Science Faculty

Year 7 and 8 students follow the National Curriculum based upon the AQA KS3 scheme of work. Students are encouraged to develop scientific skills to gain an understanding of science through inquisition and discovery. Regular assessment using end of unit quizzes and 6 mark questions in addition to quantitative assessments spread throughout the year, are used to monitor the progress students make. This allows intervention to be targeted at students who most need it.

In Year 9, students enter KS4 and begin studying the AQA GCSE Combined Science ‘synergy’ scheme of work. This provides students with a broad approach to science helping them to make links between the different branches of the subject. The progress of students is assessed throughout the year with topic tests and two whole year assessments.  

In Year 10, students who have shown sufficient aptitude for science can choose to follow the AQA Separate Sciences curriculum, allowing them to obtain individual GCSE Biology, Chemistry and Physics grades. Students continue to study either Combined Science or Separate Sciences throughout Year 11.  

In Year 11, the Science Faculty undertakes an intervention programme where students are selected to spend one tutor time each week working in groups with a science teacher.  This can be to support students who are underachieving or to challenge those who we believe are able to further excel in the subject.

A brief overview of the topics covered by the faculty in Key Stage 3

Science

Year 7

Year 8

Forces

Organisms

Energy

Matter

Reactions

Genes

Ecosystems

Electricity and magnetism

Earth

Forces

Organisms

Waves

Matter

Energy

Reactions

Genes

Ecosystems

Earth

 

Courses currently offered by the faculty in Key Stage 4

Combined ‘Synergy’ Science

AQA GCSE COMBINED SCIENCE: SYNERGY (8465)

Combined science is divided in to two sections.  Each section is delivered by a different teacher. Both sections include topics that draw together and apply key concepts. Examples in Life and environmental sciences include Radiation and risk and The Earth’s atmosphere. In these topics, earlier work on atomic structure, waves and electromagnetic radiation is used to explain the effects of different types of radiation on human tissues and on the climate. An example in Physical sciences is Resources of materials and energy, which introduces life cycle assessment as a way of evaluating the impacts of using materials and energy to manufacture useful products.

Course structure

Life Sciences

Building blocks

  • States of matter
  • Atomic structure
  • Cells in animals and plants
  • Waves

Transport over larger distances

  • Systems in the human body
  • Plants and photosynthesis

Interaction with the environment

  • Lifestyle and heath
  • Radiation and risk
  • Preventing, treating and curing diseases

Explaining change

  • The Earth’s atmosphere
  • Ecosystems and biodiversity
  • Inheritance, variation, and evolution.

Required practical

  • Measuring the density of a solid object and of a liquid
  • Measuring specific heat capacity
  • Looking at cells
  • Investigating osmosis in plant
  • Measuring the speed of ripples and investigating waves on a stretched string
  • Testing absorption and emission of infrared radiation by different surfaces
  • Food tests
  • Measuring reaction times
  • Chromatography and finding Rf values
  • Light intensity and rate of photosynthesis
  • Analysis and purification of water samples
  • Measuring population size and using sampling techniques to investigate the effect of a factor on distribution of a species

The content in life sciences will be assessed in Paper 1 and 2 of the exams at the end of year 11

Physical Sciences

Building blocks

  • The periodic table
  • Chemical quantities

Interactions over small and large distances

  • Forces and energy changes
  • Structure and bonding
  • Magnetism and electromagnetism

Movement and interaction

  • Forces and motion
  • Electricity
  • Acids and alkalis
  • The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Atoms and ion

Guiding spaceship Earth towards a sustainable future

  • Carbon chemistry
  • Resources of materials and energy

Required practical

  • Stretch tests
  • Investigating forces and acceleration
  • Investigating different components
  • How does the resistance of a wire depend on its length?
  • Testing resistors in series and parallel
  • Making a copper salt
  • Making a salt from a metal carbonate
  • Investigating temperature changes
  • Concentration and rate of reaction
  • The effect of pH on the rate of reaction of amylase
  • Investigating the electrolysis of a solution

The content in physical sciences will be assessed in Paper 3 and 4 of the exams at the end of year 11

Exam board specification link

 

Separate sciences

AQA GCSE BIOLOGY (8461)

The GCSE specification in biology enables students to:

• develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding of biology

• develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of biology through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them • 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 biology through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Course structure

Content to be examined in paper 1

  • Cell biology
  • Photosynthesis
  • Moving and changing materials
  • Health matters

Content to be examined in paper 1 although some of this content may appear in paper 2

Content to be examined in paper 2

  • Coordination and control
  • Genetics
  • Variation and evolution
  • Ecology in action

Content to be examined in paper 2 although some of this content may appear in paper 1

Exam board specification link

 

AQA GCSE CHEMISTRY (8462)

The GCSE specification in chemistry  enables students to:

• develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through chemistry

• develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them • 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 chemistry through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

Course structure

Content to be examined in paper 1

  •  Atomic structure and the periodic table
  • Structure, bonding and the properties of matter
  • Chemical quantities and calculations
  • Chemical changes
  • Energy changes

Content to be examined in paper 1 although some of this content may appear in paper 2

Content to be examined in paper 2

  •  The rate and extent of chemical change
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Chemical analysis
  • The atmosphere
  • Sustainable development

Content to be examined in paper 2 although some of this content may appear in paper 1

Exam board specification link

 

AQA GCSE PHYSICS (8463)

GCSE specifications in Physics should enable 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.

Course structure

Content to be examined in paper 1

  • Energy
  • Electricity
  • Particle model of matter
  • Atomic structure

Content to be examined in paper 1 although some of this content may appear in paper 2

Content to be examined in paper 2

  • Forces
  • Waves
  • Electromagnetism
  • Space

Content to be examined in paper 2 although some of this content may appear in paper 1

Exam board specification link

 

 

 

Science Staff

Miss C Pitts

Assistant Faculty Leader
cpitts@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr A Mushing

Science ITT Tutor
amushing@avovnalleyschool.uk

Mr I Goldthorp

Teacher of Science
igoldthorp@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr G Massey

Biologist
gmassey@avonvalleyschool.uk

Mr A Thomas

Physicist
athomas@avonvalleyschool.uk

Miss R Spencer-Woodcock

Chemist
rspencer-woodcock@avonvalleyschool.uk

Ms K Cockerill

Head Technician
kcockerill@avonvalleyschool.uk

Ms M Macdonald

Science Technician
mmacdonald@avonvalleyschool.uk

L Cooper

Faculty Leader
lcopper@avonvalleyschool.uk

Ms S Chaplin

Teacher of Science
sdavis@avonvalleyschool.uk