science 

The Team


Mr. J Barnes. Head of Science, Teacher of Physics and Mathematics.

Mrs. L Harley. Teacher of Biology and Senior Form Mistress for Form III and Lower IV.

Miss G Hayden. Teacher of Physics and Astronomy.

Mrs. S Sampson. Teacher of Physics

Mr. P Thomas. Head of Chemistry.

Miss L Pfannes-Varrow. Teacher of Biology.

Dr. J Wilson. Head of Biology.


Age 4 - 11 or Key Stages 1 & 2

Science in both Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 is based on the National Curriculum. Much of the science is taught within a cross-curricular framework, using a range of strategies to support different learning styles. In this way we aim to make science relevant to the students and to encourage the development of critical thinking and enquiring minds.

Age 11 - 14 or Key Stage 3

At Key Stage 3 students learn to observe and investigate the world around them and to try to make sense of what they see. They investigate by designing and carrying out experiments either alone or in groups. They learn to co-operate and to be responsible to the group. They learn to respect evidence and to put together arguments and opinions based on evidence. They evaluate what they have done and try to improve it. The lessons include work on safety and the use of scientific equipment, and teach students basic observation skills which will help them during the rest of the course.

The Oxford OxBox Scheme is used. There is a Pupil's book for each of the three years, divided up into Biology, Chemistry and Physics sections.

The Sciences are taught separately from Form III (Year 7) onwards. This gives the pupils an excellent grounding in each of the individual disciplines. Subject specialists are used from Form III onwards and in Key Stage 3 the students are taught in their form groups and have six periods of Science over the two week cycle. The lessons are designed to inspire and instil in the students a lifelong love of Science by developing an inquisitive mind.

In Upper IV (Year 9) the girls start their IGCSE course.

Age 14 - 16 or Key Stage 4

Edexcel IGCSE Double Award Specification

Edexcel IGCSE Separate Science Biology Specification

Edexcel IGCSE Separate Science Chemistry Specification

Edexcel IGCSE Separate Science Physics Specification

In Key Stage 4 the girls follow the Edexcel International GCSE. This is an excellent and rigorous qualification that fully prepares the students for A – Levels in Science by providing material that will stretch and challenge them, whilst at the same time being accessible to all. The pupils are put into four groups – two of these groups will follow the Separate Science pathway, while the other two will follow the Double Award scheme.  Over the course of the two week cycle each group has 4 hours of each Science. All of the groups are taught by subject specialists who have many years of experience of teaching GCSE’s.

The Double Award scheme gives two grades for all three Sciences, whereas the Separate Science course gives three grades, one for each Science. The decision as to which pathway the pupils take is made by the subject teachers, although movement between the groups is allowed.

Neither of the pathways involves any controlled assessment, instead the examinations are linear. This is the best option for the course, as valuable teaching time is not lost through the completion of controlled assessments. The practical skills necessary for success in any Science are developed throughout the course and examined in the written papers.

If the student follows the Double Award pathway they will sit three examinations, one for each of the Sciences, each lasting two hours. If the student follows the Separate Science pathway, they will sit the Double Award papers as well as three additional papers, one for each Science, that each lasts one hour, bringing their total examination time to nine hours.

Age 16 - 18 or Key Stage 5


Biology

A Level Biology – H421 - OCR Examination Board

A Level Biology Specification


In the first year students will study for an AS Level in Biology. There are three units of assessment (shown below), two of which are examined at the end of the year, and one which is assessed similarly to controlled assessment.

  • Two written papers
  • F211 - Cells, exchange and transport - 30% of AS
  • F212 - Molecules, Biodiversity and Human Interactions - 50% of AS
  • F213 - Practical Assessment - 20% of AS

In the second year the AS Level can be converted to a full A Level - in which case the AS marks contribute 50% of the overall A Level grade.

  • Two written papers
  • F214 - Communications, Homeostasis and Energy - 15% of A Level
  • F215 - Control, Genomes and Environment - 25% of A Level
  • F216 - Practical Assessment - 10% of A Level

Progression - Biology

There is a wide range of career paths available following an A Level in Biology. It may be used as a supporting subject or as a specialist requirement for entry to courses in subjects such as: environmental science, biochemistry, microbiology, food science and medical sciences. Possession of A level Biology shows an ability to assemble and organise many facts, link disparate topics and understand complex processes.


Chemistry

A Level Chemistry Specification

The course followed is AQA GCE Chemistry, Specification 2420.

—  The course builds on work done at GCSE.

—  It is fun, interesting and challenging.

—  Units 1 & 2 are taught in the Lower 6th, Unit 3 is the practical assessment. The Units are assessed for the AS qualification.

—  Units 4 & 5 are taught in the Upper 6th, Unit 6 is the practical assessment. The Units are assessed for the A2/A-level qualification.

Unit 1 – CHEM1 Foundation Chemistry

—  Examination paper (70 raw marks/100 UMS). 4 – 6 short answer questions plus 1 – 2 longer structured question(s).

