Key Stage 3
The Key stage 3 Science course is designed to encourage pupils to be enthusiastic about Science by engaging them in a great deal of practical work. Pupils learn to be confident at handling scientific equipment e.g. the Bunsen burner in Year 7 and to evaluate any investigative work they complete. The pupils cover all the core elements of science needed to underpin their GCSE courses. Pupils are taught to think scientifically and make their own models to explain how science works e.g. modelling of how enzymes work in digestion in Year 8. Learning to draw graphs and analyse data is a key skill that is developed and pupils learn to look at data critically for any misrepresentation or bias. Pupils carry out mini-research projects and are asked to communicate their findings to the rest of the class e.g. the importance of the space shuttle to scientific research in Year 9. Pupils are encouraged to work both independently and in group work.
Students being presented with the Scottish Power Bright Sparks Award at the North West Big Bang Fair 2015.
Assessments take place at the end of each unit and there is an end of year exam in May. The following resources will help students to prepare independently for these assessments:
click on the REMOTE tab at the top of the screen
This takes you to a menu for accessing various resources:
RM Portico, log on with network username and password, click on RMShared then click on the Science folder then click on KS3 revision for:
– end of unit revision summaries
– past paper questions and mark schemes
Students should have been given a login to use this:
Click on Science then resources then KS3 Science
– there a lots of activities to try on each unit
Students may also find BBC Bitesize KS3 Science useful
Skills and Knowledge Checklist
Key Stage 4
Students who particularly enjoy science, including those students who have already decided that they will want to study A-level Sciences, can opt for Biology, Chemistry and Physics as separate subjects. Each subject will be graded separately at the end of year 11. All other students take Double Science where they combine the results of the three subjects and will be awarded two GCSE grades at the end of year 11. The majority of subject content is common to both routes of study, so that pupils can continue with further study at A-level no matter which route they have followed. All students have Biology, Chemistry and Physics lessons delivered by specialist science teachers.
Y10 GCSE Sciences specifications for 2016-2018:
Y11 GCSE Sciences specifications for 2016-2017:
Key Stage 5
Studying Physics at A level allows students to develop their understanding of key Physics principles in a range of interesting contexts. Students will have already come across some of the concepts of physics at GCSE: forces, energy, waves, radioactivity, electricity and magnetism. At A-level they develop their understanding of how these ideas work together, and begin to grasp the universal principles that apply to everything from the smallest atoms to the largest galaxies.
The lessons involve a lot of practical work, students use mathematical skills to solve problems and develop written and oral communication skills as they explain how the Universe works. Visits to workshops and lectures take place to give students the opportunity to see first-hand some of the applications of the physics they are studying and to hear about the latest discoveries from leading researchers in the field.
Assessment is by exams at the end of the first year to achieve an AS grade, or alternatively at the end of the second year to achieve the full A level. Students’ practical sessions during the course are assessed towards receiving the practical endorsement awarded at the end of the A level course.
A-level Physics specification:
AS and A’ Level Biology
Biology A-level enthuses and challenges students by expanding their knowledge of a wide range of cutting edge and more traditional biological topics. The AS and A’ Level courses are entirely co-teachable so all students will follow the AS course during Year 12, and we hope, will then continue to study the additional A’ Level content with us in Year 13.
The Year 12 content aims to give students a deep understanding of a range of topics starting with studying biological molecules and cells in the first term. This then expands into two topics: how organisms exchange their materials and genetic information, variation and inter-relationships.
At the end of Year 12 students attend our annual residential visit to Anglesey in which we apply fieldwork and statistical techniques whilst studying the terrestrial and marine life there – a fantastic way to introduce some of the content covered in Year 13.
Other topics covered in Year 13 include energy transfers and how organisms responding to changes in the environment. This is followed by ecology, evolution, genetics and the control of gene expression.
Biology, like all sciences, is a practical subject. Throughout the course you will carry out practical activities including: • using microscopes to see cell division • dissection of animal or plant systems • aseptic technique to study microbial growth • investigating activity within cells • investigating animal behaviours • investigating distributions of species in the environment. These practicals will give you the skills and confidence needed to investigate the way living things behave and work. It will also ensure that if you choose to study a Biology-based subject at university, you’ll have the practical skills needed to carry out successful experiments in your degree.
There are three exams at the end of the two years for A-level, all of which are two hours long. At least 15% of the marks for A-level Biology are based on what you learned in your practicals. The AS has two exams at the end of the year. Both are 1 hour 30 minutes long.
