Science


About the Faculty

The Science Faculty deliver a variety of courses at all Key Stages, developing knowledge and skills in biology, chemistry, physics and general science.  The faculty has dedicated teaching staff, well equipped laboratories and are committed to delivering excellent learning for all students.

Science Faculty Assessment Plan

 

To find out what is delivered at each Key Stage, please click the title below:

Years 7 to 9 – Key Stage 3

The Key Stage 3 Science course at Belper School aims to develop within students a deeper understanding of a range of scientific ideas in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Students should begin to see the connections between these subject areas and become aware of some of the big ideas underpinning scientific knowledge and understanding e.g. the links between:

* structure and function in living organisms
* the particulate model, properties and interactions of matter
* energy resources and transfer of energy

Students will relate scientific explanations to phenomena in the world around them and start to use modelling and abstract ideas to develop and evaluate explanations.

SCI_KS3_1

In Year 7 students study the following five topics:

Introduction to Science, Matter and its Reactions, Forces and their Effect, How we are made, Energy and Electricity.

In Year 8 students study the following five topics:

Ecology and Classification, Elements, Compounds and Mixtures, Energy Transfers, Staying Alive, The Earth.

Year 9 consists of two parts:

In the Autumn term of Year 9, students study three topics: Forensic Science, The Need for Speed and Particles and Reactions, followed by an end of unit assessment.  This completes their Key Stage 3 Science course.

In the Spring and Summer terms, Year 9 students will start their Key Stage 4 course and will study Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics from Edexcel GCSE Combined Science.

(See Key Stage 4 Combined Science information for more specific detail)

The topic areas covered during the Key Stage 3 science course (Year 7, Year 8 and the first part of Year 9) are listed below:

BIOLOGY TOPICS CHEMISTRY TOPICS PHYSICS TOPICS
Cell Structures States of Matter Hooke’s Law
Enzymes Change of State Kinetic Theory
Transport in Plants Atomic Theory Motion
Health and Disease Periodic Table Introduction Current Electricity
  Metals Static Electricity
  Acids Fields

 

SCI_KS3_2

All classes are taught in mixed ability tutor groups in Year 7 and Year 8. Students are taught in sets in Year 9 for the remainder of the Key Stage 3 course and their GCSE studies.

Working Scientifically

Students will develop important scientific skills whilst covering the core content of science through the Biology, Chemistry and Physics topics. These skills include:

* use of models
* planning and carrying out investigations
* collecting, recording and processing data and evidence
* analysing and evaluating data and evidence
* developing scientific literacy and scientific attitudes

Through their Science work students will also develop skills in literacy, numeracy, ICT.

SCI_KS3_3

Assessment at Key Stage 3

Further details of Belper School’s Assessment Policy and the Science Faculty Assessment Policy can be found in the relevant section of the website.

Students’ knowledge, understanding and skills in Biology, Chemistry and Physics are assessed through a range of assessment opportunities. Assessment at Key Stage 3 is both formative and summative.  Formative, on-going assessment tasks e.g KATs determine what students have learned within a topic/module and students and teachers identify the ‘next steps’ for students to further develop and improve learning. Summative assessment tasks e.g topic tests and end of year exams measure the attainment of students within a topic or a range of topics.  Student progress can be determined using the results from formative and summative assessments.

Year 7 – Assessment Without Levels

*Each topic starts with a baseline task to identify prior knowledge and finishes with a formative assessment (self-assessed by students) so students can see the progress they have made and identify their next steps.

*End of topic assessments which allow students to demonstrate their scientific skills e.g. their ability to plan experiments and to carry out chemical reactions.
* Termly tests in the spring and summer terms

* Peer-assessed and self-assessed activities
* Homework activities

Year 8 and Year 9 – Assessed With Levels

*Each topic starts with a baseline task to identify prior knowledge and finishes with a formative assessment which is self-assessed by students so they can see the progress they have made and identify their next steps.

*End of topic assessments which allow students to demonstrate their scientific skills e.g. their ability to use models to explain scientific ideas.
* Termly tests in the spring and summer terms

* Peer-assessed and self-assessed activities
* Homework activities

Homework

Students are usually set weekly homework tasks, often from homework booklets, in accordance with the Belper School Science Faculty which is in line with the whole school policy. These may include short and long answer questions, extended writing, research, presentations, projects (over a longer period), making models, revision.

To support learning, students can access KS3 Science resources on ‘Weblearn’ and BBC Bite Size and there is a wealth of other science information on the internet for example the BBC Bite Size Science site which can be accessed at http://www.bbc.co.uk/education/subjects/zng4d2p

Teachers may recommend specific websites when homework is set.

