Patchway Community School

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Science



Science is taught in an interesting, practical way, in a happy working atmosphere.

The department is located in a suite of ten laboratories on three floors and includes an Advanced Level Laboratory.

The laboratories have recently been refurbished. We are also fortunate in having a well established conservation area, with several ponds, a small animal area and a large greenhouse plus potting shed. 

Wherever possible, use is made of the school grounds in general and the conservation area in particular. It is our aim to make the students aware of the community in which they live. 

Year 7

Year 7 students will begin their secondary science education by completing an transition project across all subjects, based on the idea of 'people, places, and me'. In science this will give students the skills and knowledge to understand their place in the universe, within the animal kingdom, and within their local community.

The whole year 7 curriculum is designed to provide students with the basic skills for working safely in a laboratory and being able to plan and deliver scientific investigations. We also focus on the key skills required for undertaking science at all levels – measuring, recording, interpreting, plotting, planning, analysing, and evaluating. Students spend year 7 working through several biology, chemistry or physics units, all focusing on content which will accelerate their progression into GCSE science. Regular formative and summative assessment allows staff, students and parents to keep a check on progress. 

Science topics covered in Year 7 are:

Identity: cells; DNA; variation; classification; using microscopes to look at cells; eyes and ears; senses; specialised cells.

Particles: solids, liquids, and gases; particle diagrams; elements, mixtures, and compounds; separating techniques; expansion and pressure; atomic structure.

Cells: plant cells; bacterial cells; specialised cells; chloroplasts and photosynthesis; cells, tissues, and organs.

Forces: contact and non-contact forces; balanced and unbalanced forces; mass and weight; vectors and scalars; Sir Isaac Newton; speed; acceleration; distance-time graphs; speed-time graphs; momentum

Chemical reactions: chemical and physical changes; representing reactions; acids and metals; acids and carbonates; neutralisation; testing for gases; exothermic and endothermic reactions; reversible reactions; combustion; rates of reaction.

Communication: properties of light; reflection, absorption, and refraction; telescopes and lenses; longitudinal and transverse waves; electromagnetic spectrum; wavelength and frequency; wave speed; sound waves; ultrasound and infrasound.

The Earth: gravity; the Earth's magnetic field; electromagnets; metals and non-metals; climate change; recycling; carbon cycle; displacement and the reactivity series of metals; structure of the Earth; the rock cycle.

Year 8

Students spend year 8 working through several biology, chemistry or physics units, all focusing on content which will accelerate their progression into GCSE science. Regular formative and summative assessment allows staff, students and parents to keep a check progress. There is also a “science week” and opportunities to complete practical work similar to that required for GCSE PAGs.

Year 8 students will begin by completing module on World War I in all subjects. In science this will give students a cultural understanding of the scientific developments of the early 20th century and will be contextualised within the themes of warfare, feeding the family, and medical advances.

Topics covered in Year 8 are

World War I: 

Warfare – alkali metals, group 7, energy transfers, kinetic energy, using hydrogen
Feeding the family – photosynthesis, fertilisers, food groups
Medical advances – heart, blood, circulatory system, parasites, disease transmission, Spanish flu, antibiotics, the menstrual cycle.

The periodic table: elements, symbols, metals and non-metals, mass numbers, Mendeleev, the Bohr model of the atom, sub-atomic particles, ions, ionic bonding, ionic compounds.

Photosynthesis and ecology: chlorophyll and chloroplasts, leaf structures, diffusion in cells, osmosis, producers and food webs, pyramids of number, pyramids of biomass, adaptations, sampling techniques, classification

Energy: types of energy, energy transfers, energy efficiency, energy diagrams, calorimetry, specific heat capacity, specific latent heat, renewable and non-renewable energy sources, work, power.

Body systems: cells and transport, the digestive system, enzymes, hormones, thermoregulation, the nervous system, reflexes, fertilisation.

Acids and alkalis: pH scale, acids and alkalis at home, indicators, neutralisation, titrations, acid and metals, hydroxides, carbonates, making salts.

Year 9

At KS4, our students follow the OCR Gateway 9 – 1 suite of GCSE Science courses with opportunities to study combined science (2 GCSEs) or triple science (3 GCSEs). 

All exams for all students are at the end of year 11, and care is taken to provide multiple opportunities for practice and mastery through the course to account for this. Combined science classes are taught by two teachers to cover content over three years, and triple science groups have three teachers, one per specialism.