There is no coursework on this course. However, your performance during practicals will be assessed towards receiving the practical endorsement awarded at the end of the A level.
A-level Biology specification:
Further information regarding the course, including past papers and mark-schemes can be found at:
Careers information and Guidance
‘The ‘Careers in Biology – Live the dream’ information point can be found in C23 for guidance on post 16 courses, universities, work experience and careers. This will be updated at regular intervals so please drop-in. C23 will be open every Tuesday lunchtime when a member of the Biology team will be present to discuss options.
“If you enjoy GCSE Chemistry then you will enjoy A Level even more”
AS Chemistry ‘Gets to grips with the basics of Chemistry’.
AS Chemistry is a 1 year course co-teachable with year 1 of A level Chemistry.
Physical Chemistry: atomic structure, energetics and kinetics.
Inorganic Chemistry: The periodic table is examined in more detail and its logical structure becomes beautifully clear.
Organic Chemistry: There is an introduction to organic chemistry including, alkanes, alkenes, haloalkanes and alcohols. The environmental issues are considered from an understanding of the chemistry involved, for example, the destroying of the ozone layer.
Year 12 students completing a titration experiment.
A level Chemistry ‘Further develops concepts studied at AS’
A level Chemistry is a 2 year course.
Topics include: Physical Chemistry: Rate equations, equilibria, thermodynamics and pH.
Inorganic Chemistry: Electrode potentials and electrochemical cells, properties of period 3 elements, transition metal chemistry and reactions of ions in aqueous solutions.
Organic Chemistry: Optical isomerism, Aldehydes & ketones, carboxylic acids, amines, aromatic chemistry as well as biochemical molecules such as DNA and proteins are studied in detail as well as techniques for structure determination such as NMR.
Year 13 students completing a distillation experiment.
Paper 1 and Paper 2 paper will be taken at the end of Year 1 and will be the assessment for the AS-level only (these exams will not contribute to the A-level qualification taken at the end of the second year).
Paper 1, Paper 2 & Paper 3 will be taken at the end of Year 2 and will be the assessment for the A-level.
The exams will test content from both Year 1 & Year 2.
Practical Endorsement – ‘Chemistry is a practical subject’.
The theoretical aspects of the course are supplemented by a large number of practical activities which develop a wide range of practical skills. There is an emphasis on the relevance of Chemistry to everyday life and practical work includes making soap, nylon, food flavourings, aspirin and an anti-coagulant drug and explains why different materials behave in certain ways, for example why flubber has its unique properties.
Students complete 12 required practical activities to assess their practical skills and knowledge during the course. Students receive the practical endorsement certificate at the end of the 2 year A level course.
A-level Chemistry specification:
- Handbook and practical techniques booklets.
- Drop in sessions at lunchtimes.
- RM Portico resources to help with revision techniques / past paper questions.
- SKIL and revision sessions.
Young Analyst Competition.
- Chemistry Review & Education in Chemistry Magazines available to borrow in the Chemistry office.
Virtual Learning Environment (VLE)
Online resources are available via the school website by clicking on the Remote tab of the menu bar on the home page. Doddle contains a range of tasks to support learning of the essential points. RM Portico, accessible via the school website, gives access to the school network drive and the RMShared / Science folder for lesson resources, revision material and past exam papers.
We offer a wide range of project work, competitions and enrichment activities. There are opportunities for students to participate in a national schemes such as CREST Awards, the Young Analyst competition, Science Olympiads, Nuffield Bursaries, GO4SET and the Engineering Education Scheme. Sixth form students visit workplaces such as INEOS Chlor to see the links between science-based industries and the curriculum. They also have the opportunity to participate in fieldwork visits as part of their studies, e.g. to Daresbury laboratories and Anglesey.
Mr M Wise – Department Leader for Science,
Mrs K Brown (part time)
Mrs L Crimp (part time) (maternity leave)
Mrs H Darlington – Department Leader for Biology
Mrs E Dawson – Department Leader for Chemistry
Mr J Dowler – Head teacher
Mrs A James
Mr S Jankowski
Dr R Parkes
Dr M Ravetz
Mrs J Robinson – Sixth Form Year Leader
Mr L Rowland
Mr T Shipley – KS3 Science Co-ordinator
Mrs S Warburton – Deputy Head teacher
Mr R Whelan – Department Leader for Physics
Mrs C Wynne (part time)