SCI_KS3_4

Extracurricular Activities

A variety of enrichment activities take place throughout the year, both in school and out of school. Activities which have taken place in previous years have included the Salters Chemistry Festival which takes place at a local University in May, Tomorrow’s Engineers Workshops and the bronze CREST award.

 

Years 10 to 11 – Key Stage 4

GCSE Science from 2016 (including Combined Science and Separate Sciences)

It remains a national priority that all students should have a good grasp of Science, so that they can make sense of the increasingly scientific and technological world we live in. All students will therefore have a common grounding and experience of Science, preparing them for the applications of Science that we all experience in our lives.

At Belper School, Science GCSE courses start in January of Year 9 and they continue throughout Years 10 and 11.  Students follow a specific pathway, as outlined below and complete all of the Biology, Chemistry and Physics units in core lesson time for Combined Science and if following Separate Sciences they also have their Option lessons.

Year 10 students will continue to study the new GCSE Combined Science or Separate Sciences Biology, Chemistry, Physics they started in January 2016 which will be externally assessed through examinations in May to June 2018.

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There are two main ways to study Science at GCSE. These are Combined Science and Separate Sciences.

COMBINED SCIENCE (2 GCSEs in Science)

Combined Science covers Biology, Chemistry and Physics and results in 2 GCSEs.

Topics covered in Combined Science are externally assessed by two examinations at the end of Y11, each paper being 1hr 10mins in length and out of 60 marks. The marks from all 6 exams are totalled and an overall grade given. The topic areas covered by the papers are shown below:

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

There is no separately assessed coursework but students are expected to gain a good knowledge of the process of ‘Working Scientifically’ through a number of “core practicals” that will be assessed as part of the examinations along with mathematical skills.

These are a key part of the course with 6 in Biology, 5 in Chemistry and 7 in Physics, specified by Edexcel. Over the two years students will be given the opportunity to complete these practicals and make detailed notes on them for future revision.

There is also an increased emphasis on mathematical skills in the new courses. There are different weightings for maths within the exams, Combined Science 20% overall. Biology 10%, Chemistry 20% and Physics 30%.The main difference being that for the Physics exams students are expected to learn and be able to recall 19 key equations. They will have to know these to be able to answer up to 20% of the questions in the exam paper.

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SEPARATE SCIENCES (3 GCSEs, Biology, Chemistry and Physics)

If Separate Sciences has been chosen as an option students will study the content of the Combined Science course as well as further or extended topics in the three Science subjects.

Topics covered in Separate Sciences are externally assessed by two examinations at the end of Y11, each paper being 1hr 45mins in length and out of 100 marks. The topic areas covered by the papers are shown below:

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.

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.

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.

There is no separately assessed coursework but students are expected to gain a good knowledge of the process of ‘Working Scientifically’ through a number of “core practicals” that will be assessed as part of the examinations along with mathematical skills.

These are a key part of the course with 8 per subject specified by Edexcel. Over the two years students will be given the opportunity to complete these practicals and make detailed notes on them for future revision.

There is also an increased emphasis on mathematical skills in the new courses. There are different weightings for maths within the exams, Biology 10%, Chemistry 20% and Physics 30%. The main difference being that for the Physics exams students are expected to learn and be able to recall 19 key equations. They will have to know these equations to be able to answer up to 20% of the questions in the exam paper.

Specification Codes

Examination Board: Edexcel

Combined Science     1SC0

Biology                         1BI0

Chemistry                    1CH0

Physics                         1PH0

 

 

Years 12 to 13 – Sixth Form

Please click one of the subjects below for more information.

A Level Biology
A Level Chemistry
A Level Physics

 

A Level Biology

 

Examination Board: OCR

“This course has been challenging, very interesting and hard work. I have enjoyed it and feel proud to have achieved such good grades in the assessments and mock exams so far”
– A Year 12 Biology student

Within modules you will study a wide range of biological concepts that build directly upon your GCSE Science.  It is strongly advised that you have at least grade 5/6 in higher tier maths.

Throughout the course you will develop a range of practical skills which are integrated within the topics and are assessed through written examinations. The internally assessed Practical Endorsement skills form part of the full A Level Biology course not the AS Level Biology course. You will complete a minimum of 12 assessed experiments covering technical skills together with the use of apparatus and practical techniques. You will also gain an awareness of the environmental, technological, ethical and economic aspects of Biology.

You will study the first four modules if you follow the AS Level Biology course. Then continue with Modules 5 and 6 if you study the full A level Biology course.