—  1 hour 15 minutes331/3 % of the total AS marks162/3 % of the total A Level marks

—  Summer examination (June)

Unit 2 – CHEM2 Chemistry In Action

—  Examination paper (100 raw marks/140 UMS). 6 – 8 short answer questions plus 2 longer structured questions

—  1 hour 45 minutes462/3 % of the total AS marks231/3  % of the total A Level marks

—  Summer examination (June)

Unit 3 – Internal Assessment Investigative and practical skills in AS Chemistry

—  CHM3T, Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)

—  Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 12 raw marks). ‘On-going’ assessment of skills.

—  Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 38 raw marks). Task set by AQA, practical and theoretical aspects. Sat during the school year, generally during second or early in third term. 

—  20% of the total AS marks10% of the total A Level marks

—  AS Award – 1421

Unit 4 – CHEM4 Kinetics, Equilibria and Organic Chemistry

—  Examination paper (100 raw marks/120 UMS). 6 – 8 short answer questions plus 2 – 3 structured questions. Some of the questions will have synoptic elements.

—  1 hour 45 minutes20% of the total A Level marks

—  Summer examination (June)

Unit 5 – CHEM5 Energetics, Redox and Inorganic Chemistry

—  Examination paper (100 raw marks/120 UMS). 6 – 8 short answer questions plus2 – 3 longer structured questions. Some of the questions will have synoptic elements.

—  1 hour 45 minutes20% of the total A Level marks

—  Summer examination (June)

Unit 6 – Internal Assessment Investigative and practical skills in A2 Chemistry

—  CHM6T, Centre Marked Route T (50 raw marks/60 UMS)

—  Practical Skills Assessment (PSA – 12 raw marks)

—  Investigative Skills Assignment (ISA – 38 raw marks)

—  10% of the total A Level marks

—  A2 Award - 2421—

 

Progression -Chemistry

There is a wide range of career paths available from successfully completing this course. It is often a requirement for entry to courses in subjects such as environmental science, biochemistry, microbiology, food science, pharmacy, pharmacology and medical sciences. Possession of a Chemistry A-Level shows an ability to assemble and organise facts, interpret data, apply mathematical concepts, and understand complex processes.


 

 Physics

A Level Physics AQA Examination Board.

A Level Physics Specification

The A Level Physics course tries to find underlying patterns in nature. In Lower VI students will study for an AS Level in Physics, consisting of two units of theory assessment and one unit of Investigative and Practical Skills Assessment.

  • Unit 1 - Particles, Quantum Phenomena and Electricity
  • Unit 2 - Mechanics, Materials and Waves
  • Unit 3 - Investigative and Practical Skills in AS Physics

In Upper VI this can be converted to an A Level by studying two more units of theory and one experimental Physics module, as shown below;

  • Unit 4 - Fields and Further Mechanics
  • Unit 5 - Nuclear Physics, Thermal Physics and Optional Topic
  • Unit 6a - Investigative and Practical Skills in A2 Physics

These qualifications are intended to provide, through well designed studies of theoretical and practical physics, a worthwhile educational experience for all candidates, whether or not they go on to study physics at a higher level. Candidates will recognise the usefulness, and limitation, of scientific method and appreciate its applicability in other disciplines and everyday life. Students will be suitably prepared for employment and/or further studies beyond AS or A2. The study of physics at AS and A2 should also be seen as making a contribution towards life-long learning and an understanding of technological advances and their impact on modern day society.

Progression - Physics

An A Level Physics qualification is a key which will open many doors. We live in a scientific age which affects our lives in many ways - our food, medical care, transport, communication and even entertainment are just a few areas involving Physics which have and are still changing rapidly.

 


 

Astronomy

Why Astronomy?

If the night sky holds a certain fascination for you, or you’re curious about the difference between a red giant and white dwarf, a pulsar and quasar, or what a super massive black hole  is, then this course can help you take the first steps towards truly understanding and appreciating our universe.  You can find out where you come from, and explain how we are all made of star dust.

Why is it useful?  The Astronomy course backs up parts of the GCSE Physics course (the big bang theory, Doppler effect, electromagnetic spectrum, red shift).  This course will develop your curiosity for astronomy, help you understand current astronomical theories and enhance your science studies and learn about different aspects of science, alongside your other science studies.

How am I assessed?
The GCSE in Astronomy comprises two units:

Unit 1 Understanding the Universe

(2 hour exam - 75% exam)

Unit 2 Exploring the Universe

(broken into two projects - 25 %)

Covering the following topics:

  • Earth, Moon and Sun
  • Planetary Systems
  • Stars
  • Galaxies and Cosmology

Observing the night sky

  • Unaided – by eye
  • Aid – binoculars, telescope/robotic telescope

 


When will I be assessed?
One Theory Paper – Summer Term Upper V.
The controlled assessment will be broken up between one project in Lower V and one in Upper V, and will be submitted in the summer term of Upper V.


What other skills will I develop?
You will learn to interpret data in the form of graphs, numbers and diagrams.  You will be introduced to planetarium computer programs, and exposed to a vast array of further information, developing your research skills.  Discussion and debate are developed.  Alongside this, you will develop practical skills in observing, using simple tools for investigations and designing observation based on identified criteria.


And then…?

This is a stepping stone to further education in Physics and Astronomy.  Most of this context is featured in the Astrophysics option of AQA A-Level Physics, and in Astrophysics in University.  A degree in Physics or Astrophysics can lead to numerous careers, including meteorology, aerospace engineering, designing satellites, working for an observatory/space agency.