SCIENCE

INTRODUCTION

Science at Wright Robinson college aims to engage, challenge, inspire and enthuse students to develop independence, curiosity and resilience, whilst developing an understanding of how science underpins everything around us.

1. WHAT WILL I STUDY?

Science is a well-equipped department with modern, purpose built laboratories, as well as extensive practical and technical equipment. Across both Key Stage 3 and 4 our students have the chance to explore and develop a wide range of scientific skills across the three specialisms of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

For many students, Year 7 is the first time they have experienced working in a laboratory. This opens up a new level of scientific exploration and curiosity for them. Within their first half term, students learn how to effectively conduct a full investigation considering the risks involved and how to conduct practical lessons safely. These skills are developed alongside scientific knowledge of the core principles of science, giving students strong foundations on which to build.

Across Year 8 and 9, the skills and scientific knowledge acquired in previous years continue to be developed with progressively more complex scientific concepts being introduced. By the time students reach the end of KS3 students will have developed deeper scientific knowledge to allow them to explain phenomena in the natural world around us by linking key concepts and understanding the interaction of the three science disciplines. Students will also have honed a multitude of skills that will prepare them for their scientific studies at KS4.

At KS4, students complete a GCSE program of study. At Wright Robinson College we offer both GCSE Combined Science (Edexcel) which results in students being awarded 2 science GCSE’s at the end of year 11, and Triple Science (Edexcel) which results in the award of three individual GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Whilst studying the GCSE program of study, students are able to utilise the skills developed during KS3 to conduct a series of core practical investigations alongside other practical work designed to help students consolidate their theory based learning and develop an appreciation of the importance of scientific enquiry for advancements in scientific developments and understanding such as the development of new vaccines or potential solutions to climate change.

2. CURRICULUM IN YEAR 7

CURRICULUM IN YEAR 7

During year 7 students develop an understanding of the core principles that underpin science to build a solid base of scientific knowledge from which they can build more complex scientific knowledge over their time at the college.

 

7.1 Working Scientifically
For many students this will be their first experience of working in a Science laboratory. This unit provides an introduction to conducting successful scientific investigations within a science lab to gain accurate and valid results in a safe manner.

 

Topics covered:
Lab safety – Measurements and units – Lab equipment – Variables – Observations – Graph skills – Interpreting data

 

7.2 Forces and energy
During this unit students are introduced to the concept of forces acting upon objects and are challenged to consider the effect of forces on objects.

 

Topics covered:
Forces – Friction – Speed – Stopping Distances

 

7.3 Particles

During this unit students are introduced to the concept that all matter exists as particles and that it is the interaction between these particles that determines the state of matter that a substance exists at. Students then move on to consider the difference between pure and impure substances, what a mixture is and methods by which mixtures can be separated.

 

Topics covered:
Solids, liquids and gases – Changes of state – Diffusion – Pure Substances – Mixtures – Separating techniques

 

7.4 The Cellular Basis of Life
During this unit students are introduced to principle of cells as a building block for living organisms. They are introduced to microscopes to allow them to understand the fundamental impact that this discovery has had on our understanding of the world around us. Having learned about sub cellular organelles and been introduced to animal cells, plant cells and different examples of specialised cells, students learn how cells interact to form tissues, organs, organ systems and eventually full organisms.

 

Topics covered:
Microscopes – Cells – Diffusion and the cell membrane – Organ Systems

 

7.5 Heating and Cooling
During this unit students are introduced to the different energy stores and the methods by which energy can be transferred. Students are then introduced to temperature as means by which thermal energy is measured and progress to learning about different methods of thermal energy transfer.

 

Topics covered:

Energy stores and transfers – Measuring temperature – Heating and cooling – Conduction – Convection – Radiation

 

7.6 Chemical reactions

Building on their previous learning about particles, students are introduced to the concept of atoms and the periodic table. Students are taught to distinguish between elements and compounds and are introduced to the idea that chemical reactions involve the rearrangement of atoms in reactants to form products. Students are then introduced to simple chemical reactions such as combustion, incomplete combustion and acids and alkalis

 

Topics Covered:

Atoms and the periodic table – Elements – Compounds – Combustion and Incomplete Combustion – Acids and Alkalis – Indicators – Neutralisation

 

7.7 Growth and reproduction

Building on their previous learning about cells and organ systems, students are introduced to methods by which living organisms are able to reproduce. They are required to apply their understanding of cells to the concept that reproduction is the result of the joining of sex cells to create a new organism. Students will also apply their understanding or organ systems to explaining the roles of the organs of both human and plant reproductive systems to producing new life.

