Elements
  • Electricity
  • Circulatory system
  • Reactions
  • Breathing
  • Energy
  • Acids and alkalis
  • Reproduction

 

Year 9

For the students in Year 9, they have a double lesson each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics every week.  Often they may have different teachers for each subject.  They study KS3 topics for the first term and after Christmas start to study the GCSE syllabus.  These are the KS3 topics they will study.

BIOLOGY

CHEMISTRY

PHYSICS

Classification

Cooking as a chemical change

Speed

Looking at plants

Food additives

Pressure

Introduction to genetics

Naming compounds and understanding equations

Forces and moments

 

Rocks

Space

GCSE - Combined and Triple Science

Course Outline

All pupils will follow the OCR Gateway Science A (9 to 1) but can choose to take either:

i) ‘Combined Science’ which results in 2 (double award) GCSEs

OR

ii) 3 separate sciences which results in 3 GCSEs, one in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. All 3 sciences must be taken, there is no opportunity to study 2 out of the 3.

We would strongly recommend that any pupil considering taking any A Level Science does opt for the triple Science. This is especially important if Chemistry or Physics at A Level is a consideration. If you expect to take 3 separate sciences at A Level or to be a Vet or a Doctor then separate sciences are a must!

Pupils will take the following topics. Combined Science pupils will study a reduced proportion of the content of each topic.

BIOLOGY

B1: Cell level systems

B2: Scaling up

B3: Organism level systems

B4: Community level systems

B5: Interaction between systems

B6: Global challenges

CHEMISTRY

C1: Particles

C2: Elements, compounds and mixtures

C3: Chemical reactions

C4: Predicting and identifying reactions and products

C5: Monitoring and controlling chemical reactions

C6: Global challenges

PHYSICS

P1: Matter

P2: Forces

P3: Electricity

P4: Magnetism and magnetic fields

P5: Waves in matter

P6: Radioactive decay – waves and particles

P7: Energy

P8: Global challenges

 

Assessment Information

GCSE COMBINED SCIENCE (end of Year 11) – worth 2 GCSEs:

2 x 1 hour 10 min papers in each of Biology, Physics and Chemistry. Each exam is worth 16.7%. Maths content of the papers will be 20%.

Practical assessment taken in normal lessons will consist of a minimum of 16 practicals across the 3 subjects. Practical techniques will be assessed as 15% of the written exams.

 

GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics (end of Year 11) – worth 3 GCSEs:

2 x 1 hour 45 minute exams in each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Each exam is worth 50% of the GCSE in each subject. Maths content in Biology is 10%, Chemistry is 20% and Physics is 30%.

Practical assessment taken in normal lessons will consist of a minimum of 8 practicals in each science. Practical techniques will be assessed as 15% of the written exams.

Physics A Level

 

Course Outline

How can things be in two places at once? Is time travel possible? What are the most fundamental building blocks of the universe? How do every day machines work? The world is a bewilderingly complex place but, amazingly, it can be understood by using a small number of fundamental principles, particles and forces that govern their interactions. Physics is the study of these principles.

You will find that Physics is truly all around you, in your ipod or mobile phone, in the stars you see at night and the sport that you watch on television. The skills that you can expect to develop are: analytical, mathematical, practical, social and ethical, all of which are increasingly sought after and will make you an attractive proposition for both universities and employers. Physics trains you to understand and interpret scientific information, to process data and solve problems. It develops your practical skills and encourages imagination and also common sense. You learn to analyse, build mental pictures, propose theories and to be critical.

Year 12

To a large extent, Physics in Year 12 begins by covering much the same subject matter as most GCSE courses, but the treatment is deeper, more rigorous and challenging. We study the equations of motion, properties of materials, electricity and circuits and then move on to study the very bizarre nature of the quantum world and the photoelectric effect.

 

Year 13

In Year 13, the content broadens considerably and we study a number of topics that are at the cutting edge of Physics research. We will study the quark model of matter, follow the most recent findings of the research at CERN and discover some of the secrets of the formation of the universe. Physics is a challenging and interesting subject which will help you to understand the world and universe around you! A-level Physics is also an important qualification for many careers. Some students go on to study Physics at university. This may lead to a career in research and development, either in a university or in industry. Perhaps the majority of those who study A Level Physics do so in order to apply their physics knowledge in another subject area at university. Examples of this are the many branches of engineering, electronics and meteorology. For these careers, A Level Physics is essential. Other students choose to study Physics because they feel that it will be useful even if not essential for their career for example, medicine or biochemistry. The remainder are going to follow a career in a completely unrelated area such as Law or Accountancy. This group of students may have chosen Physics simply because they enjoy it or because they know that it is highly regarded by universities as a test of problem-solving ability and logical thought.