Module 1 – Development of Practical Skills in Biology                                                            
Practical skills assessed in the written examinations (AS and A Level)
Practical Endorsement skills (A Level only)

Module 2 – Foundations in Biology (AS and A Level)                                                                           
Cell structure; Biological molecules; Nucleotides and nucleic acids; Enzymes; Biological membranes; Cell division, cell diversity and cellular organisation

Module 3 – Exchange and Transport (AS and A Level)                                                            
Exchange surfaces; Transport in animals; Transport in plants

Module 4 – Biodiversity, Evolution and Disease (AS and A Level)                                      
Communicable diseases, disease prevention and the immune system; Biodiversity; Classification and evolution

Module 5 – Communication, homeostasis and energy (A Level only) Communication and homeostasis; Excretion as an example of homeostatic control;  Neuronal communication; Hormonal communication; Plant and animal responses; Photosynthesis; Respiration

Module 6 –  Genetics, evolution and ecosystems  (A Level only) Cellular control; Patterns of inheritance; Manipulating genomes; Cloning and biotechnology. Ecosystems; Populations and sustainability.

AS Assessment: both components must be completed
(01) Breadth in Biology – 50% of total AS level 1 hour 30 minutes written paper (70 marks)
(02) Depth in Biology – 50% of total AS level 1 hour 30 minutes written examination paper (70 marks)

A2 Assessment: both components must be completed
(01) Biological Processes – 37% of total A level 2 hour 15 minutes written examination paper (100 marks)
(02) Biological Diversity – 37% of total A level 2 hour 15 minutes written examination paper (100 marks)
(03) Unified Biology – 26% of total A level 1 hour 30 minutes written examination paper (70 marks)
(04) Practical Endorsement in Biology – reported separately TBC
Course specification link http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-alevel-gce-biology-a-h020-h420-from-2015/

Are you interested in:
• The human body
• The secret life of plants
• Cutting edge developments
• Current research
• Environmental issues and building ethical arguments

Leading to a career in:
• Health and medical related occupations
• Animal related occupations
• Environmental work
• Forensics
• Conservation
• Biochemistry
• Microbiology
• Agriculture
• Genetic Engineering

“Biology is the study of life itself; what life on planet Earth has been, is now and could be under our ever-increasing influence”.

 

A Level Chemistry

Examination Board: OCR   (www.ocr.org.uk – for further details)

‘Chemistry lies at the heart of everything. It is the study of the structure, properties and synthesis of matter. Nothing exists without Chemistry!’ – A Year 12 Chemistry student

A Level Chemistry A (H432) and AS Level Chemistry A (H032)  

Within modules you will study a wide range of chemical concepts that build directly on your GCSE Science.

Throughout the course you will develop a range of practical skills which are integrated within the topics and are assessed through written examinations. The internally assessed Practical Endorsement skills form part of the full A Level Chemistry course not the AS Level Chemistry course. You will complete a minimum of 12 assessed experiments covering technical skills together with the use of apparatus and practical techniques.  You will also gain an awareness of the environmental, technological, ethical and economic aspects of Chemistry.

You will study the first four modules if you follow the AS Level Chemistry course and then continue with Modules 5 and 6 if you study the full A level Chemistry course. 

Module 1 – Development of practical skills in Chemistry 

Practical skills assessed in the written examinations (AS and A Level) Practical Endorsement skills (A Level only)

Module 2 – Foundations in chemistry

(AS and A Level) Atoms, compounds, molecules and equations; Amount of substance; Acid– base and redox reactions; Electrons, bonding and structure

Module 3 – Periodic table and energy (AS and A Level)

The periodic table and periodicity; Group 2 and the halogens; Qualitative analysis; Enthalpy changes; Reaction rates and equilibrium (qualitative)

Module 4 – Core organic chemistry (AS and A Level) Basic concepts; Hydrocarbons; Alcohols and haloalkanes; Organic synthesis; Analytical techniques (IR and MS)

Module 5 – Physical chemistry and transition elements (A Level only) Reaction rates and equilibrium (quantitative); pH and buffers;       Enthalpy, entropy and free energy; Redox and electrode potentials; Transition elements

Module 6 – Organic chemistry and analysis (A Level only) Aromatic compounds; Carbonyl compounds; Carboxylic acids and esters; Nitrogen compounds; Polymers; Organic synthesis; Chromatography & spectroscopy (NMR)

A Level Chemistry provides a firm foundation for you to progress to study Chemistry at further or higher education or to follow courses in related subjects e.g. medicine, biochemistry, veterinary science, forensic science, engineering, dentistry, physiotherapy, sports science, oceanography, environmental sciences.