 

Topics Covered:

Growth and Life cycles – Reproductive organs – Puberty – How does life start – Pregnancy and birth – Contraception – Reproduction in plants – Pollination – Seed formation and dispersal

3. CURRICULUM IN YEAR 8

CURRICULUM IN YEAR 8

As students move into Year 8 they are required to apply their understanding of the core principles of science to progressively more complex scientific concepts.

 

8.1 Health and Disease

During this unit students are required to consider a number of factors that contribute to health. Students consider the importance of a balanced diet, how food is digested and the chemical reactions involved in the digestion of food in the presence of enzymes that provide that body with the raw material needed for growth survival. Students also consider the effects of drugs and pathogens on the body and the means by which the body defends itself against disease.

 

Topics covered:
What is health? – Balanced diets – Energy in food – The digestive system – Enzymes – Effects of drugs – Pathogens – Defence against disease.

 

8.2 Sound and Light

During this unit students are introduced to different types of wave and how they transfer energy. Students study sound waves and light and investigate how they interact in different situations. Students then apply their understanding of light and sound waves to explaining how lenses, the eye and the ear work.

 

Topics covered:
Types of wave – Sound waves – The Ear – Light – Reflection – Refraction – Visible Spectrum – Lenses – The Eye

 

8.3 Earth Chemistry

During this unit students consider the composition of the atmosphere, how it has changed over time and the chemical reactions and processes that have led to these changes. Students learn about the interaction of different state changes in the water cycle and the chemical reactions that contribute to the carbon cycle. Students are then required to consider the impact that human activity has on the fine balance of these cycles, the potential long term consequences and potential ways by which we can overcome the impact that humans are having.

 

Topics covered:
Changing atmosphere – Water cycle – Potable Water – Fossil Fuels – The carbon cycle – Human impact on the environment – Climate change – Plastics and recycling

 

 

8.4 Ecosystems and Interdependence

During Year 7 students will have learned about the concept that different specialised cells have adaptations to allow them to carry out their function effectively. During this unit, students apply this concept to whole organisms and consider the impact that adaptations have on an organisms survival both in different environments and for surviving predators / successfully hunting prey. Students consider energy flow through food chains and identify energy transfers that take place. Students learn about different ways by which food chains can be disrupted and apply their understanding to deducing the potential impact on populations.

 

Topics covered:
Adaptations – Predator and Prey – Food chains – Pyramids of biomass – Biodiversity – Endangered species – Conservation – Deforestation – Food security

 

8.5 Space and the Solar System
During the Space and the Solar system unit, students will learn about the composition of the solar system and use their existing scientific knowledge of forces to understand how gravity is a force of attraction acting between matter, how gravity varies on different planets and to understand pressure as a force. Students will also be introduced to methods by which scientists explore space to learn about the solar system in which we exist.

 

Topics covered:
Space and the solar system – Exploring Space – Gravity, mass and Weight – Forces and their effects – Pressure

 

8.6 Rocks and other materials

Having considered the composition of the Solar System and Earths position within the Solar system, during this unit students will focus purely on the Earth and its structure considering the structure of Earth as planet, how different rock types are formed and the impact of chemical weathering as a result of the chemical reactions caused by acid rain.

 

Topics covered:
Structure of the Earth – Rock types and their formation – Rock Cycle – Acid rain and chemical weathering

4. CURRICULUM IN YEAR 9

CURRICULUM IN YEAR 9

As students progress into Year 9 increased focus is placed on linking scientific concepts and understanding the interplay between the different scientific disciplines in preparation for progression into KS4.

 

9.1 How do we see?

During Year 8, students learned about how light travels and the phenomena of reflection and refraction. During this unit students learn about the visible spectrum and apply their prior scientific knowledge of reflection to explaining the interaction of different colours of light with objects and filters to allow us to see in colour. Students will study the structure of the eye and apply their scientific knowledge of refraction to explaining how both the eye and lenses refract light to create clear images.