Biology A Level

Course Outline

Biology is the study of how animals, plants and micro-organisms work, as well as how they interact with their environment. Have you ever wondered how the body fights disease or why DNA is such an important molecule? Have you known someone with a genetic disorder or enjoyed the diversity of life on a safari or when scuba diving? A level Biology can help you find out more about these and other questions about your body or the natural world. Biology introduces a vast array of sophisticated scientific terminology from phylogeny to operon, to eukaryotae to apoplastic! A love of words is therefore a useful pre-requisite.

Biology can lead to further study in areas as diverse as Marine Biology, Genetics, Physiology, Micro-Biology or Biochemistry. Future careers are wide and varied but include all aspects of work in hospitals from doctor to speech therapist to lab assistant. Research, forensics, teaching and biotechnology are all possible.

Year 12

The first weeks of Year 12 re-examine the structure and function of cells, building on the simple models studied at GCSE. During the first unit we will also build models of organic molecules to help you work out why molecules such as DNA and cellulose behave in the way they do. Later on in the year we will cover physiology in animals and plants with particular focus on the breathing and circulatory systems. We will also look at the detail of immunity and why biodiversity is so important to our survival.

Year 13

The physiology covered in Year 13 covers the working of the nervous system, liver and kidney. You will try modern techniques of electrophoresis (used in genetic engineering) and tissue culture to clone cauliflowers. Genetic inheritance is covered with the help of computer simulations about drosophila. Biochemistry of the 2 most important reactions for life (respiration and photosynthesis) followed by ecosystems finish off this well balanced course

Practical Endorsement

Practical skills are assessed over the 2 years. There are 12 assessment groups covering techniques such as microscopy, chromatography and microbiology. Students must demonstrate competence in skills such as safe use of equipment, making accurate observations and controlling variables. This is certified separately to the A Level as a pass or fail.

Assessment

This is through written examinations. 10% of the exams will be Maths based and 15% based on practical work. Application of knowledge and skills rather than direct recall forms the rest of the papers.

Chemistry A Level

Course Outline

Chemistry is the study of materials and their properties. This subject aims to teach students about the world around them, from the tiny atoms which act as the building blocks of matter to macromolecules such as proteins, polymers and plastics. Students learn about specialised laboratory preparation methods and industrial-scale manufacturing processes and will be asked to solve problems using theoretical concepts and laboratory-based practical work.

A qualification in Chemistry could lead to the study of Chemistry, another science or related subjects, or work in a science-based industry such as chemical engineering, materials science or biotechnology. It is essential for the medical field, veterinary science, pharmacy and environmental science. Potential employers value the analytical and conceptual skills that are developed during the study of Chemistry. Such skills, coupled with an ability to work in a meticulous and accurate manner, enable Chemistry students to pursue careers within, or outside the vast arena of Science.

Year 12

The Year 12 course begins by re-examining the structure of the atom to introduce a more developed model than that encountered at GCSE level. This leads onto a study of structure and bonding which can be used to explain trends and patterns in the properties of the elements of the periodic table. Students consider more complex situations and ideas including organic nomenclature and reactions, factors affecting reaction rates, chemical equilibria and how ‘green’ certain chemical processes are. At this level, practical skills will now be assessed within questions on the mandatory written examination papers, so there is no longer any coursework assessment.

Year 13

The Year 13 course builds upon the concepts that are taught within Year 12 to refine and develop the ideas raised, often using more quantitative methods. One of the Year 13 modules involves the study of advanced organic concepts, together with polymerisation reactions and an overview of analytical methods. The other Year 13 module deals with the use of mathematics and formulae to solve problems relating to rate, equilibria and elements. The Year 13 modules are synoptic and will aim to assess skills developed throughout both years of the course. The grade achieved at this level will be reported alongside a separate practical endorsement which is based upon a demonstration of competence in a range of laboratory based practical work.

Assessment is through mandatory written papers.

A practical endorsement is also reported upon for students at A Level.

OCR Specification A (H032 AS / H432 A2).