March 16, 2011

Science Faculty

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE SCIENCE DEPARTMENT

Aims

  • To provide a broad and balanced science education
  • To achieve the highest academic standards possible for each student
  • To encourage students to develop an interest and enthusiasm for science
  • To present the subject in a realistic, relevant and interesting context
  • To adopt an active learning approach where appropriate
  • To develop an investigative approach in science
  • To give staff opportunities to develop teaching skills and strategies
  • To give all student equality of opportunity in all areas of science
  • To develop a body of scientific knowledge and range of scientific skills

Objectives

Students should be able to:

  • Think scientifically
  • Understand the applications and implications of science
  • Communicate and collaborate in science
  • Use investigative approaches
  • Work critically with evidence

Key Stage 3 – Year 7 and 8

All students broadly follow the QCA scheme of work published by central government, based around modified versions of the Exploring Science course.

This has been adapted to suit the resources and skills available within Boldon School. Students in KS3 have four hours of science per week. Students skills and attributes in science shall be recorded in four main areas namely; scientific literacy, scientific numeracy, enquiry and modelling. These skills and attributes are crucial to allow students to make rapid and sustained progress in KS4

Key Stage 4

Students in Key Stage 4 will follow the new GCSE in Combined Science or GCSE separate Sciences in Biology, Chemistry and Physics. One class of students will study for separate Science qualifications in GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics.

The GCSE in Combined Science should enable students to:

  • develop scientific knowledge and conceptual understanding through the specific disciplines of Biology, Chemistry and Physics
  • develop understanding of the nature, processes and methods of science, through different types of scientific enquiries that help them to answer scientific questions about the world around them
  • develop and learn to apply observational, practical, modelling, enquiry and problem-solving skills in the laboratory, in the field and in other learning environments
  • develop their ability to evaluate claims based on science through critical analysis of the methodology, evidence and conclusions, both qualitatively and quantitatively.

 

BIOLOGY

  • life processes depend on molecules whose structure is related to their function
  • the fundamental units of living organisms are cells, which may be part of highly adapted structures including tissues, organs and organ systems, enabling living processes to be performed effectively
  • living organisms may form populations of single species, communities of many species and ecosystems, interacting with each other, with the environment and with humans in many different ways
  • living organisms are interdependent and show adaptations to their environment
  • life on Earth is dependent on photosynthesis in which green plants and algae trap light from the Sun to fix carbon dioxide and combine it with hydrogen from water to make organic compounds and oxygen
  • organic compounds are used as fuels in cellular respiration to allow the other chemical reactions necessary for life
  • the chemicals in ecosystems are continually cycling through the natural world
  • the characteristics of a living organism are influenced by its genome and its interaction with the environment
  • evolution occurs by a process of natural selection and accounts both for biodiversity and how organisms are all related to varying degrees.

 

CHEMISTRY

  • matter is composed of tiny particles called atoms and there are about 100 different naturally occurring types of atoms called elements
  • elements show periodic relationships in their chemical and physical properties
  • these periodic properties can be explained in terms of the atomic structure of the elements
  • atoms bond by either transferring electrons from one atom to another or by sharing electrons
  • the shapes of molecules (groups of atoms bonded together) and the way giant structures are arranged is of great importance in terms of the way they behave
  • there are barriers to reaction so reactions occur at different rates
  • chemical reactions take place in only three different ways:

o proton transfer

o electron transfer

o electron sharing

  • energy is conserved in chemical reactions so can therefore be neither created nor destroyed.

 

PHYSICS

  • the use of models, as in the particle model of matter or the wave models of light and of sound
  • the concept of cause and effect in explaining such links as those between force and acceleration, or between changes in atomic nuclei and radioactive emissions
  • the phenomena of ‘action at a distance’ and the related concept of the field as the key to analysing electrical, magnetic and gravitational effects
  • that differences, for example between pressures or temperatures or electrical potentials, are the drivers of change
  • that proportionality, for example between weight and mass of an object or between force and extension in a spring, is an important aspect of many models in science
  • that physical laws and models are expressed in mathematical form.

 

All of these key ideas will be assessed as part of this qualification, through the subject content.

More details on these specifications can be found at www.edexcel.com

  • Edexcel Separate Sciences (GCSE Biology, GCSE Chemistry and GCSE Physics) will be studied by some 10 and 11 students from September 2015. The course includes all units studied to obtain Combined science as well as additional content which can be found at the Edexcel website.

www.edexcel.com

All science is taught in 1 floor in a dedicated suite of 9 laboratories,
one of which is a newly refurbished ICT room. The rooms are all spacious, light
and airy. Each room has an interactive whiteboard. The department shares 2 well
stocked and resourced prep rooms.

The department is extremely well resourced with a wide range of practical
equipment, relevant textbooks and science specific software.