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Science - Key Stage 3

Science at Key Stage 3 (years 7 to 9) places an emphasis on the processes of science as well as the accumulation of knowledge. The course has been updated in light of the changes to the key stage 3 curriculum that have just come into force.  It is divided into biology, physics and chemistry topics and the skills of science are taught alongside the teaching material. Emphasis is placed on the skills of discussing, hypothesising, planning, experimenting, recording, presenting, interpreting, applying and evaluating.

Pupils are taught in mixed ability classes in year seven and eight, whilst in year nine they are put into sets according to ability so that the teaching can be tailored to meet the requirements of the group. Regular tests and assessments are administered to ensure the progress of all pupils.

The end of the Key Stage 3 course comes in April of year nine when pupils will be given their End of Key Stage level.  The pupils will then begin the GCSE course and lessons will reflect the increased challenge and help them to build upon the skills needed for study during Key Stage 4.

Science - GCSE

Core Science

OCR Twenty First Century Science
GCSE Science A (J630)

The study of science is compulsory and forms part of the updated National Curriculum for science which all students in England are now studying. In common with nearly all schools, science is taught as a balanced subject and contains equal elements of Biology, Physics and Chemistry, separated into 9 modules.
All students except for those studying BTEC science must follow this course in conjunction with either Additional Science or Triple Science.

Students have the opportunity to opt for Triple Science if they wish to study separate courses in Biology, Physics or Chemistry which provide greater depth and challenge in those areas.
This specification is designed as the primary Science qualification for all candidates at KS4. It aims to enhance candidates' scientific literacy', leading to better engagement with science. The course is designed to enable candidates to:

  • recognise the impact of Science and technology on everyday life;
  • make informed personal decisions about issues and questions that involve science;
  • understand and reflect on the information included in (or omitted from) media reports and other sources of information.

To achieve this, candidates must have a broad understanding of the main scientific concepts that provide a framework for making sense of the world. These are referred to as 'Science Explanations'. Candidates also need to be able to reflect on scientific knowledge itself and the practices that have produced it, the kinds of reasoning that are used in developing a scientific argument, and the issues that arise when scientific knowledge is put to practical use. These are referred to as Ideas about Science'.

This specification comprises nine teaching modules which are assessed through a combination of examinations at the end of year 11 (worth a total of 75% of the final grade) and practical based controlled assessment done at an appropriate time during the 2 year course (worth 25%).

Additional Science

OCR Twenty First Century Science
GCSE Additional Science A (J631)

This specification, together with GCSE Science A (J630), aims to provide candidates with the scientific understanding needed to progress to further studies of science, should they choose to undertake them. Candidates should gain a deeper understanding of:

  • scientific explanations and models;
  • how these concepts can be applied to the benefit of humanity;
  • how scientists help to develop our understanding of ourselves and the world we inhabit.

The course is again divided equally between Biology, Physics and Chemistry. The modules are no more difficult than Core Science but they do provide the greater depth of knowledge required to continue studies in science.
This specification comprises nine teaching modules which are assessed through a combination of examinations at the end of year 11 (worth a total of 75% of the final grade) and practical based controlled assessment done at an appropriate time during the 2 year course (worth 25%).

Triple Science
OCR Twenty First Century Science

GCSE Biology A
GCSE Chemistry A
GCSE Physics A

Triple science is an option available to those students who are targeted to achieve at least level 6 by the end of Key Stage 3. It is a combination of three GCSEs in biology, physics and chemistry and is designed to provide the fullest coverage of these three subjects at key stage 4, including the entire compulsory programme of study for science. At the end of the course students will have the opportunity to gain three GCSE grades, one for each of the three subjects.
The courses cover a more extensive range of subject matter and provide the best preparation for entry to A-level in the respective subjects.

Each of the subjects further develops an understanding of science explanations, how science works and the study of elements of applied science, with particular relevance to professional scientists.
Students opting for triple science will initially cover exactly the same content covered in the core and additional science courses and sit the same examinations.   Then a further three modules will be examined (one for each of Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and each course will have a controlled assessment task of practical based work which will make up 25% of each grade obtained.

NOTE: It is not possible to study the individual sciences of biology, chemistry or physics. The current science options available are: Core science (compulsory except for BTEC science students) and Additional science, Triple science or BTEC science.
Further information is available from the head of department.

BTEC Science

Edexcel First Certificates in Principles of Applied Science and Applications of Science
BTEC qualifications are designed to provide specialist work-related qualifications in a range of sectors. They have been developed to provide the knowledge, understanding and skills necessary to prepare learners for employment. On successful completion of a BTEC First qualification, learners may progress into employment or continue their study in the vocational area.

The Edexcel Level 2 BTEC First Certificates are qualifications which offer a bite-sized opportunity for learners to experience a vocational science qualification. They are qualifications for learners who wish to follow a programme of study related to an aspect of employment that they might wish to move into. It will also enable learners to progress to a higher level qualification relevant to the sector.
These courses provide full coverage of the statutory requirement for science and would mean that the student would not follow the compulsory Core Science GCSE mentioned earlier. On successful completion of the course students would gain the equivalent of two GCSEs.

The course is split into two parts:
In Year 10 the pupils study the Principles of applied science course and in Year 11 they study the Application of science course.

The two courses will be assessed in a variety of ways, including case studies, assignments and work-based assessments, along with projects, performance observation and time-constrained assessments. A final examination at the end of each year will make up 25% of the grade obtained.

Science - A Level

For more information please see the document downloads on the Sixth Form section of our site

Science - Useful Links