The Sciences

Year 9 marks the start of Key Stage 4 Sciences. These are under taken as three separate sciences. All courses are linear and pupils will take GCSE examinations at the end of the courses in May/June of Year 11.

Pupils in Year 9 will continue to be taught sciences at a level appropriate to their ability in an appropriate set. There are regular reviews of pupil progress via termly testing, homework and classwork. As a result, there will be opportunities for pupils to move between the ability groups.

Sciences at this level are taught as separate subjects (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) and by specialist teachers. As a result, all of our pupils are offered a broad course that emphasises the common nature of scientific practice whilst allowing them to study the three main disciplines within science at school.

The specific course content of the GCSE courses outlines below are for the separate GCSE science subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Physics.

GCSE Biology

The main subject content includes: 1. Cell Biology, 2. Organs and Organ Systems, 3. Disease, and Immunity, 4. Energy in Living Organisms, 5. Homeostasis and Response, 6. Inheritance, variation and evolution, and 7. Ecology.

There will be two examination papers:

Paper 1: Will cover topics 1-4 and will contain a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions

Paper 2: Will cover topics 5-7 and be in a similar style

GCSE Chemistry

The main subject content includes: 1. Atomic structure and the Periodic table, 2. Bonding, structure and matter, 3. Quantitative chemistry, 4. Chemical changes, 5. Energy changes, 6. Rate of chemical change, 7. Organic chemistry, 8. Chemical analysis, 9. Chemistry of the atmosphere and 10. Using resources.

There will be two examination papers:

Paper 1: Will cover topics 1-5 and will contain a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions

Paper 2: Will cover topics 6-10 and be in a similar style

GCSE Physics

The main subject content includes; 1. Forces, 2. Energy, 3. Waves, 4. Electricity, 5. Magnetism and electromagnetism, 6. Particle model of matter, 7. Atomic structure, and 8. Space physics.

There will be two examination papers:

Paper 1: Will cover topics 1-4 and will contain a mixture of multiple choice, structured, closed short answer and open response questions

Paper 2: Will cover topics 5-8 and be in a similar style

Working scientifically will also be tested across all three disciplines through the written examination papers. This will include aspects of investigating, observing, experimenting or testing out ideas. 

There is no coursework or controlled assessment.

Both papers in all three subjects will have a foundation and higher tier and have equal weighting (50% of total mark). Foundation tier papers lead to the award of grades within the range 1 - 5. Higher tier papers will lead to the award of grades within the range 4 - 9

Throughout the course pupils will be given many opportunities to practise answering examination-style questions and to develop examination techniques.

The use of the internet will be developed to help support pupils in their study of the three science subjects. There is an emphasis on the practical and applied nature of each subject and pupils can expect to spend a large proportion of their time in the laboratory involved in practical work to help extend and deepen their levels of biological, chemical and physical knowledge and understanding.