 

Topics covered:
Visible spectrum – Seeing in Colour – Lenses – The eye.

 

9.2 Environmental Cycles
During this unit students are required to use their prior scientific knowledge of changes of state and chemical reactions to explain how potable water is obtained, the interaction of key processes in the carbon cycle and the ways by which humans are disrupting the carbon cycle to bring about climate change.

 

Topics covered:
Potable water and desalination – Distillation – Carbon cycle – Climate Change

 

9.3 Inheritance and Variation

During this unit, students build on their understanding of the role of the nucleus and the processes of reproduction to build a scientific understanding of DNA as the basis of inheritance in living organisms. Students will consider variation causes as a result of both inheritance and environmental factors and use this understanding to explain how variation and the resulting adaptations of organism has led to the evolution of organisms over time. Students will also learn about the potential causes of extinction and measures by which biodiversity can be protected.

 

Topics covered:
DNA and its discovery – Inheritance – Variation – Evolution – Fossils – Extinction – Maintaining Biodiversity

 

9.4 The Periodic Table

During this unit students build on their understanding of atoms to build their scientific knowledge of the structure of an atom and how our understanding of the structure of the atom was developed. Students are then required to apply their understanding of atomic structure to explaining patterns in the reactivity of groups in the periodic table

 

Topics covered:
Structure of the Atom – Atomic Models – Isotopes  -Electronic configuration – Group 1/7/0 – Reactivity series – Displacement reactions – Extracting metals

 

9.5 Electricity and Magnetism

During this unit students are introduced to different methods of generating electricity and are required to evaluate the advantages and disadvantages of different methods. Students will develop an understanding of circuits, electrical current and voltage and will consider electrical work and power developing an understanding of how domestics electricity bills are calculated.

 

Topics covered:

Renewable and non renewable energy resources – Circuits – Current, voltage and resistance – Electrical work – Electrical power – Magnetic fields – Electromagnets.

 

9.6 More Chemical Reactions

During this unit students will build on the prior scientific knowledge of chemical reactions to learn about more complex chemical reactions such as the reactions of acids with metals, metal oxides and metal carbonates, thermal decomposition and oxidation. Students will also link their understanding of energy transfers to explaining endothermic and exothermic reactions.

 

Topics Covered:
Conservation of mass – Equations – Balancing equations – Reactions of acids – Indicators – Neutralisation – Thermal decomposition – Oxidation – Endothermic and exothermic reactions

 

9.7 Biochemistry

During this unit students will link their scientific knowledge of plants as organisms and their understanding of chemical reactions to explain the process of photosynthesis and the factors that affect its rate. Students will also consider the impact of eutrophication, why it occurs and the impact that it can have on ecosystems.

 

Topics Covered:
Photosynthesis – Limiting factors – Controlling photosynthesis – Investigating photosynthesis – Eutrophication – Leaf structure – Transpiration – Translocation

 

9.8 Forces

During this unit students build on their prior scientific knowledge of speed to interpreting distance-time and velocity-time graphs. Students will also investigate forces acting on a spring to develop an understanding of Hookes law and will consider moments as a turning force.

 

Topics Covered:
Calculating speed – Distance-time graphs – Velocity-Time graphs – Motion – Energy transfers – Kinetic and gravitational energy – Forces acting on a spring – Moments

5. CURRICULUM IN YEAR 10 & YEAR 11- COMBINED SCIENCE

CURRICULUM IN YEAR 10 and 11 – COMBINED SCIENCE

The combined science course consists of six externally examined papers. These are available at foundation tier and higher tier. Each paper is marked out of 60 and lasts 1h10. Students will also complete 18 core practical investigations which are worth 25% of the overall grade (these are examined within the 1h10 papers). The grades awarded are cumulative so average to give the student two overall grades in science.
Within science lessons through years 10-11, students will complete a series of low stakes 10 mark checkpoints which focus on memory recall and will also complete end of unit examinations to evaluate their long term memory and establish understanding of key skills / concepts.