In Year 9, students study topics from Biology Paper 1 and Chemistry Paper 1, as detailed below:

B1: Cell-level systems

Plant and animal cells, bacterial cells, microscopes, DNA, enzymes, respiration, photosynthesis

B2: Scaling up

Diffusion, osmosis, active transport, mitosis, differentiation, stem cells, circulatory system, heart and blood, plant transport, transpiration and translocation

B3: Organism-level systems

The nervous system, reflexes, the eye, the brain, hormones, feedback systems, reproduction, the menstrual cycle, plant hormones, homeostasis, the kidney

C1: Particles

Particle model, chemical and physical changes, atomic structure, isotopes and ions, developing the atomic model

C2: Elements, compounds, and mixtures

Relative formula mass, empirical formula, purity, separating substances, ionic bonding, covalent bonding, metallic bonding, polymers, developing the periodic table, carbon, bulk properties of materials, nanoparticles

C3: Chemical reactions

Conservation of mass, formulae of reactions, half equations, ionic equations, the mole and mole calculations, exothermic and endothermic reactions, calculating energy changes, redox reactions, acids, the pH scale, neutralisation reactions, electrolysis, electroplating.

Year 10

All exams for all students are at the end of year 11, and care is taken to provide multiple opportunities for practice and mastery through the course to account for this. Combined science classes are taught by two teachers to cover content over three years, and triple science groups have three teachers, one per specialism.

In Year 10, students study topics from Physics Papers 1 and 2, Biology Paper 2 and Chemistry Paper 2, as detailed below:

P1: Matter

The particle model, density, specific heat capacity, specific latent heat, pressure and temperature, floating and sinking.

P2: Forces

Calculating distance and speed, vectors and scalars, acceleration, distance-time graphs, velocity-time graphs, kinetic energy, equations of motion, free body force diagrams, Newton's three laws, momentum, work and power

P3: Electricity and Magnetism* 

(*for triple science these are two separate units)

Static electricity, electric current, potential difference, series and parallel circuits, resistance, LDRs and thermistors, sensing circuits, magnetic fields, electromagnetic induction, motors, generators, transformers, microphones and loudspeakers.

B4: Community-level systems

Ecosystems, abiotic and biotic factors, pyramids of biomass, decomposers, carbon cycle

B5: Genes, inheritance, and selection

Variation, sexual and asexual reproduction, meiosis, dominant and recessive alleles, mutations, natural selection, evidence for evolution, classification systems.

C4: Predicting and identifying reactions and products

Periodic table - transition metals, and groups 1, 7, and 0. Reactivity of elements and displacement.

Detecting gases, detecting cations**, detecting anions**, instrumental analysis**

C5: Monitoring and controlling chemical reactions

Yield and atom economy**, choosing a reaction pathway**, titrations, rate of reactions, catalysts, reversible reactions, equilibrium

(**triple science only)

P4: Waves and radioactivity* 

(*for triple science these are two separate units)

Waves and their properties, wave velocity, sound properties, electromagnetic waves, uses and dangers of electromagnetic radiation, atoms and isotopes, radioactive decay, half -life, nuclear fission, nuclear fusion

Year 11

All exams for all students are at the end of year 11, and care is taken to provide multiple opportunities for practice and mastery through the course to account for this. Combined science classes are taught by two teachers to cover content over three years, and triple science groups have three teachers, one per specialism.

In Year 11, students study topics from Physics Paper 2, Biology Paper 2 and Chemistry Paper 2, as detailed below:

B6: Global challenges in biology

Sampling techniques, loss of biodiversity, increasing and maintaining biodiversity, feeding the world, selective breeding, genetic engineering, biotechnology in farming, health and disease, spread of communicable disease, human infection, plant diseases, defense mechanisms, new medicines, non-communicable diseases, treating cardiovascular disease, modern advances in medicine.

C6: Global challenges in chemistry

Extracting metals, biological metal extraction, alloys, corrosion, composite materials, recycling materials, organic chemistry, polymers, forming the atmosphere, pollution, climate change, water for drinking

P5: Energy

Work done, energy stores and transfers, energy and power, paying for electricity, walls and insulation, energy efficiency

P6: Global challenges in physics

Everyday motion, reaction times, thinking distance and braking distance, collisions, energy sources, National Grid, mains electricity

The Big Bang**, our solar system**, satellites and orbits**, inside our planet**

(**triple science only)

Students also have opportunities to revise all topics from previous years to ensure they are fully prepared for terminal exams in May and June of Year 11.

Post 16

All students will take their A-Level exams at the end of year 13. At Advanced Level, we currently offer the courses offered by the OCR Board for Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

Depending on student numbers courses may be taught on a shared provision basis with one of our local partnership schools.

There is also the opportunity to take a Level 3 Cambridge Technical in Applied Science at KS5 which is predominantly coursework based, covering topics across the three science with a strong vocational focus.