AS Assessment:  both components must  be completed  

(01) Breadth in Chemistry –  50% of total AS level 1 hour 30 minutes written paper (70 marks)

(02) Depth in Chemistry –  50% of total AS level 1 hour 30 minutes written examination paper (70 marks)

A2 Assessment:  both components must  be completed  

(01) Periodic Table, elements and physical chemistry –  37% of total A level 2 hour 15 minutes written examination paper (100 marks)

(02) Synthesis and Analytical techniques – 37% of total A level 2 hour 15 minutes written examination paper (100 marks)

(03) Unified Chemistry – 26% of total A level 1 hour 30 minutes written examination paper (70 marks)

(04) Practical Endorsement in ChemistryTBC Course specification link http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-alevel-gce-chemistry-a-h032-h432-from-2015/

Are you interested in:

  • Practical Chemistry
  • Chemical Applications
  • Patterns & Trends in Data
  • Problem Solving
  • Chemical Research
  • Cutting Edge Science

Leading to a career in:

  • Chemistry
  • Engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Biosciences
  • Medical occupations
  • Veterinary Sciences
  • Geosciences
  • Pharmacy
  • Dentistry
  • Law
  • and many, many more …

“Chemistry is so interesting …. like a language of its own. Its beauty…. it means something you couldn’t say in English. It’s happening all around us all of the time without us realising”

 

A Level Physics

Examination Board: OCR   (www.ocr.org.uk – for further details)

Physics is a subject that asks the fundamental questions about how the world works. How do matter and forces interact in all situations. Mysteries from the very small to the very large.

A Level Physics A (H556) and AS Level Physics A (H156)     

Within modules you will study a wide range of Physics concepts that build directly on your GCSE Science.

Throughout the course you will develop a range of practical skills which are integrated within the topics and are assessed through written examinations. The internally assessed Practical

Endorsement skills form part of the full A Level Physics course not the AS Level Physics course. You will complete a minimum of 12 assessed experiments covering technical skills together with the use of apparatus and practical techniques. You will also gain an awareness of the environmental, technological, ethical and economic aspects of Physics.

As the A level course is now linear for the full A level qualification all 6 modules are covered by examinations at the end of Year 13. If however you only complete the AS part of the course (see Examination Entry Policy) then the first 4 modules are examined at the end of Year 12.

The Modules    

Module 1 –  Development of practical skills  in Physics

Practical skills assessed in the written examinations (A Level and AS) Practical Endorsement skills (A Level only)

Module 2 –  Foundations in Physics  (A Level and AS)

Physical quantities and units; Making measurements and analysing data; Nature of quantities

Module 3 –  Forces and motion (A Level and AS) Motion; Forces in action; Work, energy and power; Materials;                                             Newton’s laws of motion and momentum

Module 4 –  Electrons, Waves and Photons  (A Level and AS)

Charge and Current; Energy, Power and Resistance; Electrical Circuits, Waves, Quantum Physics

Module 5 –  Newtonian World and Astrophysics  (A Level only)

Thermal Physics; Circular motion; Oscillations; Gravitational fields; Astrophysics and cosmology

Module 6 –  Particles and medical physics  (A Level only)

Capacitors; Electric fields; Electromagnetism; Nuclear and particle physics; Medical imaging

A Level Physics provides a firm foundation for you to progress to study Physics at further or higher education or to follow courses in related subjects e.g. medicine, biophysics, engineering, dentistry, architecture, astrophysics.

A2 Assessment   

All components must be completed, all examined at the end of Y13

(01) Modelling Physics – 37% of total A level 2 hour 15 minutes written examination paper (100 marks)

(02) Exploring Physics – 37% of total A level 2 hour 15 minutes written examination paper (100 marks)

(03) Unified Physics – 26% of total A level 1 hour 30 minutes written examination paper (70 marks)

Practical skills

(04) Practical Endorsement in Physics

TBC

AS Assessment    

Both components must be completed. Exams at the end of Y12 Note – these DO NOT count towards the A2 qualification 01) Breadth in Physics – 

50% of total AS level 1 hour 30 minutes written paper (70 marks)

(02) Depth in Physics –  50% of total AS level 1 hour 30 minutes written examination paper (70 marks)

Course specification link  http://www.ocr.org.uk/qualifications/as-alevel-gce-physics-a-h156-h556-from-2015/

Are you interested in:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Solving problems
  • Science
  • Underlying patterns in the physical world

Leading to a career in:

  • Engineering
  • Medicine
  • Computing
  • Physics
  • Financial Services
  • Law

“I chose Physics as I was intrigued at the mechanisms in life. I also enjoy working through the mathematical principles behind it”. – A Y13 student

 

Year 11 Science Revision/Year 10 and 11 Science Clinic

The Faculty is currently running Year 11 general revision sessions for key areas in Science, and also a Year 11 and Year 10 science clinic where students can get help on specific topics or on homeworks they may not understand.  Details below …