 

The course consists of the following:

Biology paper 1:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology,
• Topic 2 – Cells and control,
• Topic 3 – Genetics,
• Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification,
• Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines

Chemistry paper 1:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry,
• Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures,
• Topic 3 – Chemical changes,
• Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria

Physics paper 1:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics,
• Topic 2 – Motion and forces,
• Topic 3 – Conservation of energy,
• Topic 4 – Waves,
• Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum,
• Topic 6 – Radioactivity

 

Biology paper 2:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology,
• Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions,
• Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis,
• Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals,
• Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

Chemistry paper 2:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry,
• Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table,
• Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes,
• Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science

Physics paper 2:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics,
• Topic 8 – Energy – Forces doing work,
• Topic 9 – Forces and their effects,
• Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits,
• Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect,
• Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction,
• Topic 14 – Particle model,
• Topic 15 – Forces and matter

6. TRIPLE BIOLOGY YEAR 10 & 11

TRIPLE BIOLOGY YEAR 10 & 11

Outlined below is the key course content for triple Biology. Within science lessons through years 10-11, students will complete a series of low stakes 10 mark checkpoints which focus on memory recall and will also complete end of unit examinations to evaluate their long term memory and establish understanding of key skills / concepts.

Biology

Biology consists of two externally-examined papers. These are available at foundation tier and higher tier. Each paper is 1h45 and is marked out of 100. Both papers are combined to give an average grade overall in biology. Although in biology the topics are the same as in combined, each unit contains extra material which is taught only at triple level. Students will also complete 8 core practical investigations in biology which are worth 25% of the grade examined within the 1h45 paper.

Biology paper 1:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
• Topic 2 – Cells and control
• Topic 3 – Genetics
• Topic 4 – Natural selection and genetic modification
• Topic 5 – Health, disease and the development of medicines

Biology paper 2:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts in biology
• Topic 6 – Plant structures and their functions
• Topic 7 – Animal coordination, control and homeostasis
• Topic 8 – Exchange and transport in animals
• Topic 9 – Ecosystems and material cycles

7. TRIPLE CHEMISTRY YEAR 10 & 11

TRIPLE CHEMISTRY YEAR 10 & 11

Outlined below is the key course content for triple Chemistry. Within science lessons through years 10-11, students will complete a series of low stakes 10 mark checkpoints which focus on memory recall, they will also complete end of unit examinations to evaluate their long term memory and establish understanding of key skills / concepts.

Chemistry

Chemistry consists of two externally-examined papers. These are available at foundation tier and higher tier. Each paper is 1h45 and is marked out of 100. Both papers are combined to give an average grade overall in chemistry. Students will also complete 8 core practical investigations in chemistry which are worth 25% of the grade examined within the 1h45 paper.

Chemistry paper 1:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
• Topic 2 – States of matter and mixtures
• Topic 3 – Chemical changes
• Topic 4 – Extracting metals and equilibria
• Topic 5 – Separate chemistry 1

Chemistry paper 2:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts in chemistry
• Topic 6 – Groups in the periodic table
• Topic 7 – Rates of reaction and energy changes
• Topic 8 – Fuels and Earth science
• Topic 9 – Separate chemistry 2

8. TRIPLE PHYSICS YEAR 10 & 11

TRIPLE PHYSICS YEAR 10 & 11

Outlined below is the key course content for triple Physics. Within science lessons through years 10-11, students will complete a series of low stakes 10 mark learning checks which focus on memory recall and will also complete end of unit examinations to evaluate their long term memory and establish understanding of key skills / concepts.

Physics

Physics consists of two externally-examined papers. These are available at foundation tier and higher tier. Each paper is 1h45 and is marked out of 100. Both papers are combined to give an average grade overall in physics. Students will also complete 8 core practical investigations in physics which are worth 25% of the grade examined within the 1h45 paper.

Physics paper 1:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
• Topic 2 – Motion and forces
• Topic 3 – Conservation of energy
• Topic 4 – Waves
• Topic 5 – Light and the electromagnetic spectrum
• Topic 6 – Radioactivity
• Topic 7 – Astronomy

Physics paper 2:
• Topic 1 – Key concepts of physics
• Topic 8 – Energy – Forces doing work
• Topic 9 – Forces and their effects
• Topic 10 – Electricity and circuits
• Topic 11 – Static electricity
• Topic 12 – Magnetism and the motor effect
• Topic 13 – Electromagnetic induction
• Topic 14 – Particle model
• Topic 15 – Forces and matter